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Jenny McCarthy: I am not anti-vaccine but do believe vaccines cause autism

Jenny McCarthy says she's not anti-vaccines.
Jenny McCarthy says she's not anti-vaccines. Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Jenny McCarthy slammed reports that she's anti-vaccine, saying she is opposed to children getting multiple vaccination shots in one doctor's visit, she wrote in a Chicago Sun-Times editorial.

"I am not 'anti-vaccine,'" said McCarthy. "For years, I have repeatedly stated that I am, in fact, 'pro-vaccine' and for years I have been wrongly branded as 'anti-vaccine.'"

McCarthy has an 11-year-old son, Evan, who was diagnosed with autism in 2005. Jenny has stirred controversy over the years after saying Evan's autism was caused by the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine he received as a baby. In 2007, Jenny was heavily criticized after launching an anti-vaccine movement.

'The Myth That Vaccines Cause Autism Lives On'

Critics say McCarthy is spreading misinformation that is resulting in unnecessary deaths. "The myth that vaccines somehow cause developmental disorders lives on," said Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy.

"Despite the lack of corroborating evidence, it has been popularized by media personalities such as Oprah Winfrey and Jenny McCarthy. Meanwhile, millions of dollars have been diverted from potential breakthroughs in autism research. Most tragic of all is the increasing number of children dying from vaccine-preventable diseases."

In response, Jenny claims she has done research and is convinced that the toxins in vaccinations cause autism. For now, McCarthy would like to eliminate the blanket vaccination protocol requiring multiple vaccinations for all children.

"My beautiful son, Evan, inspired this mother to question the 'one-size-fits-all' philosophy of the recommended vaccine schedule," she wrote. "For my child, I asked for a schedule that would allow one shot per visit instead of the multiple shots they were and still are giving infants."

McCarthy has also been slammed after remarking that she had "cured" her son's autism by eliminating gluten from his diet. Jenny detailed how she cured Evan's autism in her book Louder Than Words: A Mom's Journey in Healing Autism.

Autism is a developmental disability characterized by difficulty with communication and social interaction. There is no known cause or cure. Autism now affects one in 68 children.