Study: 1 in 4 parents think vaccines cause autism

By Phil Plait | March 2, 2010 11:43 am

In a study done a year ago — before Andrew Wakefield was found to be unethical, dishonest, and irresponsible, and his paper which started this whole thing withdrawn from the Lancet — it was found that one in four parents thought autism was related to vaccines. However, the study also found that of these, many felt that vaccines were still important in protecting children from disease.

While that number is high, that added part about protection is very heartening. If we can show those parents the reality that vaccines have nothing to do with autism, then maybe we’ll see the number of children suffering, and even dying, from preventable diseases drop.

After all, we can prevent measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, HiB, and many other illnesses. But the thing is, we can also prevent ignorance. We just have to shine a light on it.

There are many who will try to extinguish that light. But we have to make sure we hold that light steady and true. It can be tiring, since the antivaxxers are loud and seemingly relentless in their zealous crusade. But we have a huge advantage on our side: we’re right. Reality will always win out, and we just have to make sure that it does so quickly, before more children lose their lives.

Tip o’ the syringe to BABloggee Randyt.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Alt-Med, Antiscience
MORE ABOUT: antivax

Comments (114)

  1. QuietDesperation

    Reality will always win out

    [citation needed]

    Yeah, me cynical.

  2. For one light, visit AntiAntiVax, especially before posting a comment suggesting a connection between vaccines and autism. There are a lot of other links there, as well, to further information.

    Also, if you’re a fan of Age of Autism, be warned that they censor dissenting comments. So what you read there is a very slanted viewpoint.

  3. Jay Fox

    The antivaxers are wasting time barking up the wrong tree. We now can be pretty sure that vaccines are not the culprit. So what is?

    Researchers should be looking at epigenetics, specifically what all this plastic (bpa, etc.) does to gene expression. It seems to me that the increase in diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders correlates pretty well with general population exposures to these pollutants. It also appears that ASD might well be a disorder of (halted) gene expression. Might there be a connection? I haven’t seen very much reporting on investigation into this.

    The only downside to this line of investigation would be that no one person or organization could be proven responsible, thus leaving no one to sue. It will come down to personal responsibility, and the very difficult job of limiting personal exposure from the time at least 6 months before conception right on through adulthood. Even then things can go wrong with no one to blame.

  4. @Jay Fox

    In the news lately has been some research suggesting parental age may play a role in a percentage of autism cases. In vitro fertilization treatments also have been implicated. Both of those suggest the condition of the eggs and sperm could play a big part. There is also some research looking at whether anti-seizure meds used by the mother during pregnancy leads to an increased risk. Epigenetics certainly seems, then, to be a prime area for research.

  5. QuietDesperation

    So what is?

    I figure it’s rays.

  6. Pieter Kok

    Todd, your censoring link is broken: “blogpost” must be “blogspot”.

  7. amphiox

    But the thing is, we can also prevent ignorance. We just have to shine a light on it.

    I am not quite as optimistic on this point. We can certainly reduce the prevalence, possibly by a lot, but I’m very much afraid that the willfully ignorant will be refractory to this sort of photon therapy.

  8. Katharine

    QuietDesperation, reality always wins out, though not always in the way people want it to.

  9. @Pieter Kok

    Thanks for picking that out, it should be blogspot. Here is the correct link. And while we’re on the subject, I would really encourage people to comment over at Age of Autism and cross-post any censored comments to Silenced. I’d rather not be the sole voice.

  10. Reality loses sometimes…

    The Romanian state institute responsible for producing vaccines “Institutul Cantacuzino” got shut down for failing to get a new EU license… because the government managed to delay giving the required funds on time.

    Good news for the importers of medicines and vaccines, and also to the local antivaxers… overjoyed that the production of vaccines (including the AH1N1) will not resume until late April.

    Also because of disastrous government PR regarding the AH1N1 vaccination, more people than ever distrust vaccination, even if after 2 million shots no serious side-effect were noted… with all the media-frenzy keen to blame the vaccine for anything.

  11. Nigel Depledge

    Surely …

    Should not there be some kind of journalistic standards that require the media to make every reasonable effort to ensure that what they say is correct?

    *Wakes up*

    My, that was a lovely dream. Now, where was I…?

  12. Thameron

    We just have to shine a light on it. Sadly no. They also have to accept the light. This mini-phenomenon will not disappear until science gives those parents something concrete to blame for their child’s condition. Right now they have something to blame even if it is wrong. Trying to take that from them is a Herculean task and I don’t think mere facts and reason are up to it. They will simply need to find the right thing to blame and substitute it for the wrong thing (vaccines) and then this will recede.

  13. Derm

    Hardly surprising, 50% of the population are below average intelligence. Do think twice that’s a mathematical fact not a pejorative opinion

  14. BJN

    I have a friend who still avoids aluminum cans and pans because she’s incorporated the “aluminum causes Alzheimer’s” theory of the disease. The current evidence against that theory of the disease isn’t of interest to her. I think most people find it extremely difficult to accept an idea completely enough to modify their own behavior based on that idea, but later change their minds and behavior when shown new contradictory evidence.

  15. What does cause it? I mean everyone (well 75%) seems certain that it’s not vaccines, not the vaccine schedule, not the adjuncts, such as aluminum, mercury, baby fetus tissue, formaldehyde, or MSG, so what is it? Old man sperm? Old women eggs? Vinyl flooring? Plastics? Pesticides? Evolution? Who cares as long as one of those kids isnt yours right?

  16. @bensmyson

    We do care what causes it. At least, I do. I may not have a child on the spectrum, but I do have a close friend who does. I also know other families with kids on the spectrum. Better believe I want to know what causes it. But I also want to make sure the proposed explanations actually stand up to reality. And reality says that it is very unlikely that vaccines cause autism. At least, thus far no connection has been found.

    We looked at thimerosal and MMR. Nothing. Aluminum salts are not likely, as the amount in vaccines is orders of magnitude smaller than exposure from other sources (e.g., bananas, breast milk, air). Formaldehyde is unlikely, since a) it’s produced by the body and b) the amount in vaccines is, again, negligible. Baby fetus tissue is a bit misleading and only used for the oogy factor. MSG? That one’s new. I guess we should also be seeing higher rates among those who eat Chinese food, right?

    Right now, the most promising research appears to be in genetics and epigenetics.

  17. DaveS

    I ran into a real live antivaxxer at a social gathering the other day. The discussion was discussing the H1N1 non-pandemic, and she shared why she doesn’t do vaccinations. I had to mention Wakefield, and away it went. When she finally reverted to “science is just your belief”, “evidence can’t prove anything” , and “everyone is entitled to their opinion”, I gave up. Sigh.

    I wish I was as glib as Minchin.

    When you consider the 1 in 4 figure, remember than half of all people have an IQ below 100.

  18. Todd,

    Thimerosal is not a vaccine.

    As for the MMR vaccine, you call this nothing?
    http://www.chem.cmu.edu/wakefield/pro.html

  19. Ingrid

    I am a pro science anti-vaxer. What that means is I believe in doing studies and doing the research and taking results seriously. I don’t flat out ignore studies and their results. But I do ignore studies that are poorly structured or clearly have a conflict of interest with regards to who funds them. For you pro-science folks out here who want to strut around and show off how pro-sciencey you are, GO LOOK AT THE FRICKIN STUDIES. And you will see for yourself that they are incomplete and the data is not decisive in the slightest with regards to this issue.

    Here’s what I know about vaccines and autism…

    “Studies have shown no link” – umm… ok. Have any of you, seriously, ANY of you, checked out what those studies actually studied? My guess is no, you haven’t bothered and just take it at face value that because the word “studies” is thrown around willy nilly, it must mean that the studies were well structured, completely unbiased and unproblematic in their assumptions and approach. Wow. That’s quite an assumption, especially when we’re talking about children and a devastating disorder like autism.

    Well, I beseech you to check out these “studies.” The devil is clearly in the details here. Most of them are funded and sponsored by vaccine manufacturers. This is akin to studies about lung cancer being funded by cigarette manufacturers. How seriously would you *really* take such studies? Secondly, there has not been a single study – not a single one – that compares the rate of autism in kids who received vaccines vs those who didn’t. Sorry, but… isn’t that the OBVIOUS starting place to look for a possible link? Yes, it is. But it’s not done becuase, eh hem, those structuring these studies are not interested in exposing an actual link. They’re interested in doing studies where the results point the other direction… so they structure them in weird ways to get that result. If you don’t believe me, please please go LOOK. And then think about it. Consider whether the studies done were actually well structured. Consider the assumptions made. For instance, many if not all the studies done to date, look at the effect of ONE vaccine at a time. This alone is a horrible starting point.

    Take the studies about the MMR vaccine. They study groups of people that had the MMR vs those that didn’t. And they find a negligible correlation between those who did and those who ended up with autism. BUT… if what’s causing the problem isn’t just that ONE vaccine, but instead is the combination of vaccines, the MMR being one of many, then this is problematic to study and compare ONLY the MMR vaccine and autism.

    It’s like a lung cancer research study comparing a group of smokers who smoke 20 cigarettes a day to those who smoke only 19. They find no real difference in the rates of cancer between these two groups and thus assume “hey, see, smoking doesn’t cause cancer since both groups had the same rates of cancer…” Really? We would laugh such a study out of the lab – clearly it’s poorly designed. But when it comes to vaccines, we somehow think this is OK.

    Now, granted, it is OK if your working hypothesis is that this single vaccine is doing all the damage. But that is not what most parents who are wary of vaccines think, if you take the time to really listen to many of us. We think it’s about the combination of vaccines and how and when they’re administered. Too many too soon basically.

    The “rational” reasons I feel there MAY be a link between autism and vaccines is because of the following –
    – No studies have been done comparing vax’d to non-vax’d kids.
    – Vaccines contain neurotoxins such as mercury, formaldehyde and aluminum, not to mention numerous allergenic compounds – eggs, etc. They are not made up of sugar water. And aluminum injected into you is very different than it going through your digestive system.
    – We give vaccines to babies earlier and earlier. the younger the baby the more delicate and sensitive his/her system is, particularly the brain.
    – It may not be the mercury in vaccines that is causing a problem. The amount of aluminum in vaccines can vary wildly from brand to brand. If you give a baby numerous vaccines in one sitting, and if they happen to be the “high aluminum” brands, they could potentially be getting too much aluminum for their system to handle. By “too much” I am going by the FDA’s recommended limit for aluminum in adult medications.

    I could go on and on.

    I am not claiming these reasons to be proof that there IS a link, but instead they are reasons for why one would consider that there MAY be a link. I would be convinced otherwise if I saw many studies comparing vax’d to non-vax’d kids and that the autism rates were the same for both groups. However, no such study has been done – to date. I think there is one in the works though, and I look forward to seeing the results because I do take science and scientific study seriously.

    Yeay for Science Everyone! But watch out for vaccines in the meantime…

  20. “While that number is high, that added part about protection is very heartening.”

    I guess they figured a live autistic child beat a dead “normal” one…

  21. @Ingrid,

    Wow, lots of words there. To sum up, you said, “I’m against vaccines for these reasons, a, b, c, d…” But all of your reasons have been covered, ad nauseum. Follow Todd W’s link (antiantivax.flurf.net/) or click on my name, and all the reasons you “feel” may cause autism are answered.

    Your feelings are not science. Yes, there are some research studies paid for by the manufacturers of vaccines, but that’s because they are REQUIRED by the FDA to show that their products work better than a placebo. Just because a drug company supports the study does not make it invalid.

    Additionally, please show us ONE study that backs up just ONE of your claims. Its not that I don’t want to believe you, its just that I don’t have time to go searching the 1,000’s of research studies on autism to investigate all of your “reasons.” Please, pick the best one you have, and lets discuss it.

    8)

  22. @Ingrid,

    Did you even read Todd’s page? Every single point you brought out has been refuted heartily. While you say you are pro-science, it is rather clear you don’t UNDERSTAND science.

  23. Chris

    Ingrid, please show us the actual scientific evidence that shows the MMR is worse than measles, mumps and rubella. Not your assertions, but the actual science. Thank you.

  24. dugmaze

    I heard on another blog that only the MMR has been studied. Is this true?
    If any other vaccines have been studied, then please provide me the links so I read them.
    Thanks.
    Go science!!!!

  25. TheBlackCat

    Now, granted, it is OK if your working hypothesis is that this single vaccine is doing all the damage. But that is not what most parents who are wary of vaccines think, if you take the time to really listen to many of us. We think it’s about the combination of vaccines and how and when they’re administered. Too many too soon basically.

    You are wrong here, the reason the studies were done on MMR was specifically because that is what parents did think was the cause. That one vaccine. However, after numerous studies it became clear that it wasn’t the MMR vaccine. So did the anti-vaxxers admit their mistake and move on? Of course not, they simply moved the goalposts. Now it isn’t the MMR vaccine, it is the thimerosol in the MMR vaccine. Once again, numerous studies were done, all negative. They even removed thimerosol from the vaccines even though there was no evidence that it was causing any harm. The autism rates continued to increase as they were. So did this convince them? Nope, they moved the goalposts again. Now it is either the “toxins” in the vaccines (even though the toxins are negligible compared to environmental, sometimes even internal sources), or it is due to having too many vaccines (you don’t seem to be able to decide which). And if we do the studies to show that isn’t the problem, then they will just move onto something else. Some people are already moving on to “it is the vaccines given to the mother that is the problem”, since evidence is accumulating from several fronts that indicates that the changes that ultimately lead to autism begin before birth.

    So we have on one side a promising area of research (prenatal developmental problems) that has shown a strong correlation with autism, has a plausible mechanism by which it could cause the disease, agrees with everything we know about autism, is biologically significant, and has given a strong indication it will help us understand the causes of autism. On the other hand we have another area of research that has shown zero correlation with autism so far, has given us no reason to think it will ever help us understand autism, contradicts new evidence regarding the timeline of autism development, has no plausible mechanism of action, and is orders of magnitude less significant than nearly identical environmental exposure.

    Given that there is limited time, subjects, manpower, and money, doing a studies in one area means that we are doing less studies in the other. So let me ask you, considering we live in the real world and have to deal with limited resources, what about vaccines justifies continuing to conduct studies on their impact on autism when doing those studies means we cannot do as much research in areas that actually show strong promise? We unfortunately cannot do every study we might want, we cannot investigate everything that babies are exposed to. We must prioritize based on what shows an indication that it will be a fruitful area of research. So what makes you think vaccines have even the slightest possibility of being fruitful, given the abysmal track record so far?

    And even if we did do the studies, do you honestly expect us to believe that they will change your mind? After all, this goalposts have already moved twice and are in the process of moving a third time.

  26. Jeffersonian

    I found out today that a friend is wasting money on chelation for her autistic son. How do I approach this (what do I say)?

  27. Mike

    Also revealed, those 1 in 4 parents have produced 2/3 of this generation’s children.

  28. Do you support mandatory vaccination, or is your libertarianism still eclipsing your sense of reason?

  29. @Jake Crosby

    Thimerosal is not a vaccine.

    Give Captain Obvious a cookie. I brought it up because bensmyson mentioned mercury and because thimerosal was one of the original things blamed for autism. And, I wouldn’t go around citing Wakefield in support of your arguments. If you haven’t noticed, his scientific credibility is on shaky ground, if not nonexistent.

    @Ingrid

    A brief history lesson seems in order. Much of the to do about vaccines began with people in the U.S. blaming thimerosal (a vaccine preservative) and people in the U.K. blaming the MMR vaccine (an idea which subsequently was imported by the U.S.). At that time, there was not a great deal of research examining the specific questions of whether these had any connection, not to mention this Lancet paper (since retracted completely) whose author was making the media rounds talking about how the MMR causes problems in the gut that lead to autism. So researchers, lots and lots of them from around the world at universities, private researchers, etc., receiving money from a wide range of sources (private foundations, government and, yes, some corporate money), took a look at these specific issues which parents were claiming caused their kids’ autism. After many years and millions and millions of dollars worth of research later, no connection. All this was done despite a lack of convincing evidence that anything to do with vaccines was responsible for the apparent rise in autism. Thimerosal was removed before the results were in as a precautionary and political measure. Some countries also saw decreases in MMR uptake.

    What have been the results? Well, the removal of thimerosal from U.S. vaccines means that vaccines cost a bit more and are purchased more frequently, meaning more potential revenue for vaccine makers. But the removal of thimerosal did not lead to a decrease in autism rates, as predicted by many in the anti-vax autism movement, notably by David Kirby. As to the MMR, those areas where MMR was discontinued (e.g., Japan) saw no changes in autism rates, either, but they did see increases in the rates of measles and mumps infections. If you visit my site you can follow some links to further info on those outbreaks.

    With thimerosal and MMR being shown not to have a causal link to autism, there were no plausible vaccine-related connections. But those in the anti-vax autism movement were so convinced that vaccines were to blame that, as Barbara Loe Fisher said, if it wasn’t the thimerosal, then it must be something else in the vaccines, despite the complete lack of evidence suggesting that such was the case. So they brought up a litany of things they didn’t like, even making significant errors in their attempts to use fear to get their way (e.g., saying that antifreeze was in vaccines, even though it isn’t or still going on about thimerosal or MMR or that thimerosal was in the MMR, which it never was).

    You bring up aluminum and compare it to the FDA limits on aluminum for adult medications. I’m assuming you’re talking about the limits for parenteral nutrition products as listed at 21 CFR 201.323, which is the only place in FDA regulations that I could find limits on aluminum content. You should note that parenteral nutrition products are generally used steadily over the course of several days to weeks, meaning that there is no opportunity for the body to eliminate aluminum from the system before more is added. That is very different from one-time exposure from vaccines, which are given quite a bit of time apart, allowing any aluminum in the vaccine to be eliminated.

    You also bring up the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study idea, which I have not addressed on my site. You say that you are pro-science. Then you should also acquaint yourself with the ethics of human subjects research. A prospective vax vs. unvax study, such as is demanded by the anti-vax movement, is quite simply not ethical. Please familiarize yourself with the Declaration of Helsinki, the Belmont Report, the Nuremburg Code and the ICH Guidelines on Human Research Protections. It may also behoove you to examine the U.S. regulations governing human subjects research. The reason such a study is unethical is because it is putting individuals at high risk (by denying a known and highly effective means of avoiding death and serious injury from very infectious diseases), with no prospect of subject benefit. It is doing science solely for the purpose of science with no consideration to the respect or well-being of the subjects or to a fair distribution of the burdens of the risks. Additionally, as others have hinted, I have heard people in the anti-vax movement already making up reasons to ignore such a study if it found that vaccines were not to blame. They say that if such a study came back negative, it would be because of the vaccines the parents had. So any study would need to use only subjects whose parents had never been vaccinated. These people will not be satisfied. They will just keep pushing it back generation after generation. They create a situation that cannot be satisfied, as the potential of finding people whose ancestors have never been vaccinated is next to impossible, quite apart from the ethical implications I just mentioned.

    Another thing to consider about that study: if it is randomized, how are you going to convince those against vaccines to potentially receive them? Or those who are against disease potentially not receive vaccines? If you get around that by not randomizing, then you get into a host of confounding factors such as lifestyle (e.g., anti-vaxers tend to be wealthier, while the poor tend to vaccinate more).

    How about, instead of touting vague fears of “toxins”, you provide citations to well-designed, peer-reviewed studies published in respected journals that show there is a causal connection between vaccines and autism? I’ll tell you right now that JPANDS and Medical Hypotheses should not be cited, as they are piss-poor journals. Also, avoid vanity journals, like Autism Insights.

  30. @Ingrid

    One more thing.

    the younger the baby the more delicate and sensitive his/her system is

    Please provide a citation that the infant immune system is as sensitive as you suggest, particularly that vaccines cause increased incidence of adverse events. The citation should be representative of the general population.

  31. Gamercow

    Not to pile on, but I’m going to pile on. Instead of comparing the number of vaccinated children with autism to the number of unvaccinated children with autism, how about we compare the number of vaccinated children with autism to the number of unvaccinated children who die of completely preventable disease. Because even if there WAS a link(THERE IS NOT) would 1 child not getting autism be worth several dieing of a preventable disease? No.

  32. Ingrid

    Wow…

    @Todd W…let’s take your last point first…
    You ask me to provide “citation” that an infant’s system is more sensitive than an adults. CLEARLY you do not have children. Wow. I don’t even know what to say. Babies are not miniature adults. They are developing. They are growing. They aren’t “fully baked” yet, like a 30 year old is.

    Here’s a number of *very well known* facts about babies having “immature” and much more sensitive systems than adults do. a) You can’t feed a McDonald’s hamburger to a newborn baby. They can’t digest it. Their digestive tract is way too sensitive. b) You can’t feed HONEY to a newborn baby, for they can DIE from infant botulism. Adults do not die from this. Babies can. They are, eh hem, more sensitive. c) You can’t feel straight cows milk to a baby under one year of age. They cannot digest it the way we can. They can have bad allergic reactions. d) You can’t feed a newborn eggs. They can’t digest them and they can get sick and have allergic reactions.

    Now… step back from your dogma and righteousness for a JUST a moment (I promise you can go back into afterwards if you so choose) and consider the following question. If a baby’s body cannot handle HONEY and MILK and EGGS – if that “screws with them” … then how are they handling formeldehyde, mercury, aluminum, eggs, etc that are in vaccines? Yes, some babies can handle these things being injected into them. Their bodies will process it and get it out. But … gee whiz, maybe, just maybe 1 in 100 or so of them REALLY CAN’T and it mucks with their system in ways we aren’t understanding right now.

    Let’s use a little common sense here. Babies ARE sensitive. The fact that you needed me to “cite” that as fact is ridiculous and shows me how little you truly understand of the issue.

    The chemicals in vaccines are pretty nasty. We are shooting these poor little babies up with more and more of these chemicals – three times as many as when I was a kid (in the 1970’s.) And lo and behold we are stuck wondering why so many kids are having auto-immune issues and autism and asthma these days. Kids are more sick now than they ever have been, even with all those nasty other diseases being eradicated by vaccines.

    Vaccines are not made up of sugar water, my dear. It is not “crazy” to think that neurologically toxic substances being injected into a developing baby’s body could *possibly* be the cause of a neurological disorder. I mean, HELLLLLOOOOO. THINK ABOUT IT. The definition of neurologically toxic means that it can be harmful to the brain! It’s not only common sense, but it’s a pretty darn logical place to look for the cause!

    I haven’t said vaccines definitely cause autism. All I’m saying is that the case is HARDLY closed. Please go actually LOOK at the studies that you so proudly reference as having dismissed the issue. THINK THINK THINK. For yourself. Don’t let big businesses try to do your thinking for you. They have profits to protect. That is a reality. They don’t *want* their product to be found as unsafe. And they are throwing around their “scientific studies” as *fact* and you are buying it hook, line and sinker. I am all for science and scientific study. All I’m asking is to see some done that will *actually* shed some light on the issue. Let’s compare vax’d to unvax’d kids. Or even monkeys. How about we study monkeys if studying kids is too hard… ?

  33. Ingrid

    @Todd again…
    Thanks for the history lesson. Now here’s a lesson in listening/reading. I am telling you what parents THINK TODAY. Not what caused people to start suspecting vaccines as causing autism. I DON’T CARE what people originally thought. Or how wrong they were back then. It doesn’t matter. I was suspicious of vaccines way before I’d ever heard of Andrew Wakefield. He was not hte reason I raised my eyebrows at vaccines. If he never existed, many many parents would STILL be wary of vaccines. Why? LOOK AT THE INGREDIENTS. Then look at a newborn baby. Then ask yourself whether it’s a good idea to give that baby those ingredients. That’s all you have to do to be somewhat wary of vaccines. That’s it.

    As for the “impossibility” of a vax’d vs unvax’d study, that’s ridiculous. Hello – we have monkeys. We have rats. We have mice. We have fruit flies. Not all studies have to be human studies. (Are you sure you’re familiar with how science works????) Put some of the rats on the CDC’s vaccine schedule and some of them not on it at all. See what happens. Do the rats that receive vaccines have neurological issues? Physical issues?

  34. Ingrid

    @Todd – you paint a picture of anti-vax folks as being totally unreasonable. Consider for a moment that we’re QUITE reasonable. In the face of NO studies comparing vax’d to unvax’d children, we are left with these poorly designed, conflict of interest ridden studies to convince us of their safety. Sorry, but when it comes to our children, we are very protective and we want to see real proof of their safety. Autism is way too serious a disorder to risk it. If you could offer me a good study (or a few of them would be great) comparing vax’d to unvax’d kids, that shows absolutely no correlation between vaccinated kids and autism, then great! Sign me up for vaccines! But in absence of that… sorry I’m not convinced.

  35. @Ingrid

    You ask me to provide “citation” that an infant’s system is more sensitive than an adults.

    Bzzt! Wrong! That’s not what I asked for. Go back and read my request again. “Adult” did not enter into it anywhere.

    a) You can’t feed a McDonald’s hamburger to a newborn baby. They can’t digest it. Their digestive tract is way too sensitive. b) You can’t feed HONEY to a newborn baby, for they can DIE from infant botulism. Adults do not die from this. Babies can. They are, eh hem, more sensitive. c) You can’t feel straight cows milk to a baby under one year of age. They cannot digest it the way we can. They can have bad allergic reactions. d) You can’t feed a newborn eggs. They can’t digest them and they can get sick and have allergic reactions.

    First off, not being able to digest is not indicative of sensitive immune systems. It just means they lack the digestive enzymes to process the food. Second, as I understand how allergies work, they occur only after at least one previous exposure to the substance. So, an individual will not have an allergic reaction to, say, eggs, until they have been exposed to the allergen already. In other words, the first exposure will not trigger an allergic response. Third, allergies are a known contraindication. If a person is allergic to an ingredient, they should not receive vaccines with that ingredient in it.

    If a baby’s body cannot handle HONEY and MILK and EGGS – if that “screws with them” … then how are they handling formeldehyde, mercury, aluminum, eggs, etc that are in vaccines?

    Let’s see, their bodies produce formaldehyde. Mercury is no longer a concern as far as vaccines in the U.S. go, since thimerosal’s been removed from all vaccines (there are thimerosal-free flu vaccines, in case you were thinking of bringing that up). Since you brought up digestive intolerances to condemn items, then the aluminum in breast milk should also be a concern, no? Another question: how is it possible that a baby’s body could not handle “HONEY and MILK and EGGS”, yet handle the thousands of antigens to which they are exposed every day? You know, all that microscopic stuff in the air, on the ground, that they get on their hands and subsequently stick in their mouths, that they breathe in?

    And lo and behold we are stuck wondering why so many kids are having auto-immune issues and autism and asthma these days.

    Actually, one of the prominent thoughts regarding increases in asthma and allergies is that the sterilizing of our environments is largely responsible. Fewer small antigenic assaults means the immune system doesn’t have a chance to build up its defenses and recognize benign things as benign.

    Kids are more sick now than they ever have been, even with all those nasty other diseases being eradicated by vaccines.

    First off, citation, please. Second, how many kids are actually surviving to be so sick as you claim? Without vaccination, hundreds (if not thousands) would die every year and many more would be permanently injured. Just take a look at the history of diseases like measles.

    The definition of neurologically toxic means that it can be harmful to the brain!

    You’re forgetting a couple key things. First, the substance has to actually make it there. If the body is getting rid of it before it can get there, then it won’t cause any damage. Second, it has to make it there in great enough amounts to be toxic. Give us some citations that support your contention that this is, indeed, happening.

    but it’s a pretty darn logical place to look for the cause!

    Yeah, and it has been looked at with regard to thimerosal. The amount of aluminum and rate of aluminum elimination renders that avenue highly implausible.

    Don’t let big businesses try to do your thinking for you. They have profits to protect.

    As compared to the big names in the anti-vax movement? You know, like Boyd Haley, who is selling chelators to treat autism. Or Mark and David Geier, who make money off of chemically castrating kids with Lupron before subjecting them to chelation? Or David Kirby, who has books to sell playing on anti-vaccine fears. Or Barbara Loe Fisher, who has a non-profit organization to keep afloat? Or the lawyers catering to such claims? Yup, lots of people who have no profits to protect there.

    But you know what? I don’t let big businesses think for me. I read the studies, including the ones that are not funded by vaccine makers. You know, the ones that also uphold the lack of a link.

    Or even monkeys. How about we study monkeys if studying kids is too hard… ?

    Well, there’s the small fact that there is no monkey model (or any non-human animal model) of autism, so any such study would not translate to humans. Perhaps you mean to suggest a study like the retracted Hewitson/Wakefield study that was so horribly flawed?

    So now…about those citations and other points I raised?

  36. @Ingrid

    you paint a picture of anti-vax folks as being totally unreasonable

    That’s because a lot of the ones I’ve encountered have been unreasonable. Take a look over at Age of Autism. If anyone brings up a dissenting opinion or suggests that there may be some cause other than vaccines, they get shouted down or even have their comments removed completely.

    I’m sure there are some people out there who a wary of vaccines, but who will actually listen when science is presented. People who don’t automatically assume that there is some grand Big PharmaTM conspiracy. In fact, I have come across a few. For example, Skeparent.

    As to your other comments about animal studies, well, show me an animal model of autism and I will get right behind you on that. Regarding the ingredients, I realize that some of those things have scary-sounding names. But just because something has a big name that’s hard to understand, doesn’t mean that it is toxic in the small amounts found in vaccines. Remember that it is the dose that makes the poison. Something that has beneficial properties in small amounts can be deadly in large amounts. Also remember that just because a compound is made up of a substance that can be dangerous does not mean that the compound is dangerous. For example, even minute amounts of chlorine at dangerous, yet when it is combined with sodium (aka sodium chloride, aka table salt), it is relatively benign.

    Your arguments are largely based on fear and a lack of understanding about chemistry, biology and medicine, not to mention the process of development of medical products. Go out and learn about those areas a little more. Give me some citations that you feel strongly support your position and, if they are of good quality, I will probably change my mind.

  37. Chris

    Ingrid, again you are just posting your opinion but no actual scientific evidence.

    Why are you still beating the “mercury is bad!” horse over and over again. Haven’t you heard that thimerosal was removed from pediatric vaccines almost a decade ago? Even the influenza vaccine is available without thimerosal.

    How do you avoid aluminum, the most abundant metal on the earth’s crust? It is in the soil, and in the the dust you breathe in every day:

    Virtually all food, water, air, and soil contain some aluminum. The average adult in the U.S. eats about 7-9 mg aluminum per day in their food.

    Now if you have actual scientific evidence that the DTaP is more dangerous than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, please present it (note that recently a couple with fertility problems lost an infant they tried for years to have to pertussis recently!).

  38. Lawrence

    Dihydrogen Oxide is in vaccines too!!!! Big & scary sounding name – it must be harmful!!!!

  39. ND

    Lawrence,

    I’ve got some bad news for you. Very bad. Are you ready?

    Your body is 60% Dihydrogen monoxide!!!

    Oh and you’re also made of meat.

  40. Lawrence

    NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! And I’m a vegetarian, how can I be made of meat!!

    LOL

  41. TheBlackCat

    @ Ingrid: your argument could be used equally well to implicate anything in autism. For example:

    you paint a picture of anti-driving folks as being totally unreasonable. Consider for a moment that we’re QUITE reasonable. In the face of NO studies comparing driven to undriven children, we are left with these poorly designed, conflict of interest ridden studies to convince us of their safety. Sorry, but when it comes to our children, we are very protective and we want to see real proof of their safety. Autism is way too serious a disorder to risk it. If you could offer me a good study (or a few of them would be great) comparing driven to undriver kids, that shows absolutely no correlation between kids being driven in a car and autism, then great! Sign me up for driving! But in absence of that… sorry I’m not convinced.

  42. @Ingrid

    I would also add that the research that is showing results is pointing to the cause being something before birth, not after. That casts even more doubt on vaccines being related in any way.

  43. TheBlackCat

    Well, there’s the small fact that there is no monkey model (or any non-human animal model) of autism, so any such study would not translate to humans.

    This isn’t entirely accurate. Prenatal expose to Valproic acid (VPA) is tied to increased incidence of autism in humans and can cause similar behavioral and physical changes in rats. This doesn’t help anti-vaxxers, though, because it offers more evidence that autism is prenatal and thus can’t be caused by childhood vaccines.

  44. @TheBlackCat

    I was aware of research looking at VPA. Are those rats a reliable animal model of autism, though? I wasn’t aware of any animal model being firmly established for the purposes of examining autism without using humans.

  45. TheBlackCat

    I am not sure how reliable of a model they are, but they are an animal model nonetheless. Models don’t have to be perfectly reliable to be useful.

    It is irrelevant to this case, though, since the changes are all prenatal.

  46. QuietDesperation

    QuietDesperation, reality always wins out,

    Still waiting on that one. Will it happen soon? I’m getting, like, old. :-(

    And with some of the quantum physics books I’ve been reading, I’m not sure there is a reality there to win out. ;-)

    I’d be happy just to see reality get elected to office once in a while.

    And I’m a vegetarian, how can I be made of meat!!

    Everyone sing!

    “Gamera is really neat, Gamera’s filled with turtle meat, we love you Gamera!!!”

  47. @TheBlackCat

    Fair enough. I actually just took a quick look for “animal models of autism” and discovered another mouse model (developed in 2007) with a gene mutation. It would serve for those human individuals with autism that have the same mutation. Again, doesn’t really bear on Ingrid’s ideas, except that it points toward genetics, rather than vaccines.

  48. @QD

    Can I start calling you Tom Servo?

  49. AndrewJ

    @Ingrid (or any Anti-vax proponent)

    I’m curious as to what you perceive the increased risk of contracting (I’m not sure that’s the right word, but whatever) Autism is if you receive “vaccinations.” (It would be helpful if you broke it down by specific vaccinations, but I’d settle for ‘in general’) I.E. – “an MMR shot increases your risk of Autism from 1 in 10 million (without) to 1 in 1 million (with MMR Vax).”

    Also, what do you perceive the increased risk of contracting one of the diseases the vaccination is supposed to prevent if you choose not to receive the vax? I.E. – “The odds of getting Measles, Mumps or Rubella go from 1 in 10 million to 1 in 1 millions if I choose to NOT get vaccinated”

    I just made those numbers up for the sake of example, please use your best estimates. Thanks!

  50. amphiox

    Even if there were a link (which there isn’t) it still boils down to risk vs benefit. In the impossible hypothetical scenario in which the MMR vaccine say causes 100% of ALL autism cases, 100% of the time, comparing this cost with the mortality and morbidity risks of measles, mumps, and rubella still probably puts taking the vaccine as the appropriate choice.

  51. Lawrence

    Todd – have you taken a gander over at our friend “Hatism Autism” lately? He really seems to have gone off the deep, deep, deep end (Mariannas Trench Deep) – talking about the Rothchild’s & the US Income Tax conspiracy…..

    Not that he had any credence or sanity in the discussions here, but it is sad to see someone so obviously mentally unbalanced.

  52. @Lawrence

    Out of respect for my neurons, I have not. Just took a peek, though, and had to chuckle that he is calling out Generation Rescue as being dishonest.

  53. Ingrid

    Not sure how to respond to you all at once. But it sure is fun to be such a lightening rod… :)

    1) Have I heard thimeresol has been removed from (most) vaccines? Yes. I have. DUH. Have YOU heard that at the same time they removed thimersol from vaccines, they added the flu shot to the regimen for pregnant women. What does taht have to do with babies? Well, if you don’t realize that what a pregnant woman injests or injects into herself has an effect on the baby too, then I don’t know what to tell ya. All I can say is that… the removal of thimersol from some of the vaccines and the subsequent addition of thimersol ladden vaccines to pregnant women does not provide me with reassurance that there’s no link.

    2) @ The Black Cat – I don’t think “driving” causes autism because there are no neurologically toxic substances being injected in your body while driving. There’s no “good reason” to suspect it as a cause. Sure, I could be wrong here, but ummm…let’s use some common sense. When you expose millions of babies to more and more neurologically damaging substances, even in very small amounts, and you notice an epidemic of neurological disorders, it is NOT crazy to think – hey, gee, maybe that neurolgoically damaging substance is causing these neurological disorders. Granted, maybe it is NOT causing autism. It may surprise you to hear this, but I am not closed off to the idea that maybe vaccines ARE perfectly safe. They really might be. And that’s why more studies are desperately needed in this regard. Many parents are forgoing vaccines because the studies that exist are not enough. (Sorry guys… they’re not.)

    I do not claim that vaccines DO cause autism. What I’m saying is that the existing studies on the matter are inconclusive. No one has compared outcomes of vax’d to unvax’d children. Or if htey have, they haven’t compared enough of them. And with the number of parents forgoing vaccines rising everyday, don’t you think we could capitalize on that fact and survey them and find out whether they, as a group, are experiencing the same rates of autism? I mean, is it REALLY that hard to find out if there is any correlation?

    3) @Todd – if they do find another cause of autism being genetic in some way, that’s fine. It still doesn’t prove vaccines are not causing autism or other auto-immune disorders. For instance, you can get lung cancer from sources OTHER than smoking. Just because these other causes exist doesn’t mean smoking doesn’t cause cancer.

  54. @Ingrid

    Well, if you don’t realize that what a pregnant woman injests or injects into herself has an effect on the baby too, then I don’t know what to tell ya.

    I assume it is the mercury in thimerosal that you are concerned with. First off, thimerosal-free versions are available. Second, you should also consider autism rates among the children who ate mercury-containing foods while they were pregnant, as well as among women who lived in areas with higher environmental contamination from mercury while pregnant. This assumes that methylmercury and ethylmercury would cross to the child and not be eliminated in the same manner and amounts. Do you have any citations suggesting that autism rates are higher for women who were exposed to more mercury while pregnant, including non-thimerosal sources? Third, how long have pregnant women been getting flu vaccines? After a cursory search, it precedes the removal from childhood vaccines. So there should still have been a drop as total thimerosal exposure, both prenatal and postnatal, was reduced.

    Regarding BlackCat’s driving analogy, she was pointing out the flaw in your logic. You could use basically anything to replace it and still have the same flaw illustrated. Substitute driving with computer use, with mango consumption, etc.

    And with the number of parents forgoing vaccines rising everyday, don’t you think we could capitalize on that fact and survey them and find out whether they, as a group, are experiencing the same rates of autism?

    Actually, retrospective epidemiological studies have been done and have not found a difference in rates. But then, such studies have the same kind of confounding variable problems as I mentioned before about a non-randomized prospective trial.

    It still doesn’t prove vaccines are not causing autism or other auto-immune disorders.

    Technically, true. We cannot rule vaccines out 100%. There is always the possiblity, however improbable, that a vaccine could cause autism. However, the more evidence we have pointing to other causes (e.g., genetics and epigenetics), the more robust studies that fail to find a link, the less likely it is that there is a causal connection. Technically speaking, it is entirely possible that if I walk into a 3′-thick solid stone wall enough times, I will eventually pass right through it. However, the likelihood is so mindbogglingly small that we can effectively say that it cannot happen. That is what is happening with vaccines and autism.

    For instance, you can get lung cancer from sources OTHER than smoking.

    Yes, and there is ample evidence to support those other causes. The same is not true for vaccines and autism.

  55. laura

    What about the kids that have a mitochondiral dysfunction? The Feds have already admitted that this type of dysfunction and thimerisol in the vacc can cause autism. If the Feds have admitted this – at the very least screen for this dysfunction before you vaccinate. Oh,… sorry, it is really tough to screen for this – so let’s just jab all the kids and hopefully the ones that get autism have the means to finance …oh what is the estimate now for the $ required to support the lifetime of an autistic person. Oh and to the person who says the risk of autism is worth the benefits of vaccines – Oh come live in my shoes for a day. Come see my beautiful child stim himself to the point where he is in tears and doesn’t know why. Come clean out my DVD players and my headphones that are full of feces. Until you do that – you have no right to say the risk is worth the so called benefit.

  56. TheBlackCat

    2) @ The Black Cat – I don’t think “driving” causes autism because there are no neurologically toxic substances being injected in your body while driving. There’s no “good reason” to suspect it as a cause. Sure, I could be wrong here, but ummm…let’s use some common sense.

    Toxins aren’t the only way to cause brain damage. Traumatic brain injury is much more common in developed countries. Driving in cars results in the baby’s small, squishy brain being bumped all around in its hard skull. We are learning now that the brain is much more sensitive to trauma than we previously thought, and numerous small injuries can add up to major problems long-term. The same arguments that substances that in huge amounts can be neurotoxins might still do damage at small levels can also be used to argue that head motions that in large amplitudes can cause brain damage mist still do damage at smaller amplitudes. In fact that is considerably more evidence supporting the latter conclusion than the former. So yes, cars are at least as plausible an explanation for autism as your so-called toxins (remember, everything is toxic depending on the dose), especially since the toxins in vaccines are dwarfed by environmental exposure to the same substances while babies are unlikely to experience the same sort of motion they experience in cars by any other means.

    When you expose millions of babies to more and more neurologically damaging substances, even in very small amounts, and you notice an epidemic of neurological disorders, it is NOT crazy to think – hey, gee, maybe that neurolgoically damaging substance is causing these neurological disorders.

    No, that is not crazy. What is crazy is to single out one relatively tiny source of that exposure when there are dozens, if not hundreds, of sources that expose children to orders of magnitude more of the same substances. You are singling out vaccines here when the chemicals you are complaining about are common in the modern environment.

    Actually, I guess it is a little crazy, since the symptoms of exposure to those neurotoxins is very well-defined and looks absolutely nothing like autism.

    Granted, maybe it is NOT causing autism. It may surprise you to hear this, but I am not closed off to the idea that maybe vaccines ARE perfectly safe. They really might be.

    Right, you only demand impossible standards of evidence and unethical experiments and whenever the evidence contradicts your presuppositions you simply move the goalposts. That is being really open-minded.

    And that’s why more studies are desperately needed in this regard. Many parents are forgoing vaccines because the studies that exist are not enough. (Sorry guys… they’re not.)

    You still have not addressed my issues with allocating scarce resources (please read my post #25 for more details). To ask again, considering its terrible track record, what justifies spending more money on studying vaccines when there are far more promising areas of research available? Any study on vaccines and autism is one or more fewer studies on, say, genetics and autism.

  57. laura

    THE FEDS HAVE CONCEDED that THIMERISOL IN VACCINES SHOT INTO A CHILD WITH A MITOCHONDRIAL DYSFUNCTION CAUSES AUTISM!!!!! YOU have not addressed that! That in itself justifies studying vaccines.They have recognized a link – there needs to be independent study of the connection.

  58. ND

    Defining commonly used definitions:

    safe: not without risk, just overwhelmingly low risk.

    Driving is safe, but not without risk (otherwise we would not be driving if the risk reached a certain level). Is driving a 2010 Prius safe today given the recall issues?

    “perfectly safe” – does this mean 0 risk? As in giving 500 million people the same vaccine and not a single person having an adverse reaction to it? If so this is an impossibly high standard that no human produced product can achieve. But we have come amazingly close for many products.

    Just for kicks, compare the risks the Moon landing astronauts were in driving around and the risk they were in during their lunar mission.

  59. Chris

    Ingrid:

    I have. DUH. Have YOU heard that at the same time they removed thimersol from vaccines, they added the flu shot to the regimen for pregnant women. What does taht have to do with babies?

    My state has a law that says pregnant women will only get the thimerosal vaccine version of the influenza vaccine. Which is okay, but this year it caused a problem when pregnant women were dying from H1N1, and there were limited supplies. They actually had to do a quick ruling to allow pregnant women access to all types of H1N1 vaccines.

    So, tell me… exactly how much more dangerous is an H1N1 vaccine with thimerosal compared to actually getting H1N1 for a pregnant woman.

    Exactly where is the evidence that the tiny bit of thimerosal that used to be in vaccines caused harm?

    Please answer with scientific evidence, not your opinion. I keep saying that, yet you seem to ignore that little detail. Edit to add: Which is strange since you first claimed to be scientific.

  60. laura

    THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS CONCEDED THAT THIMEROSAL COUPLED WITH A MITOCHRONDRIAL DISORDER CAN CAUSE AUTISM. THIS IS NOT OPINION. THIS IS FACT.

  61. Lawrence

    Yes please, cite the studies that thimerosal crosses the placental barrier.

    Because, I don’t believe that it does – otherwise, it would be classified completely differently than it currently is.

  62. ND

    laura,

    “THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS CONCEDED THAT THIMEROSAL COUPLED WITH A MITOCHRONDRIAL DISORDER CAN CAUSE AUTISM. THIS IS NOT OPINION. THIS IS FACT.”

    Where did you read this?

    Edit: I found something on wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiomersal_controversy

    “In one case, the U.S. government agreed to pay for injury to a child that had a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder who developed autism-like symptoms after multiple vaccinations, some of which included thiomersal. Citing the inability to rule out a role of these vaccinations in exacerbated her underlying mitochondrial disorder as the rationale for payment, CDC officials cautioned against generalizing this one case to all autism-related vaccine cases as most patients with autism do not have a mitochondrial disorder.[50][51]”

    Note the last statement.

  63. Greg in Austin

    Ingrid said,

    “@Todd – if they do find another cause of autism being genetic in some way, that’s fine. It still doesn’t prove vaccines are not causing autism or other auto-immune disorders.”

    *THUMP!*

    Sorry, that was the sound of my head hitting my desk. So, you’re saying when we do find the cause of autism is not vaccines, you’re still going to blame vaccines? Why am I not surprised?

    8)

  64. Greg in Austin

    @Laura,

    The “Feds” as you say, agreed to settle a court case because they did not have all of the information we have learned in the years since the court case. If that trial were held today, you can be sure that the outcome would be different.

    To those who still want to harp on vaccines:
    What are the symptoms of Measles, Mumps and Rubella?
    What is the death rate of those who are infected?
    In an un-vaccinated population, what is the chance of contracting those diseases?
    Finally, what are the chances of a child developing autism today?

    8)

  65. TheBlackCat

    THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS CONCEDED THAT THIMEROSAL COUPLED WITH A MITOCHRONDRIAL DISORDER CAN CAUSE AUTISM. THIS IS NOT OPINION. THIS IS FACT.

    No, the federal government agreed to settle a court case about a mitochondrial disorder that completely distinct from autism but has a few autism-like symptoms because the disorder is rare enough that they didn’t think it would set a costly precedent so fighting it would be a waste of time. The disease that individual had was not the same thing as autism and would not be mistaken for autism and at no point did the government concede that there was even the slightest link between that disorder and vaccines. The decision to settle was based cost/benefit analysis not a true/false analysis. I think the government mis-calculated, because they assumed good faith on the part of the anti-vaxxers. They did not seem to expect the anti-vaxxers to blatantly lie about the case as they have been since then, lies that you are now repeating.

    So let me repeat:
    1) that case had nothing to do with autism, it was dealing with a completely different disease
    2) the government never admitted any link between the vaccines and the disease, and the evidence is against such a link
    3) the leaders of the anti-vaxx movement know both of the above facts, they are simply lying about this case

    Ingrid, if you are wondering why we label anti-vaxxers as anti-reality, look at Laura here. She is a great example.

  66. Ingrid

    Everyone here is clamoring for me to provide some scientific evidence. Oh-Kay. It’s kind of hard when there ahven’t been many studies or surveys done comparing vax’d to unvax’d children, but here… I’ll give you some that I found. I am sure that upon further digging and examination, flaws may be found in these various surveys and studies. I haven’t dug deep in these particular studies. Nor do I base my reasoning on them alone by any means. However, if you get in “attack mode” about the problems such studies may have… please OH please take a look at your own studies that you reference with the same critical eye. If you did so, you may find yourself enlightened.

    Studies
    Salzburger Elternstudie (Survey of / by parents) (2001-2005) Results: Unvaccinated children — virtually no asthma; vaccinated 1 in 10; and three to five times less Neurodermatis…….Englische Kohortenstudie (1988 – 1999) Results: Vaccinated children are up to 14 times more likely to have asthma than the unvaccinated and up to nine times more like to have skin problems. ……Langzeitstudie in Guinea-Bissau: Results The death rate for unvaccinated children is about half that of the vaccinated. …..Schwedische Studie an Waldorfschulen: Results Unvaccinated kids have a lower risk of allergies..[May 2005 Germany] Who is healthier, the vaccinated or the unvaccinated?! http://www.impf-portal.de/aktuell/fragebo/fraboaus10.doc

    Englische Kohortenstudie (1988 – 1999) Results: Vaccinated children are up to 14 times more likely to have asthma than the unvaccinated and up to nine times more like to have skin problems. http://www.impf-report.de/jahrgang/2005/02.htm#06

    Schwedische Studie an Waldorfschulen
    Results
    Unvaccinated kids have a lower risk of allergies…[Ungeimpfte Kinder haben im Vergleich zu geimpften Kindern ein geringeres Allergierisiko].

    WHO-Feldversuch (field trials) in Indien (1968 – 1971)
    Results
    Unvaccinated kids are much less likely to get sick. On the basis of this study, stopped recommending the tuberculosis vaccination. Vaccinated vs unvaccinated

    source: http://www.encognitive.com/node/1678

    An elite interdisciplinary team of top scientists from across the country collaborated on the study, “Delayed Acquisition of Neonatal Reflexes in Newborn Primates Receiving a Thimerosal-Containing Hepatitis B Vaccine: Influence of Gestational Age and Birth Weight.” The lead author, Dr. Laura Hewitson, oversaw the study, which was funded in part by SafeMinds. The animals were housed at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. This study compared infant macaque monkeys vaccinated with the Hepatitis B vaccine containing the mercury preservative thimerosal with those who received a saline placebo and those who received no shots at all. The vaccine group showed significant delay in the acquisition of key survival reflexes. Neonatal responses in unexposed animals were not delayed.

    http://www.safeminds.org/news/wakefield-hewitson-mercury-hepB-vaccine.html

    And from the US Dept of Health – here is where you can find out about vaccines injuring people… yes, folks, it ain’t sugar water they’re injecting into you. Some people really do get harmed by these shots! http://www.hrsa.gov/Vaccinecompensation/table.htm

  67. Ingrid

    @Andrew J – you asked about my perceived risks of contracting autism vs the other diseases that we vaccinate against. I do personally think that vaccines play a role in our autism epidemic, but I don’t think they are the only factor…just like I think smoking causes cancer, but I also think other factors play a role as well- including genetic predispositions. Since you’re asking my about my perception vs reality, here’s my perception. About 1 in 100 kids have some form of autism. I think vaccinations may play a role in 50% of those. So…by that logic, I perceive a 1 in 200 risk of getting autism from vaccines. Now let’s take Polio. Worldwide, there were 1170 cases reported in 2004 in the ENTIRE WORLD. 700+ of them were in Nigeria. Let’s say, just for argument’s sake that the rest of them all happened in the US, which isn’t true, but let’s just say since it skews the numbers to be a higher risk, hence more conservative look. The US has a population of 300+million people. That would mean there is about 1 in 600 million chance of contracting polio. Or if you limit to just the unvax’d group,which is truly the “at risk” group…and if we assume .1% of our population is not vaccinated, then it would be about 1 in 600,000. And of those that DO contract it, “most people infected with the polio virus have no symptoms, however for the less than 1% who develop paralysis it may result in permanent disability and even death.” -I’m quoting from the CDC website about polio here..

    So …after all that math, the chances of dying from polio or being paralyzed are about 1 in 60 million if you don’t get the shot. Give or take a few million perhaps. :)

    So… I compare .. there’s a 1 in 60 million chance of having my child get polio and be paralyzed or die from it. OR… there’s a 1 in 200 chance of him contracting autism by getting the shot. Again – my perception of what’s happening here.

    Hmm. Even though I have very gross estimates on my numbers here, even if I”m off by two or three orders of magnitudes, the risk is STILL much higher that my child would be harmed by the vaccine vs “saved” from paralysis from polio.

    I don’t know. Maybe I did the math completely wrong… I am certain someone here will jump in to correct me. Again – this is my perception based on my assumption that vaccines ARE suspect in some significant manner in the autism epidemic.

  68. Ingrid

    @BlackCat – in response to your dismissal of what Laura said….
    Check out this video. It shows the head of the CDC inadvertently admitting that vaccines are a possible cause of autism based on that court case that Laura was referring to….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh-nkD5LSIg

    Turns out she did have autism. Autism is a symptom based diagnosis. You dont’ do a blood test for autism. So when you have symptoms of autism, you have autism.

    The CDC head definitely dances around the issue. And gosh, turns out… just a couple years later when she left her post, she went to work for the vaccine manufacturers.

  69. Ingrid

    @ Greg in Austin… sorry for the bump on your forehead. So… you think there is only one cause of the autism epidemic? Interesting. Is there only one cause of lung cancer too? I am sure cigarette manufacturers would LOVE it if research dollars had been steered towards “genetic causes” instead of towards examining smoking as a cause. And I am certain they pushed for this back in the day. Yes, there are genetic causes of cancer. But that doesn’t mean smoking doesn’t cause cancer.

  70. Greg in Austin

    @Ingrid,

    My point was that you claim to be science-minded, yet you admit that you will not change your beliefs even if there is evidence to the contrary. So, not only are you bad at math (brush up on your probability and statistics), but you are letting your personal bias completely cloud your judgment.

    Let me ask you this: What would it take for you to accept the claim that vaccines have absolutely nothing to do with autism? And are you willing to let children suffer and die from preventable diseases because of your feelings?

    8)

  71. Chris

    …those who arrive at their opinions by irrational means are rarely swayed from them by reason.

  72. TheBlackCat

    I do personally think that vaccines play a role in our autism epidemic, but I don’t think they are the only factor…just like I think smoking causes cancer, but I also think other factors play a role as well- including genetic predispositions.

    The difference between smoking and vaccines is that there was evidence supporting the conclusion that smoking causes cancer, while all existing evidence is against vaccines causing autism.

    So you think “vaccines play a role in the autism epidemic”. But you still have not provided a good reason for drawing this conclusion. You have said that vaccines contain certain neurotoxins, but they contain them in minuscule amount. You have provided no reason, besides your own gut feeling, to think that these compounds in the doses administered have any affect whatsoever, not to mention an affect above and beyond the much larger environmental exposure to the same compounds and certainly not the specific effect we are discussing here (which is completely different than any neurotoxic effect you might see).

    So far the best you seem to be able to do is “you can’t prove me wrong”, which doesn’t mean your idea has even the slightest bit of legitimacy. You can’t prove my autism/car link wrong, and as I pointed out it is at least as plausible as the vaccine/autism link.

    Since you’re asking my about my perception vs reality, here’s my perception. About 1 in 100 kids have some form of autism. I think vaccinations may play a role in 50% of those.

    WHAT!? 50%? I’m sorry, but are you out of your mind? Did you completely miss when Todd pointed out that comparisons between vaccinated and unvaccinated children has shown no measurable difference in autism rates? Even if we take his problems with the study into account and even if there was an affect you would have to be off by orders of magnitude. Where on Earth did you get a number like that?

    Now let’s take Polio. Worldwide, there were 1170 cases reported in 2004 in the ENTIRE WORLD.

    Right, pick a disease that is almost eradicated thanks solely to the vaccines you are so against. Great choice of an example there.

    A better example would be to compare the incidence of a disease before it was nearly wiped out by vaccination. Lets use measles, as an example, since I happened to have a google search opened to that already. In 1958 there were 763,094 cases. In the U.S. the population at the time was 174,881,904. So that is about 1 in 230. For infants those who get it, 1 in 3-5 get complications, often serious enough to require hospitalization. That is 1 in 690-1150. And this is just one disease, there is at least a dozen diseases that the childhood vaccine schedule protects against, all with major risk of serious complications, permanent damage, and death.

    700+ of them were in Nigeria.

    And the reason for that is because of antivaxxers like you. Polio was almost wiped out but antivaxxers in Africa have led to a massive resurgence, putting people around the world at increased risk as well.

    Again – this is my perception based on my assumption that vaccines ARE suspect in some significant manner in the autism epidemic.

    No, this is your perception based on totally unreasonable numbers being used in a completely irrelevant comparison.

  73. TheBlackCat

    I should probably clarify Greg’s question:

    “What would it take, that is feasible and legal, for you to accept the claim that vaccines have absolutely nothing to do with autism?”

    You have demanded we do experiments that are either impossible or illegal, but demanding we do experiments we can’t do does not make you open-minded.

    And a follow up question: what would be the necessary conditions for a study to not be seen by you to be tainted by a conflict of interest? You have complained about studies funded by vaccine manufacturers? What about funded by U.S. government agencies like the CDC? What about where the government required vaccine manufacturers to fork over the money, but it was entirely administered by the government with the vaccine manufacturers having no say in anything? If these aren’t acceptable, what other source of money would you accept, considering that these studies can cost millions of dollars?

    And you still haven’t answered my question as to why we should spend money on an avenue of research that has shown no promise instead of others that show much more promise?

  74. Chris

    Oops, I mis-wrote. In my state pregnant women are only allowed to get the thimerosal-free version on the influenza vaccine. Which became an issue when H1N1 was killing pregnant women in the state, and the vaccine was scarce!

    Am I the only one to notice that Ingrid has not presented any real science in her posts? Yet she stated she is a “I am a pro science anti-vaxer.” on her first post. Has anyone see her exhibit any science in what she has written? All I have seen is unsupported opinion.

    Still want to know how she manages to avoid aluminum, one of the most abundant elements on the earth’s crust (it is part of all dirt).

  75. Inna

    I really wonder why the articles in pub med saying clearly “vaccins are safe” are published in full textx and those with the title leading to different idea (also medical research by Universities!) are hidden for reading? Try youself!

    Also I suggest vaccins should be ‘zero risk’ and not planned with a certain amount of risk – it is like planning a physical abuse of someone in advance. And to have “no risk” they should do proper research before, including not only healthy kids, but looking for those with Immune system problems – thimoresal is not the key component of the vaccine, but the viruses themseves. How your immune system react to them is a question.
    If there are kids who develop problems after rubella sickness itself, why we should think there would be no kids who’d have problems after MMR?
    I’m not ready to sacrifice my son because another woman who did not have rubella before being pregnant or my daugther, who does not need at all mumps vaccine, because mumps could be dangerous for boys during puberty. I think is it the right of my kids not to be harmed as it happened with my boy – CLEAR signs of rubella after MMR shot, confirmed by pediatrician, who even called vaccine producer which (by the phone) denied any relaion to vaccine, arguing with our doctor, who has 40 years experience.

    Why when we made separate vaccins before rate of autism was lower? Did any make a research on that – a link between beginning tripple and 5-6-combo vacs and a beginning of autism fall?

  76. Lawrence

    Yes Ingrid – choosing a disease that has been almost entirely eliminated due to vaccines as your example was a very poor choice, given that the reason is hasn’t been erradicated completely (especially in Nigeria) is because of anti-vaccination forces spreading false rumors about the vaccine.

    And to address the point, studies have compared populations of vaccinated & unvaccinated children – and they’ve found no difference between the diagnosed instances of autism. Of course, you can’t ethically build a study from the ground up – purposely not vaccinating babies to see what happens (that’s what Todd & Blackcat are talking about).

    Withholding proven life-saving medicine is both illegal & unethical – you’re asking us to condone another Tuskegee Study, just so you can “feel” better. That’s not going to happen. Again, in part because of past history that we’ve learned from & put regulations in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    And you’ve never addressed what you would consider to be an “unbiased” study – so, what are your parameters? The CDC, WHO & more educational and research institutions than I can count have put together studies on just about every aspect of autism (in part to find the cause, some to find treatments, etc) – just check out Todd’s site – with a great many of them funded without a single corporate dollar.

    So, I ask you again – what are “YOUR” parameters?

    You’ve fallen into the same old trap – your skepticism on vaccines is driven by the very success of the vaccine program. You take advantage of the fact that we no longer have large-scale measles and mumps epidemics, no longer worry about polio summers or whooping cough, and certainly don’t have to experience smallpox anymore (and trust me, the smallpox vaccine wasn’t the greatest in the world & did have some serious side-effects – but the overall benefit of wiping out a disease that killed more people than all of the wars we’ve ever fought, plus just about every other disease combined over human history, was well worth the effort).

    You have also bought into the conspiracy theory that it would even be possible for an entire industry to cover up, what you say is very obvious information – that hundreds of thousands of people can be so callous as to want to hurt children (most of them probably parents themselves, and giving their kids vaccines). That ranks right up there with the Moon Conspiracy – that you could keep something like that secret, even though so many people would have to be involved.

    You also ignore the fact that we ingest higher levels of the same “so-called toxins” you rant about, from every day food sources & even just from environmental exposure – much higher, on a daily basis, than you would get from even taking every single vaccine at the same time.

    Again, you also don’t seem to understand that from the moment a baby leaves the womb, its immune system is bombarded by pathogens (thousands upon thousands) – which is how the immune system itself develops defenses against those pathogens in the first place. I’m sure you’d be happy to go back to the days when 1 out of every 5 children died before the age of 5 & average life expectancies were back in the 50s.

    There is a very good reason that we are healthier today & live longer than ever before – and you can put modern medical science (including vaccines) right at the top of the list.

  77. DLC

    Phil, I would reluctantly disagree with you in as much as I would say that ignorance is a disease which can be cured by shining the light of knowledge on the patient.

    and just a general note regarding studies:
    Why is it we accept studies funded by auto makers on the safety and fuel economy of 2011 model year autos, but we cannot accept studies from pharmaceuticals makers on the safety and efficacy of vaccines ? Are Ford and GM somehow more reliable than Merck and GSK ?

  78. @Chris

    No, I’ve noticed that she has yet to provide any scientific evidence that we should be concerned about vaccines. Lots and lots of emotion and pleading to “common sense”, but no science.

    She also has not acknowledged any of the non-corporate-sponsored research that has found no link between vaccines and autism. And the studies identifying promising candidates in genetics/epigenetics are brushed aside.

    Like BlackCat, Greg and Lawrence, I, too, am very curious as to what feasible and ethical study would she accept. She’s already dismissed the retrospective epidemiological studies and ignored their results. We’ve pointed out the problems with prospective experimental studies. She’s butchered some statistics pretty badly (I’d love for Prometheus to stop by and set her numbers right). She is willing to dismiss out-of-hand anything with funding from corporations. So, what’s left, Ingrid?

  79. Katharine

    Dudes, dudes, dudes, remember that most of the antivaxxers have no understanding of biomedical ethics or basic biology. We’re going to have to spoon-feed this stuff to them. Their tiny brains just can’t hack all of the information at once, you know.

  80. Katharine

    “Come see my beautiful child stim himself to the point where he is in tears and doesn’t know why. Come clean out my DVD players and my headphones that are full of feces. Until you do that – you have no right to say the risk is worth the so called benefit.”

    Translation: “I have no evidence, so I’ll just try to guilt you into believing my nonsense.”

  81. Katharine

    “When you consider the 1 in 4 figure, remember than half of all people have an IQ below 100.”

    This is part of what causes me to be disgusted at most of humanity.

  82. Katharine

    “Reality loses sometimes…

    The Romanian state institute responsible for producing vaccines “Institutul Cantacuzino” got shut down for failing to get a new EU license… because the government managed to delay giving the required funds on time.

    Good news for the importers of medicines and vaccines, and also to the local antivaxers… overjoyed that the production of vaccines (including the AH1N1) will not resume until late April.

    Also because of disastrous government PR regarding the AH1N1 vaccination, more people than ever distrust vaccination, even if after 2 million shots no serious side-effect were noted… with all the media-frenzy keen to blame the vaccine for anything.”

    Buna ziua din SUA! (da, americanca poate sa vorbeste romaneste. Putin. Am prieten in Bucuresti – acolo e de ce stiu limba romana. :P)

    What’s your view on the antivaxxers in Europe?

  83. Katharine

    (And I am, er, somewhat familiar with the vagaries of Romanian government, since my friend tells me about it all the time. It makes the American government look stable.)

  84. ND

    Lawrence said: “You’ve fallen into the same old trap – your skepticism on vaccines is driven by the very success o….”

    It’s not skepticism if that person’s “skepticism” is based on wrong facts, blind cynicism, hatred, and the inability to deal with evidence contradicting their position. That’s the root of denialism.

  85. Ingrid

    @Greg…
    You said…
    My point was that you claim to be science-minded, yet you admit that you will not change your beliefs even if there is evidence to the contrary. So, not only are you bad at math (brush up on your probability and statistics), but you are letting your personal bias completely cloud your judgment.

    Let me ask you this: What would it take for you to accept the claim that vaccines have absolutely nothing to do with autism? And are you willing to let children suffer and die from preventable diseases because of your feelings?

    How exactly did I say that I would not change my mind even if there was scientific evidence to the contrary? Just because I haven’t accepted the latest studies – for specific and valid reasons – doesn’t mean I wouldn’t accept ANY study. Geesh. So what would it take?
    It would take several – maybe 4 or 5 – large studies done sponsored by groups that have no vested interest in the outcomes. The studies would compare vaccinated to unvaccinated children (or rats or monkeys) and the incidence of the “new diseases” in those two groups – ie- autism, asthma, adhd, allergies. If the results showed that there is NO more prevalence in the vax’d vs unvax’d group, then that would be enough.

    (As for those who say there’s no animal model of autism – clearly though, there is a model for brain damage and that can be measured in rats and monkeys quite easily.)

    So I’m not sure why you say I’d still believe there is a link in lieu of scientific studies showing otherwise. I am asking for a very specific study to be done. And I’m not alone. Thousands of other parents and doctors have called for this exact same thing.

    Another study they could do, in lieu of the vax vs unvax’d would be to gather data from all the kids in a certain region. The data they’d collect is what brand of vaccine the kids received, at what age they received them, whether they received more than one vaccine at a time (almost all kids these days receive more than one) and what the relative incidence of autism is for all those factors. For instance… maybe what we’d discover is something like – when you combine the DTAP, Hib, and IPV vaccines the rate of autism is higher than when they are done separately. It would be curious to see what correlations there are, if any. In addition to no one studying vax’d to unvax’d kids, no one has studied the effect of combining vaccines. We used to only give one at a time, but now a child could (and very often does) receive up to 8 at a time! yea… that’s a lot! And no one has tested whether or not doing that has any adverse effects. Maybe vaccines are fine – one at a time. But maybe they’re not when tehy’re combined in certain ways. Afterall – drinking one beer in one sitting – you can still drive a car. But if you drink 8 in one sitting, you can’t (or shouldn’t!) It’s really reckless that we give these vaccines without testing the long term effects of giving them together in one sitting

    So I’ve given you some examples of actual studies that would change my mind. The problem is, we haven’t gotten those studies done. But groups thankfully are pushing for those studies to be done and hopefully THEN we can put the matter to rest.

  86. @Ingrid

    First off, why should all those extra studies be done? What scientific basis calls for them? Show us that there is a good, scientific reason to conduct them, considering the totality of studies that have already been done that found no connection.

    How exactly did I say that I would not change my mind even if there was scientific evidence to the contrary?

    Your behavior has suggested that you would not accept a study that exonerated vaccines, that you would find some reason to write it off.

    Just because I haven’t accepted the latest studies – for specific and valid reasons

    You actually have not given any really valid reasons. The only one you’ve really offered for why studies have not been acceptable to you is for the simply reason that some studies have had corporate funding. That, in and of itself, is not enough to write off the totality of research that has been done.

    It would take several – maybe 4 or 5 – large studies done sponsored by groups that have no vested interest in the outcomes.

    Do you have some examples of who you would consider has no vested interest in the outcome?

    The studies would compare vaccinated to unvaccinated children

    Again, such a study would not be ethical. What do you not understand about that? We have also pointed out that retrospective studies examining vaccinated vs. unvaccinated have been done and have found no connection. We’ve also pointed out the potential for confounding variables being a big problem in such studies.

    As for those who say there’s no animal model of autism – clearly though, there is a model for brain damage and that can be measured in rats and monkeys quite easily.

    While there are some mouse models of autism (I stand corrected by BlackCat on that), they are very specific and do not apply to all cases of autism and, indeed, deal with genetics, not vaccines. There are also models using in utero exposure to valproic acid. Again, not a model based on vaccines or representative of all cases of autism. Finally, autism is not brain damage. Models for brain damage (haven’t verified what models exist) do not necessarily equate to autism in humans. So, not quite so easily as you think.

    And I’m not alone. Thousands of other parents and doctors have called for this exact same thing.

    And those other parents and doctors are just as ignorant, apparently, of the issues that we’ve explained to you several times.

    Afterall – drinking one beer in one sitting – you can still drive a car. But if you drink 8 in one sitting, you can’t (or shouldn’t!)

    False analogy. The effect of one vaccine is not equivalent to the effect of one beer. The effect of eight vaccines is not equivalent to eight beers.

    Now, do you have any scientific evidence that suggests that vaccines might be responsible for any cases of autism? You’ve yet to present anything other than opinion, emotional appeals, and other logical fallacies.

  87. TheBlackCat

    It would take several – maybe 4 or 5 – large studies done sponsored by groups that have no vested interest in the outcomes.

    Who, in the entire world, does not have a vested interest in the outcomes? We are talking about diseases that once killed millions, and would do so again if we stopped vaccinating. You need to provide specifics about what would and would not constitute having “no vested interest in the outcomes”.

    I have repeatedly asked you very specific questions about whether you would consider very specific situations to be sufficiently independent. You have not answered me. First, would you consider a study funded by the CDC, FDA, NIH, or some other relevant national regulatory or scientific funding organization to be sufficiently independent. Second, would you consider a study where such a government organization forced vaccine manufacturers to hand over money, but had the money and study totally under the control of the government without any decision-making ability by the vaccine manufacturers to be sufficiently independent.

    You are being very vague, and if you don’t start answering our requests for clarification I have no choice but to conclude that you are being intentionally vague so you can leave yourself a reason to dismiss any study we might present.

    The studies would compare vaccinated to unvaccinated children (or rats or monkeys) and the incidence of the “new diseases” in those two groups – ie- autism, asthma, adhd, allergies. If the results showed that there is NO more prevalence in the vax’d vs unvax’d group, then that would be enough.

    Are you saying we need 4 or 5 studies all of which compare all of those diseases in vaccinated and unvaccinated children, or are you saying 4 or 5 studies that each look at any one or more of those conditions, or are you saying that each of the conditions needs 4 or 5 studies looking at it before you will be convinced? Once again, you are being too vague here.

    As for those who say there’s no animal model of autism – clearly though, there is a model for brain damage and that can be measured in rats and monkeys quite easily.

    Wow, your ignorance of the subject you presume to be judging is absolutely astounding. Brain damage is totally different than autism. So why would a study relating to something completely different then the subject under discussion be even the least bit relevant? What sort of brain damage would qualify? Obviously not traumatic. What about exposure to chemicals not found in vaccines? I would suspect not . What sort of brain damage is even remotely similar to autism? Once again, you are not being specific enough for use to actually answer you.

    So I’m not sure why you say I’d still believe there is a link in lieu of scientific studies showing otherwise.

    Hmm…perhaps it is because you have already moved the goalposts beyond the studies you just described. You have already stated your intent to blame maternal vaccines for autism. So let me ask you, if we produce the above studies, will you not then complain about maternal vaccines? What about paternal vaccines?

    If we produce these studies, will you drop all claims regarding any vaccines in any individual being in any way related to autism to the slightest degree? If not, then you claims about what studies would convince you are flat-out lies.

    I expect you would simply move the goalposts, as has been done again and again and again by the antivaxxers. Each time they say what will convince them, and each time we give it to them, and each time they change their demands to something new.

    Further, you still have not answered my repeated questions as to why these studies are justified, considering that we have much more promising areas of research and these studies would take away from research from being done in these promising areas.

  88. Greg in Austin

    Ingrid said,

    “@Todd – if they do find another cause of autism being genetic in some way, that’s fine. It still doesn’t prove vaccines are not causing autism or other auto-immune disorders.”

    There, I put the important words in bold. You are saying here, and in all of your other posts, that you already assume vaccines are the cause of autism, and even if we find out its genetic (not caused by vaccines) you are still going to blame vaccines on autism, or something else.

    That is not science, it is faith. You feel so strongly that vaccines are bad, you will ignore any evidence that does not support your belief.

    “The studies would compare vaccinated to unvaccinated children (or rats or monkeys) and the incidence of the “new diseases” in those two groups – ie- autism, asthma, adhd, allergies.”

    Oh, so vaccines cause allergies now, too? Its not that my mother has allergies, or my grandmother had them, or my great-grandmother, its the vaccines that causes people to be allergic to cedar, or pollen, or cat hair. What about all those millions of children who WERE vaccinated but DON’T have allergies? Is it only the ones that DO have allergies that count? And what about people who had allergies BEFORE vaccines were invented? What was to blame then?

    8)

  89. Nicole

    I tend to think autism’s expansion has to do with an increased rate in diagnosis (children previously diagnosed “mentally retarded” or thought of as “quirky” are now diagnosed autistic), the increase in ability to select a partner (people with similarly quirky personalities having kids together- previously people didn’t have as much ability to select), and possibly the delaying of having children until later in life.

    I remember seeing a flashy presentation back in, oh, 2003? on TV about autism and vaccines. It was convincing, at least to my teenage mind. I can see how people thought it. However, now, we 20 or 22 studies affirming there is no link. At this point, people who continue to believe there is a link, either are incapable of critical thinking or just plain stubborn.

  90. I see that a number of people have addressed Ingrid’s faulty math, but I won’t let that keep me from putting in my two cents’ worth.

    Ingrid “evaluates” the risk of polio thusly:

    “Now let’s take Polio. Worldwide, there were 1170 cases reported in 2004 in the ENTIRE WORLD. 700+ of them were in Nigeria. Let’s say, just for argument’s sake that the rest of them all happened in the US…”

    Actually, Ingrid could have either looked up the number of polio cases in the US or the population of Nigeria (150 million). Since the polio cases in the US are mostly from outside the country, this is a useless statistic. Using the population of Nigeria yields a rate of 4.7 per million. It still doesn’t matter, since polio is probably the worst disease to use as an example.

    Paralytic polio is a disease of developed countries. The polio virus is passed person-to-person by the fecal-oral route. In countries with poor sanitation, pretty much everybody gets polio in infancy. In infants, polio manifests as a diarrheal illness – usually not even noticed among the thousands of other diarrheal illnesses.

    However, if you don’t get polio as an infant – as happens in countries where the water and food supply isn’t contaminated with fecal matter – then polio can cause paralysis. But, not even all adults who get polio manifest as a clear paralytic illness. And in a country like Nigeria – where medical care is spotty and reporting of diseases is hit and miss – even the number of paralytic polio cases is probably vastly under-reported.

    Additionally, we have no idea how many Nigerians are infected with polio during infancy – when paralysis doesn’t happen – and are thus immune even without vaccination.

    In short, polio is a poor choice of diseases to look at the risk of vaccination vs the risk of the disease.

    For that matter, it is a trivial exercise to show that the risk of the disease – in the absence of widespread vaccination – is always greater than the risk of the vaccination. The issue Ingrid seems to be raising is that it is probably safer for a person to not get vaccinated if they live in an area where the vast majority of the population is vaccinated.

    Probably.

    Assuming that the number of “vaccine refusers” remains small and widely scattered.

    Ingrid’s method of analysis is only valid – to the extent that it is valid – as long as everybody else keeps getting vaccinated. As soon as the rate of vaccination in the population drops significantly (the amount varies with disease), the risk of infection starts to rise dramatically and the risk of the disease (which is the product of the risk from the disease and the risk of contracting the disease) starts to approach that of “The Good Old Days” before vaccination.

    Another place where Ingrid’s analysis falls apart is her assumption – not supported by any data – that vaccines cause autism. If that assumption is removed, the risk of vaccination (with the polio vaccine, for instance) drops to less than 1 per million. Much less than 1 per million. Smallpox vaccine – probably the most dangerous vaccine available – kills 2 per million and causes life-threatening illness in another 52 per million (such a high risk is only acceptable because smallpox killed 30 – 35% of its victims).

    In the end, Ingrid’s math doesn’t add up. Measles (which is making a comeback in the UK and US) used to kill 2 – 3 per thousand and diphtheria killed 5 – 10% (50 – 100 per thousand). Those are just two of the vaccine-preventable diseases children are immunized against. If we all decide to skip vaccination, we can go back to “The Good Old Days” of high childhood mortality.

    Or not. It’s your choice.

    Prometheus

  91. @Prometheus

    Poetry. Pure poetry.

  92. cycle3man

    Reference Article Titled, “1 in 4 parents buys unproven vaccine-autism link”
    written by Carla K. Johnson, Associated Press Writer Mar 1, 2010
    is.gd/9CxMn

    Quote from the above listed article, second paragraph: “Extensive research has found no connection between autism and vaccines.”

    Dear Ms Johnson,

    Which studies are you talking about?

    Are you qualified to evaluate the validity of what ever studies you are references ?

    Are you aware that most studies performed
    on this subject are fatally flawed? With just a
    little investigation you could have learned the facts and saved making a fool of your self.

    You are part of the blabbering class looking to pick up a few dollars as fast as your little fingers can type and push out this misleading trash.

    There is enough controversy surrounding the issues concerning the ever lasting long term damage that may brought on by vaccination,
    to make writers like you steer clear of this topic.

    Yes, most parents would be for vaccinating their children if they were “tested to a standard of do no harm” before being approval and brought to market. However the government agency, the FDA, responsible for this assurance is corrupt and in the “POCKET” of the vaccine companies.

    There are at least two sides to this issue, each with very strong beliefs. Did you give one seconds thought to contact experts with contrary positions? A balanced article may prove to be useful to those trying to make decisions>

    I’ll end with one word of advice: If you or anyone close to you have young children, I recommend you study hard before deciding whether to or not to vaccinate

    I wish you the best and Have a Nice Day

  93. TheBlackCat

    @cycle3man: You haven’t bothered reading any of the discussion here have you?

  94. Mark Hansen

    cycle3man, do you drive a car? Catch a bus, train, or taxi? Do you walk to the shops or your workplace? Do you get out of bed in the morning? Stay in bed instead? All of these activities have a risk attached. Just breathing is not without risk. Demanding a “zero risk” vaccine is a quixotic quest. You may as well ask for “zero risk” life. BTW, don’t eat another thing; have you seen how many people choke to death on that silent killer “food”?

    Oh and I’m sure you can show how deep in Big Pharma’s™ pocket the FDA is, can’t you? Some sort of evidence, perhaps?

  95. Chris

    Okay, I have been gone all day dealing with family stuff. So I skimmed over this thread and looked for any actual scientific evidence left by Ingrid. I failed to see any. Did I skim too fast? Did I miss it? Did she post any real scientific studies to support her assertions?

    Or is her “science” only in her head? Because I have not seen anything that relates to real data, evidence, or science from what she has written.

  96. cycle3man

    Hey Mark hansen

    Here is a little conflict of interest

    1g History Of Rotovirous vaccine Offit’s Folly

    Rotoshield
    http://www.brown.edu/Courses/Bio_160/Projects2004/rotavirus/Rotashield.htm#top

    Paul Offit the holds the patent for

    Vaccine Corruption

    To Susan Langsjoen 95621

    Susan,
    I am sending this information to you off line because FEAT has a maximum limitation of 250 lines. And It just gets to complicated to send a long message.

    In one of your notes you mentioned that you hadn’t seen anything in writing that described conflict of interest. The following paper is The opening statement of Congressman Dan Burton’s opening remarks at the start of his committees look into corruption. He lists a few cases of conflict of interest and moral impropriety. My belief that the whole health system is and has been corrupted and I’d like too see most of those working in the government health regulatory agencies thrown out and that we start to build the system over again from scratch. But that’s a whole other story.
    Just another thought or two and then I’ll shut up. The governments refusal to believe the Vietnam Veterans claims that they were sick and they suspected it was Agent Orange. They were sick as dogs, having deformed and or sickly babies and our government refused to even acknowledge that there was a problem. The problem became so large they were forced to look in and surprise-surprise there was a problem.
    And then there is the fiasco with The Desert Storm Syndrome, where they gave these poor soldiers some many vaccinations at once that their auto immune systems have been damage. Again the government made out as though it was all imagined. Again until the noise got so loud they finally agreed that medical damage was done. I’d love to know the number people that were mercury poisoned or have become autistic.

    Just one more thing: then there’s the Rotaviris fiasco:
    “When a rotavirus (infant diarrhea) vaccine was suddenly withdrawn from the market last year, the public was led to believe that it was because of new information about harmful side effects. At a hearing last week conducted by Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), we learned that other factors influenced the 1998 Food and Drug Administration
    (FDA) licensing and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation.” One dead baby any many deathly ill. It was brought to market without adequate testing an the Government review committees approved its use.

    Below is Dan Burton’s opening remarks. Now I am including the links to the testimony of other people that have appearred before this committee. Read it and you’ll really get p-ssed-off.

    The following links no longer work, however, I have included the text below

    House Government Reform Committee Hearings
    Full Committee
    http://www.house.gov/reform/hearings/index.htm
    Health Care
    http://www.house.gov/reform/hearings/healthcare.htm

    Wishes for a Happy New Year, Paul S

    Enclosure 1

    CONGRESSMAN DAN BURTON’S OPENING STATEMENT FOR THE CONGRESSIONAL COMITTEE PROBE INTO CONFICTS OF INTEREST IN THE CDC-FDA ADVISORY COMMITTEES 15 June 2000
    inbox for thepaulshapiro@yahoo.com
    From: NANCALE@aol.com (E-M this address and get on the E-M distribution list)
    Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 20:25:51 EDT
    Subject: Congressman Burton’s Opening Statement
    Some of the hearing testimony is already up on Congressman Burton’s web site..
    http://www.house.gov/reform/hearings/healthcare/00.06.15/index.htm
    Below is Congressman Burton’s Opening Statement Opening Statement
    Chairman Dan Burton, Committee on Government Reform
    “FACA: Conflicts of Interest and Vaccine Development: Preserving the Integrity of the Process”
    Thursday, June 15, 2000, 1:00 pm , 2154 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515

    Today, we are going to continue our series of hearings on vaccine policy. For the last few months, we’ve been focusing on two important advisory committee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rely on these advisory committees to help them make vaccine policies that affect every child in this country. We’ve looked very carefully at conflicts of interest. We’ve taken a good hard look at whether the pharmaceutical industry has too much influence over these committees. From the evidence we found, I think they do.

    The first committee is the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC). This Committee makes recommendations on whether new vaccines should be licensed. The second committee is the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP). This committee recommends which vaccines should be included on the Childhood Immunization Schedule.

    To make these issues easier to understand, we’re going to focus on one issue handled by these two committees – the Rotavirus vaccine. It was approved for use by the FDA in August 1998. It was recommended for universal use by the CDC in March 1999. Serious problems cropped up shortly after it was introduced. Children started developing serious bowel obstructions. The vaccine was pulled from the U.S. market in October
    1999. So the question is, was there evidence to indicate that the vaccine was not safe and if so, why was it licensed in the first place? How good a job did the advisory committees do? We’ve reviewed the minutes of the meetings. At the FDA’s committee, there were discussions about adverse events. They were aware of potential problems. Five children out of 10,000 developed bowel obstructions. There were also concerns about children failing to thrive and developing high fevers, which as we know from other vaccine hearings, can lead to brain injury. Even with all of these concerns, the committee voted unanimously to approve it.

    At the CDC’s committee, there was a lot of discussion about whether the benefits of the vaccine really justified the costs. Even though the cost-benefit ratio was questioned, the Committee voted unanimously to approve it. Were they vigilant enough? Were they influenced by the pharmaceutical industry? Was there appropriate balance of expertise and perspectives on vaccine issues? We’ve been reviewing their financial disclosure statements. We’ve interviewed staff from the FDA and the CDC. The staff has prepared a staff report summarizing what we’ve found. At the end of my statement, I’ll ask unanimous consent to enter this report into the record. We’ve identified a number of problems that need to be brought to light and discussed.

    Families need to have confidence that the vaccines that their children take are safe, effective, and truly necessary. Doctors need to feel confident that when the FDA licenses a drug, that it is really safe, and that the pharmaceutical industry has not influenced the decision-making process. Doctors place trust in the FDA and assume that if the FDA has licensed a drug, it’s safe to use. Has that trust been violated? How confident in the safety and need for specific vaccines would doctors and parents be if they learned the following:
    1 That members, including the Chair, of the FDA and CDC advisory committees who make these decisions own stock in drug companies that make vaccines.
    2. That individuals on both advisory committees own patents for vaccines under consideration or affected by the decisions of the committee.
    3 That three out of five of the members of the FDA’s advisory committee who voted for the rotavirus vaccine had conflicts of interest that were waived.
    4. That seven individuals of the 15 member FDA advisory committee were not present at the meeting, two others were excluded from the vote, and the remaining five were joined by five temporary voting members who all voted to license the product.
    5. That the CDC grants conflict-of-interest waivers to every member of their advisory committee a year at a time, and allows full
    participation in the discussions leading up to a vote by every member, whether they have a financial stake in the decision or not.
    6. That the CDC’s advisory committee has no public members – no parents have a vote in whether or not a vaccine belongs on the childhood immunization schedule. The FDA’s committee only has one public member.

    These are just a few of the problems we found. Specific examples of this include: Dr. John Modlin— He served for four years on the CDC advisory committee and became the Chair in February 1998. He participated in the FDA’s committee as well owned stock in Merck, one of the largest manufacturers of vaccines, valued at $26,000. He also serves on Merck’s Immunization Advisory Board. Dr. Modlin was the Chairman of the Rotavirus working group. He voted yes on eight different matters pertaining to the ACIP’s rotavirus statement, including recommending for routine use and for inclusion in the Vaccines for Children program. It was not until this past year, that Dr. Modlin decided to divest himself of his vaccine manufacturer stock.

    At our April 6 autism hearing, Dr. Paul Offit disclosed that he holds a patent on a rotavirus vaccine and receives grant money from Merck to develop this vaccine. He also disclosed that he is paid by the pharmaceutical industry to travel around the country and teach doctors that vaccines are safe. Dr. Offit is a member of the CDC’s advisory committee and voted on three rotavirus issues – including making the recommendation of adding the rotavirus vaccine to the Vaccines for Children’s program.

    Dr. Patricia Ferrieri, during her tenure as Chair of the FDA’s advisory committee, owned stock in Merck valued at $20,000 and was granted a full waiver.

    Dr. Neal Halsey, who serves as a liaison member to the CDC committee on behalf of the American Association of Pediatrics, and as a consultant to the FDA’s committee, has extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry, including having solicited and received start up funds from industry for his Vaccine Center. As a liaison member to the CDC committee, Dr. Halsey is there to represent the opinions of the organization he represents, but was found in the transcripts to be offering his personal opinion as well.

    Dr. Harry Greenberg, who serves as Chair of the FDA committee, owns $120,000 of stock in Aviron, a vaccine manufacturer. He also is a paid member of the board of advisors of Chiron, another vaccine manufacturer and owns $40,000 of stock. This stock ownership was deemed not to be a conflict and a waiver was granted. To the FDA’s credit, he was excluded from the rotavirus discussion because he holds the patent on the rotashield vaccine.

    How confident can we be in the process when we learned that most of the work of the CDC advisory committee is done in “working groups” that meet behind closed doors, out of the public eye? Members who can’t vote in the full committee because of conflicts of interest are allowed to work on the same issues in working groups, and there is no public scrutiny. I was appalled to learn that at least six of the ten individuals who
    participated in the working group for the rotavirus vaccine had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies developing rotavirus vaccines. How confident can we be in the recommendations with the Food and Drug Administration when the chairman and other individuals on their advisory committee own stock in major manufacturers of vaccines?

    How confident can we be in a system when the agency seems to feel that the number of experts is so few that everyone has a conflict and thus waivers must be granted. It almost appears that there is a “old boys network” of vaccine advisors that rotate between the CDC and FDA – at times serving simultaneously. Some of these individuals serve for more than four years. We found one instance where an individual served for sixteen years continually on the CDC committee. With over 700,000 physicians in this country, how can one person be so indispensable that they stay on a committee for 11 years?

    It is important to determine if the Department of Health and Human Services has become complacent in their implementation of the legal requirements on conflicts of interest and committee management. If the law is too loose, we need to change it. If the agencies aren’t doing their job, they need to be held accountable. That’s the purpose of this hearing, to try to determine what needs to be done.

    Why is this review necessary? Vaccines are the only substances that a government agency mandates a United States citizen receive. State governments have the authority to mandate vaccines be given to children prior to admission to day care centers and schools. State governments rely on the recommendations of the CDC and the FDA to determine the type and schedule of vaccines.

    I am not alone in my concern about the increasing influence of industry on medicine. Last year, the New England Journal of Medicine learned that 18 individuals who wrote drug therapy review articles had financial ties to the manufacturer of the drugs discussed. The Journal, which has the most stringent conflict of interest disclosures of medical journals, had a recent editorial discussing the increasing level of academic research funded by the industry. The editor stated, “What is at issue is not whether researchers can be ‘bought’ in the sense of a quid pro quo, it is that close and remunerative collaboration with a company naturally creates goodwill on the part of researchers and the hope that the largesse will continue. This attitude can subtly influence scientific judgment.”

    Can the FDA and the CDC really believe that scientists are more immune to self-interest than other people? Maintaining the highest level of integrity over the entire spectrum of vaccine development and implementation is essential.

    The Department of Health and Human Services has a responsibility to the American public to ensure the integrity of this process by working diligently to appoint individuals that are totally without financial ties to the vaccine industry to serve on these and all vaccine-related panels.
    No individual who stands to gain financially from the decisions regarding vaccines that may be mandated for use should be participating in the discussion or policy making for vaccines. We have repeatedly heard in our hearings that vaccines are safe and needed to protect the public. If the panels that have made the decisions on all vaccines on the Childhood Immunization Schedule had as many conflicts as we found with rotavirus, then the entire process has been polluted and the public trust has been violated. I intend to find out if the individuals who have made these recommendations that effect every child in this country and around the world, stood to gain financially and professionally from the decisions of the committees they served on. The hearing record will remain open until June 28 for those who would like to submit a statement into the hearing record.

  97. TheBlackCat

    No, no, no, and yes.

  98. @cycle3man

    It should be noted that the particular vaccine discussed in your post was RotaShield, manufactured by Wyeth. Dr. Modlin had stock in Merck, not Wyeth. At best, it could be said he has a conflict of interest that would bias him against Wyeth.

    Another note. Although Dr. Offit held a patent for a rotavirus vaccine, it was RotaTeq, not RotaShield, which was recalled. Again, his patent would have been, at best, a COI biasing him against approving RotaShield. Furthermore, when RotaTeq came up for consideration by the committee, Dr. Offit recused himself from participation.

    Dr. Ferrieri’s stock holdings were, like Modlin, in Merck, not Wyeth.

    Dr. Greenberg has interests in RotaShield and was, rightfully, excluded from discussion of RotaShield.

    The conflicts listed would not amount to COIs leading to improper approval of RotaShield. Indeed, the COIs, if anything, would have biased against its approval, as it is from a competing company.

    I am curious that the testimony did not name other experts in the field that had no conflicts of interest of any sort that could have participated. If Congressman Burton is going to express disbelief that there wouldn’t be any experts with no COI, then he should have at least done some homework to try to identify possible acceptable candidates. He is arguing from ignorance and personal incredulity.

    You have failed to show that any government agency is “in the pocket” of “Big PharmaTM“.

    You also have offered no evidence that vaccines are even plausibly connected to autism. You have not offered any specifics on exactly how the studies were flawed. In short, you have not made your case.

  99. mouseker

    There are problems with saying there has not been a link found between autism and vaccines. Wrong there have been numerous links found by clinicians and doctors and research scientists.

    What hasn’t been found is a statstical link with flawed, biased, and slanted studies done by organizations that have financial benefits to seeing these vaccinations continue to be sold and would be hurt if a link was statistically proven and the manufacturers got sued.

    If you think this is not relevant and I am just a conspiracy theorist then go read the transcripts from the Simpsonwood GA meeting for yourself it is quite an eyeopener. One DOCTOR excused himself so he could call and make sure his brand new grandchild DIDN’T get vaccinated. But it is ok for everyone else? Where is the study of vaccinated VS unvaccinated? What’s that? It doesn’t exist? But if we want to know the truth then why hasn’t this study been done?

    Statistical studies are a bunch of BS anyway, you can get them to say anything you want. There is a book called “How to Lie With Statistics” if you set the parameters right you can do a study that shows the sun doesn’t rise in Northern Alaska, if change the dates on the parameters you can do a study that shows the exact opposite that the sun doesn’t set in Northern Alaksa. The point is that statistics can be made to say whatever the authors of the study want it to say.

    Even the IOM knows this, the report that came out where they said there was not link found (which every newspaper reported) also said that all the studies they’d been given to make this determination were statistical and that they gave more weight to clinical trials and labratory research than statistical studies (which no newspapers reported). They also said in that same report that more scientific research needed to be done (I’m paraphrasing) because none had been submitted to them. Yep the CDC gets to determine what studies the IOM can use to make their determinations.

    In regard to Dr. Wakefield the supposed peer studies weren’t exactly like his they were studying a different part of the colon than his study focused on. You people do realize that the MMR has LIVE viruses in it? Why can’t a live weakend virus take up residence in a digestive tract that possibly already had damage like from antibiotics? ( Don’t tell me antibiotcs don’t damage the digestive tract my oldest had kidney reflux that caused infections and was on antibiotcs for over a year til it was removed, at which point she could no longer even feel when she needed to use the potty).

    He was found guilty of procedural and ethical things that had no bearing on the actual research results. Found guilty by people with conflicts of interest themselves.

    If you think that mercury has no bearing on autism then google Carson Smith, he swallowed mercury from a thermometer. Weeks later diagnosed with PDD, weeks after that diagnosed with full blown Autism. From typical to Autistic in months after swallowing mercury? HMMMMMM.

    Part of the bodies process of getting rid of Ethylmercury is to turn it into the metal version of mercury and that takes place in the digestive tract, now we are back to digestive issues like Dr. Wakefield was researching. Think it is a co-incidence that so many kids with Autism have gut issues?

    Now I like so many other parents are not anti vaccine, in fact we rely on herd immunity to keep our kids safe. What we want is the acceptance that vaccines could be an issue and some REAL research and studies done by NEUTRAL physicians who don’t hold patents, aren’t consultants and have ZERO ties to the pharmacuitical industry.

    Studies that have complete transparency not data sets like the CDC’s Datalink Study where at the cost of a million dollars to the tax payer were housed with a private company so they couldn’t be available under the freedom of information act and then OH NO GOT LOST! Convenient for them that they can’t be examined now. We want studies like Vaccinated Vs Unvaccinated. We want true research so we can figure out which kids will have problems and then everyone else can get safely vaccinated.

    I also think that there should be titer tests in the vaccine schedule so that kids who already have immunity don’t get additional unneccessary shots. As our Pediatrician specializing in internal medicne said “your either immune or your not”. We argue everytime I go in because I won’t finish vaccinating my girls who have a brother with Autism. So he is on the opposite side of this issue. They got everything at least once, were done.

  100. Let me help Cycle3man out a bit.

    The “evidence” connecting autism with vaccines may have eluded him because it is so tenuous. The first bit of “evidence” was the “autism epidemic”, which started in the US and UK in the mid-1980’s and has continued – unabated – to the present day.

    The second bit of “evidence” was the increasing number of vaccinations children have received over that same time span (1985 – present).

    A third bit of “evidence” was repeated parental recollections that their children’s autism began shortly after receiving the MMR jab at 15-18 months.

    The third bit of “evidence” has pretty much collapsed, since several studies have shown no connection between the MMR jab and autism. It now appears that since autism is most often recognised in the 2-3 year age range, the apparent association with the MMR jab – given before that time – was spurious.

    This, of course, hasn’t prevented many of the anti-vaccination advocates from claiming that “tens of thousands” of parents report their children becoming autistic after vaccination. Given how often young children are vaccinated, I should find it odd if they did not. If these same parents were to think back, I expect their autistic child also had a “cold” shortly before they noticed signs of autism. Yet, nobody is claiming that “colds” cause autism.

    The second bit of “evidence” also fails to stand up to scrutiny, since autism prevalence in the US, UK, Sweden, Denmark and Canada have all followed the same curve despite vast differences in the number (and type) of vaccines they give children.

    You may be aware that a group of actors and businessmen tried to show a connection between the number of childhood vaccines and infant mortality – that was a rather pathetic attempt, since autism isn’t a fatal disorder and because there are several other reasons why infant mortality rates differ between the US and – for example – Sweden.

    Finally, we come to the first bit of “evidence” – the “autism epidemic”. The problem here is that the criteria for diagnosing autism have been very fluid in the period from 1985 to today. Additionally, a greater awareness of autism and a shifting perception of autism have also increased the proportion of developmentally delayed children being categorised as “autistic”. A good example of this is seen in the US Dept. of Education statistics on disabilities, where the rise in autism prevalence has been exactly mirrored by a fall in prevalence of mental retardation.

    So, if the vaccines are causing an increase in autism, they are also causing a compensatory decrease in mental retardation.

    As for assertions of “conflict of interest”, I think that you’ll find even greater conflicts among those who are promoting the claim that vaccines cause autism.

    Claims of massive government-industrial conspiracies involving all levels of the CDC, FDA, and “Big Pharma” are laughable. If these conspiracies exist, why hasn’t some GS4 employee of the FDA gone on “Oprah” to tell all (and earn millions in book deals and movie rights)? And if the conspiracy is so ruthless that it can maintain airtight security, why are the ‘bloggers who talk about it still breathing? We’ve either got to have whistle-blowers or bodies, and I don’t see them.

    Cheers!

    Prometheus

  101. ND

    mouseker,

    Wakefield received over £400,000 from the lawyers that were suing the MMR manufacturers, to do the 1998 study. He did not disclose this financial benefit. It was based on just 12 kids. I think a few of the kids showed autism before the shots, but I’ll need to double check that. Wakefield also applied for a new measles vaccine patent the year before the study. Did you know this? Would you consider a financial motive? A conflict of interest? If you so easily dismiss people because of a perceived financial motive then you have to dismiss Wakefield’s studies. Yes? No?

    Here’s a study comparing kids with and without MMR vaccinations:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15877763?dopt=Citation

  102. @mouseker

    Don’t have time atm to address your full post (though I’m suspecting Poe).

    First off, there are times of the year that the sun does not set in Northern Alaska. There are also times of the year where the sun does not rise in Northern Alaska. It has to do with this little Earth being tilted thing.

    You people do realize that the MMR has LIVE viruses in it? Why can’t a live weakend virus take up residence in a digestive tract that possibly already had damage like from antibiotics?

    So kids who get measles must have higher rates of autism, then, right?

  103. ND

    Deleted by author cause brain gone mush.

  104. TheBlackCat

    There are problems with saying there has not been a link found between autism and vaccines. Wrong there have been numerous links found by clinicians and doctors and research scientists.

    So you say, but I see you have not actually bothered to present any of it.

    What hasn’t been found is a statstical link with flawed, biased, and slanted studies done by organizations that have financial benefits to seeing these vaccinations continue to be sold and would be hurt if a link was statistically proven and the manufacturers got sued.

    Once again, you have not actually bothered to point out any flaws, any slant, or any evidence of bias. I would also be curious to here who doesn’t have any conflict of interest by your definition yet still has the tens of millions of dollars needed to carry out the studies you want.

    Where is the study of vaccinated VS unvaccinated? What’s that? It doesn’t exist? But if we want to know the truth then why hasn’t this study been done?

    If you are going to enter a discussion like that, perhaps you should read what has already been said. Controlled studies of this are illegal, because it requires denying life-saving medical treatments to individuals. Retrospective studies have already been done, and showed no connection. We have already discussed this repeatedly here, please read what has already been said. Not doing so just makes you look lazy on top of being ignorant.

    Statistical studies are a bunch of BS anyway, you can get them to say anything you want. There is a book called “How to Lie With Statistics” if you set the parameters right you can do a study that shows the sun doesn’t rise in Northern Alaska, if change the dates on the parameters you can do a study that shows the exact opposite that the sun doesn’t set in Northern Alaksa. The point is that statistics can be made to say whatever the authors of the study want it to say.

    So in other words all of medical science is just total BS? Nothing medicine is accepted without statistics backing it up, nothing.

    Yes, it is possible to lie with statistics, if you are presenting those statistics to someone who is not familiar enough with statistics to know they are being lied to or if you don’t reveal your methodology. That is why their are specific standards that must be adhered to when doing statistical analysis and the methods used must be disclosed. There are very specific rules that must be followed and very specific standards that must be met in order to guarantee that the statistics were not being abused. These standards and rules are well-known to anyone doing medical research, and the journals that publish the studies demand that they be adhered to. It is quite possible to do perfectly valid statistical analysis, and anyone who is familiar with statistics can tell the difference.

    Care to tell us what methodology you propose we use that would not involve statistics?

    In regard to Dr. Wakefield the supposed peer studies weren’t exactly like his they were studying a different part of the colon than his study focused on. You people do realize that the MMR has LIVE viruses in it? Why can’t a live weakend virus take up residence in a digestive tract that possibly already had damage like from antibiotics?

    Several problems: there is no evidence connecting intestinal problems to vaccines, there is no evidence connecting instestinal problems to autism, there is no evidence connecting autism to vaccines, there is no evidence of vaccines taking up residence in the digestive tract, and there is no evidence that antibiotics make you more susceptible to vaccines taking up residence in the digestive tract.

    (Don’t tell me antibiotcs don’t damage the digestive tract my oldest had kidney reflux that caused infections and was on antibiotcs for over a year til it was removed, at which point she could no longer even feel when she needed to use the potty).

    You do realize that not all antibiotics are identical, right? They have a wide range of side-effects. One type will even destroy your hearing (although it isn’t used except in extreme cases anymore).

    He was found guilty of procedural and ethical things that had no bearing on the actual research results. Found guilty by people with conflicts of interest themselves.

    No, he was found guilty of lying about conflicts of interest, lying about following ethical rules designed to protect research subjects from abuse, and all of his results are suspect due to serious flaws in his research protocol and suspicious editing of results. Even if there were no obvious flaws in his study, the fact that he lied repeatedly about multiple different aspects of the study shows he is not a trustworthy individual, and so none of his results can be trusted. Someone who has demonstrated that he has no problem lying when it suits his financial interests cannot be trusted, period.

    If you think that mercury has no bearing on autism then google Carson Smith, he swallowed mercury from a thermometer. Weeks later diagnosed with PDD, weeks after that diagnosed with full blown Autism. From typical to Autistic in months after swallowing mercury? HMMMMMM.

    I could only find one mention of this incident, from an anti-vaccine website. Considering the symptoms of mercury poisoning are well-known and are completely different from autism, and that there are treatments for mercury poisoning, I find this pretty suspicious.

    Part of the bodies process of getting rid of Ethylmercury is to turn it into the metal version of mercury and that takes place in the digestive tract, now we are back to digestive issues like Dr. Wakefield was researching. Think it is a co-incidence that so many kids with Autism have gut issues?

    That would be more relevant if they hadn’t removed thimerosal from the childhood vaccine schedule almost a decade ago yet there has been no change in the growth of autism.

    Now I like so many other parents are not anti vaccine, in fact we rely on herd immunity to keep our kids safe.

    I see, so you depend on everyone else to keep your kid safe while refusing to actually participate. That’s extremely selfish of you. It doesn’t matter what happens to anyone else as long as your kids are safe?

    What we want is the acceptance that vaccines could be an issue and some REAL research and studies done by NEUTRAL physicians who don’t hold patents, aren’t consultants and have ZERO ties to the pharmacuitical industry.

    How could any practicing physician have zero ties to the pharmaceutical industry? At the very least they have to write prescriptions.

  105. mouseker

    A Danish scientist who was the author of a key study that undermined the scientific basis for believing that mercury in vaccines caused autism was employed full time by Emory University in the USA without his university knowing, it has emerged. … Aarhaus University said in a statement today that they had “expressly prohibited” Dr Poul Thorsen from working for a second university, Emory. … The revelation that Thorsen had a second secret job will raise fears of a hidden bias in the studies and undermine the scientific case for thiomersal.”
    Poul Thorsen was a co-author on two influential papers on the link between autism and vaccines, one on MMR published in 2002 by the New England Journal of Medicine and another published in 2003 by Pediatrics on thimerosal. SafeMinds performed an extensive analysis (see HERE) of the close network of collaboration the included Aarhus University researchers, employees of the Staten Serum Institut (a vaccine manufacturer) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Thorsen was a central figure in that network, with close ties to CDC, and now stands accused of forgery and fraud.

  106. @mouseker

    I recommend a) not getting your news from Age of Autism and b) not copying and pasting.

  107. mouseker

    BlackCat

    Do your own research, nothing I can say will change your mind but your own learning might. I actually started where you are I was 100% provaccine and my first two kids were fully immunized. When I started doing research I’d go back and forth until I read the summary of the IOM report where it said that they gave more weight to clinic studies and labratory research than to purely statistical studies, and that is point at which I decided that I should do that too and it was amazing the difference. All the studies that say there is no link are purely statistical there is no science to back it up. In fact all the science says that there is a problem. And no I am not going to go through all of the resesarch and links there is too much for this space and it won’t convince you anyway you have to do it yourself if you really want to know.

    You think it is selfish of me to want unbiased research to find the kids that could be harmed by vaccines, how selfish of ME? Oh yeah lets just vaccinate everyone and consider the vaccine damaged kids as acceptable losses and then just to twist the knife lets make it exceptionally hard for them to sue for damages so vaccine manufacturers have no incentive to make sure their product is safe.

    Everyone is not a one size fits all everyones body is different, but we vaccinate cookie cutter style, the chemicals that go into the vaccine are decided based on the bottom line not what is safest.

    As you can see by the previously posted article Lying occurs on both sides, that is why it is important to have UNBIASED research, and again that very basic study that parents keep asking about vaccinated vs unvaccinated.

    Even the previous head of the NIH has stated that she has concerns over the link between vaccines and Autism.

    Maybe you should find what research her concerns are based on. Because I’m just a gullible parent not a doctor.

  108. mouseker

    Why, because Age of Autism is the only one reporting it? Can we say media bias.

    I am done with this blog, I’ve had my say. I spent two years researching this issue before coming to a decision and I’m not going to waste my time debating this with people that don’t want to know the truth and have already made up their minds and just want to argue. Don’t you have better things to do like doing the research for yourselves. It is out there and yeah most of it is done by people who have reasons to be concerned about autism. Because no one else is doing it. No one wants to think that the same thing that saves lives can also destroy them. No doctor wants to think that their actions killed a kid, or parent that the decision they made destroyed their childs life. But it won’t stop until real answers are found not this Biased junk that the CDC keeps telling us about but won’t actually let anyone see, even with a Congressional Mandate. What are they hiding? Do you see where my concerns come from. Transparancy is nonexistant and parents are just going to keep pushing until honest answers are found. Don’t bother answering I’m not coming back I’ve heard it before and your two paragraphs are not going to change my mind. I came up with your arguements years ago and answered them to my safisfaction so there is no point. I hope you have something better to do with your time I know I do.

  109. Inna

    I just wonder why in some case aprents opition is important and in others – not. When it its more suit to your opinion, I believe.
    When most parents saying NGNC diet work for their kids (and I’m in the circle in several countries – parents sates the same thing) – you can’t object, no interested pareties, because I spend my own money and time for this food, I prefer to do something else, but I se benefit from it. Now, we have a list of tests on dygestion to be checked, developed by Pediatrician Society, an official one, despite their 20 years refuse that it exist.
    At the same time when parents says they saw autistic signs deveop after vaccination – it is again incorrect. I want my kids not to be sick! But one got rubella with vaccination, 2 others had reactions to vaccinations – why should i trust them if myself I read an official document via net regarding MMR in Europe – “as soon as previous vaccins seems to be OK, there is no need to check this one before launch”? Thus, when i sent it to several people, it dissapeared from an official site. Everything where vaccins are suspected eitehr not accessable, or dissapears.

    Do you know they have tried 10 years ago tests on creating MBL-depending vaccins, the same MBL which is low in 8% of people and especially in kids? The same MBL that suppose to eliminate Rubella, Measles, Mumps, Polio, Tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitus B and candida from our bodies? After I sent a message to a person, who made a research did he suppose it could create problems with people with low immunity – the article also dissapeared!
    Like a magic!
    So, anti-vac scientific research I could only if I’m a doctor, but not if i’m a patient – why? Is here anything I should not see? Isn’t it up to me to decide would i like to have it for my kids or not? Wasn’t it public money paid for it (mine as well)? WHAT do they hide, i wonder?

    And why they refuse to register cases with vaccine adverse reaction – many parents told me they called, sent letters – and were simply ignored; Our pediatrician was ignored. Is it normal? Do you trust they put real number of adverse reactions in official releases?

    And why the research on vaccins, supposed to be for public, is done by private companies, whio are the most interested to say “it’s OK”?

    Too many questions, almost no answers

  110. TheBlackCat

    Do your own research, nothing I can say will change your mind but your own learning might.

    I did do my own research. The difference is I know enough about biology and about the rules regarding scientific research to know what is valid and what isn’t. You don’t. You reveal a profound ignorance of everything regarding this subject with every word you say.

    I am not sure what went wrong with your research. Did you read anything besides anti-vaccine websites? Did you bother actually looking at the scientific literature?

    Did you bothered learning about biology, the methodological standards of scientific research, the legal and ethical rules that must be followed? You obviously didn’t, you demonstrate that constantly. But these are the first things you should have looked at, otherwise you would have no clue what you are actually reading and no basis on which to judge it. You can’t have any hope of understanding a subject without educating yourself on the basics first, but you have no bothered to do this.

    All the studies that say there is no link are purely statistical there is no science to back it up.

    Once again, you reveal your ignorance of science and ignorance of statistics. Statistical studies are science, in fact they are the cornerstone of medical science. You can’t do medical science without statistics. Using this standard would throw out all of medicine, and much of biology, chemistry, and physics as well, actually.

    In fact all the science says that there is a problem.

    You keep saying this, but despite repeated requests you have failed to actually provide any. You have provided conjecture, you have provided possibilities, but you have provided absolutely no science. Nor have you provided any evidence that you would even know science if it sat on your head.

    And no I am not going to go through all of the resesarch and links there is too much for this space and it won’t convince you anyway you have to do it yourself if you really want to know.

    I have done it, and I have found nothing backing up a link between vaccines and autism besides logical fallacies.

    You think it is selfish of me to want unbiased research to find the kids that could be harmed by vaccines, how selfish of ME?

    No, it is selfish of you to depend on everyone else getting vaccinated while your kids don’t.

    Oh yeah lets just vaccinate everyone and consider the vaccine damaged kids as acceptable losses

    It isn’t a matter of “acceptable losses”, it is a matter of “a lesser of two evils”. Is the disease more dangerous or less dangerous than the vaccine that prevents it? If the disease is more dangerous, then obviously the vaccines are a better choice. So far, all evidence is that the diseases are far, far more dangerous. But that is the reason we don’t give smallpox vaccines anymore, and the reason we moved from the more dangerous live polio vaccine to the less dangerous but less effective dead polio vaccine. It is a cost/benefit tradeoff.

    Are you saying that we should get rid of cars because they are not 100% safe? Are the kids who are killed or disabled in car accidents just “acceptable losses” to you?

    and then just to twist the knife lets make it exceptionally hard for them to sue for damages so vaccine manufacturers have no incentive to make sure their product is safe.

    Are you kidding? They made it far easier to sue for damages. Do you have any idea how hard it is to litigate against a company with deep pockets? They can and will keep you in appeals for decades! The current method makes it much, much easier to collect damages.

    Everyone is not a one size fits all everyones body is different, but we vaccinate cookie cutter style,

    Hahahaha! Wow, the irony here is overwhelming. Yes, everyone’s body is different. That is why we need statistics. The whole point of doing statistics in medical science is specifically because we need to combine the results from large numbers of people in order to find rare problems that only occur in a very small number of people. For instance, it is by combining results from large numbers of people that we are able to find and deal with rare issues like allergic reactions and Guillain-Barré syndrome for vaccines.

    The one who is advocating a “one size fits all” approach is actually you, who is rejecting large statistical studies and advocating instead lab work and small clinical studies. We would never find rare problems if we did what you are suggesting.

    the chemicals that go into the vaccine are decided based on the bottom line not what is safest.

    First of all, all the chemicals have to go through rigorous safety studies. However, we have to balance the threat of the disease with being able to get the vaccines to as many people as possible. We, unfortunately, must live in the real world, and any increase in cost of the vaccines means a decrease in distribution. I guess if you want to increase taxes or cut other programs to pay for it that is fine, but good luck getting that approved.

    As you can see by the previously posted article Lying occurs on both sides, that is why it is important to have UNBIASED research, and again that very basic study that parents keep asking about vaccinated vs unvaccinated.

    You so far have provided no evidence of lying on our side, the only side that has proven lying is yours. And as we have already described repeatedly but you have ignored, the study you demand has either been done or is illegal, depending on how strict the study is.

  111. ND

    mouseker,

    Do you have any thoughts on Wakefield’s financial motives and conflict of interest that were revealed and led to his investigation and subsequent Lancet retraction? Given your insistence of no-bias and independence, Wakefield fails your standards. Yes? No?

  112. @mouseker

    Why, because Age of Autism is the only one reporting it?

    No, because AoA regularly misrepresents the issues and censors comments that don’t follow the party line. Follow that link I had in my last post. Age of Autism has a pretty strictly anti-vaccine agenda (why else would they champion the Desiree Jennings case when it didn’t involve autism at all?).

    We have looked at the research out there. The science says that there is no evidence of any connection between vaccines and autism. But we are willing to change our minds. Just show us the science that supports your position. And remember, show us the science, not your opinion or conjecture.

    Your disregard for statistics is interesting, to say the least. Please show me a single approve medical treatment (drug, device or biologic) that is not supported by studies using statistics. Since you have such a dim view of the validity of any statistics, it seems, then I guess you do not use any medical treatment.

    I’m curious about just how much you really have educated yourself about vaccines and the regulation of medical products. There are some really good university classes on these topics. You can also get some good information over at Science-Based Medicine.

  113. @Inna

    Give AntiAntiVax a read to start, then follow the other links on that site. It is a good starting point for learning about vaccines and some of the issues around it.

    And why the research on vaccins, supposed to be for public, is done by private companies, whio are the most interested to say “it’s OK”?

    First off, think a moment about who works at these companies. They are normal people, just like you. Many of them have children. Would it be in their interests to skew the research to get products approved even though they are not safe? Products that they and their children will use?

    Second, manufacturers are required to conduct large studies to determine the safety and efficacy of their products in order to gain approval. The majority of products never even make it to market. Those that do are generally safe and effective. Further, large studies are very expensive to conduct, and companies have lots of resources to fund such studies. There are, however, many studies that do not receive funding from the manufacturers. A lot of independent research is funded by governmental agencies, like the NIH in the U.S., by private foundations, by universities and a variety of other sources. In the U.S., studies involving humans that receives funding from the NIH is required to register their study at clinicaltrials.gov, and I believe they are now required to post their results, as well. Many journals have also started requiring researchers to register their trials and results on clinicaltrials.gov in order for the study to be published. These requirements apply regardless of funding source, so even corporate-sponsored studies must be registered. This is all to increase the level of transparency in human subjects research.

    There are a lot of sources out there for researching the scientific questions. In addition to clinicaltrials.gov, pay a visit to PubMed. PubMed has abstracts of studies available, as well as occasionally full text of studies.

  114. JUST SICK

    I’M JUST SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED. AND THEN I GET SICK.

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