The controversial documentary “Vaxxed” opens today at the Harkins Valley Art Theatre in Tempe.
The film — which had been uninvited from the Tribeca Film Festival lineup because it was considered an anti-vaccine film — depicts how the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allegedly concealed and destroyed data on a 2004 study that showed a link between the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autism.
Many critics have described the premise of the film as an anti-vaccine story, but that is not accurate, said Phillippe Diaz, president and founder of Cinema Libre Studio, the distributor of Vaxxed.
“We all know that vaccines save tons of lives in the world,” Diaz said. “Nobody believes the MMR vaccine is bad, but it’s so toxic when it’s given to kids at 18 months.”
If the vaccine were given at age 3 or broken up into three separate shots, maybe the kids could tolerate the injections, he said.
“But these three vaccines combined, the body is not strong enough to resist very high toxicity because of these three combined,” Diaz said.
The notion of linking autism to the MMR vaccine is not new, and many studies have disputed the link, but many parents of children with autism aren’t convinced.
About one in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder, according to estimates from the CDC’s Autism and Development Disabilities Monitoring Network. It is about 4.5 times more common among boys than among girls.