Vaccines & Autism

Before I state my opinion I would like to say that this is a very emotional topic because autism is a very emotional issue. It is emotional because the parents and families suffering because a child of theirs has autism can be great. Generally, it is good to be cautious even with vaccines, but it is also important to debunk some of the lies that have been spread by some populists.

Even after 14 years since the publication of Wakefield’s 1998 article in The Lancet linking autism to the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, many people are still skeptical of getting vaccines. It’s time to address this and move on with our falsely-driven fears.

Vaccination & AutismAndrew Wakefield, a research scientist who is no longer licensed due to gross scientific misconduct and fraudulent actions, hypothesized that the MMR vaccine caused inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. He stated that the injurious inflammatory cells entered the central nervous system and were cause for autism – a far stretch for those of us who have taken any immunology/pathology courses. This was simply scientifically false; there is no link between autism and vaccines.

What got people questioning the validity of Wakefield’s statements instead of just dismissing them was that the MMR vaccine is given around 3-10 years of age, and that is the age children start developing the disease. However, it’s coincidental, and thousands of dollars have been spent on short-term and longitudinal studies just to prove that point. This poorly-spent money could have been used for research on HIV, cystic fibrosis, or a plethora of other debilitating diseases.

Here are two of the many studies published on the topic:
The American Journal of Preventative Medicine (2003) published a study comparing the incidence of autism in those who were vaccinated with thimerosol in the vaccine, to those who were vaccinated without the thimerosol compound. (Thimerosol was a compound in question; the study was from 1992-2003.) The results showed no difference in autism incidence.
Pediatrics (2004) published a longitudinal study from 1996 to 2004 comparing the rate of autism in children who had the MMR vaccine and those who did not. There was no difference in incidence.

The Lancet retracted the article, and Andrew Wakefield was tried and found guilty for scientific misconduct. Wakefield’s lies decreased the number of MMR and other routinely given vaccinations significantly in the UK and Ireland and thus increased the incidence of these not yet eradicated diseases. If this is new news to you, do us all a favor and spread the word: vaccines save lives.

3 thoughts on “Vaccines & Autism

  1. Daniel

    This was overdue and especially neccessary for “the young doctors” to be! Stay alert and develop a healthy scepticism.

  2. Andrea

    Deth, Burbacher, McGinnis, Van Der Water, James…..are all expert scientists who have studied the vax/ ASD link. What these scientists have found is frightening. Autism is not caused by 1 factor. Autism is not caused by the MMR. Autism is not caused by 1 gene or even 20 genes. Autism is caused by a genetic vulnerability + environmental factors.

    Take Wakefield out of the equation and look at all the independent research. All the studies cited above were paid for by vaccine patent holders. Listen, this is no conspiracy but people act in their self interest. Scientists are people and people get lazy. You cite one study authored by Poul Thorsen, an indicted criminal who stole $2 million of our tax $ for his bogus thimersol study. It is nonsense to expect families to take this research seriously.

    As far as poorly spent $ less than 2% of all ASD research is spent on vaccine issues. Far more has been spent on robot research on social interaction. The NIH and the CDC spend almost no $ on vaccine research. The Simons Institute and Cold Springs Harbor also spent no $. Autism Speaks spend 2% of their research budget on adverse vaccine reactions and autism. So let’e move on from this silly idea that vaccine research is killing devouring the autism research budgets.

    So in the meantime go to Parents and families derive no joy from sharing stories of horrific regressions after vaccinations. Vaccine court is a joke. Less than 1% of the ASD population even pursues this option. We don’t have the time our $. We need vaccines but we need safer vaccines and a more sensible schedule.

    1. Naomi Post author

      Hi Andrea,
      I checked out the website you linked to me, and I feel as though there’s a lot of displaced anger there. I feel very bad for those who watch their children grow and develop diseases that impact the whole family’s life in deep and terrible ways. I agree with you in saying that we should have more money allocated towards vaccine improvement and development, but I haven’t found any articles that support a link between autism and vaccination of any sort. You say that the studies cited were funded by those with a motivation, but that goes both ways. The website you linked says, “Not one study compares vaccinated children to unvaccinated children.” Like I said, Pediatrics (Feb 2004; 113(2):259-66) published a longitudinal study comparing the rate of autism in children who had the MMR vaccine and those who did not. Controls were matched 3:1 with cases based on school system, birth date and gender. There was no difference in incidence. That’s pretty strong evidence for me, and I know there are more articles out there; however I am neither a research scientist nor an immunologist, so though I appreciate your input, I still come to a different conclusion.

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