Autism and Vaccination Smackdown Part II: This Time, The Doctors Go At It

By Melissa Lafsky | August 7, 2008 4:07 pm

vaccineWhile the celebrity smackdown between former Playboy bunny Jenny McCarthy and actress Amanda Peet has been working its way through the media python coils, another autism/vaccine showdown has sprung up—this time at the New England Journal of Medicine. Pro-vaccination guru Paul A. Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has gotten into it with Jon S. Poling, a Georgia neurologist and the father of Hannah Poling, who was diagnosed with autism after receiving five standard vaccines.

The dispute is over a piece Offit did for NEJM on Hannah’s successful lawsuit against the government after her diagnosis, which made her the first autistic child to collect damages under the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Offit argues that, while anti-vacciners have pointed to the case as proof that the government knows vaccines are dangerous and can cause autism, in reality the Poling win was one in a chain of sketchy decisions by the VICP, which “seems to have turned its back on science.” Sure enough, in swooped Poling Sr. with the following response:

Offit’s remarks about Hannah’s case are not evidence-based. He has no access to my daughter’s personal medical records, legal documents, or affidavits. In contrast, physicians from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) who studied this information recommended that the government concede Hannah’s case. The clinical history Offit presents contains significant inaccuracies, and the resulting conclusions are consequently flawed.

To which Offit delivered a concise blow:

Poling claims that I didn’t have access to his daughter’s medical records. My information was based on a verbatim transcript of the DHHS concession, which stated that his daughter had had frequent ear infections and a series of viral infections early in life. These infections, which are a far greater immunologic challenge than attenuated or inactivated vaccines, are not in dispute.

Poling states that my assertion that the administration of multiple vaccines is safe is an “opinion . . . unsupported by clinical trials.” But studies of concomitant use, which are required by the Food and Drug Administration before licensure to show that new vaccines do not affect the safety or immunogenicity of existing vaccines or vice versa, have clearly shown that multiple vaccines can be administered safely.

The government isn’t doing the medical/scientific community any favors with the Poling case, and it could also be opening the floodgates for other parents of autistic kids to demand compensation. It’s true that having a child with autism is no picnic, and in the modern culture of hyperactive parenting, it’s not surprising that parents are fervently seeking a reason for why their child has an incurable disorder. Vaccines are an easy whipping boy, and one that’s gained momentum as pretty blonde celebrities take up the cause.

Unfortunately, vaccines just aren’t the answer, and government agencies issuing apparent mea culpas won’t change that. In fact, what’s more likely to happen (and is already happening in the U.K.) is that we see epidemics of diseases that could have been prevented by a simple shot.

MORE ABOUT: autism, children, vaccines

Comments (348)

  1. Kelli Ann Davis

    “The government isn’t doing the medical/scientific community any favors with the Poling case, and it could also be opening the floodgates for other parents of autistic kids to demand compensation.”

    Exactly what kind of *favors* are you referring to Melissa? And what about the pursuit of the TRUTH? Shouldn’t that be uppermost in our minds??

    I’m sorry if it might be a tad bit uncomfortable for the *floodgates* to open, but guess what?? It’s *NOTHING* compared to living with the fact that I held my child down while I allowed others to inject him with vaccines that I *assumed* were safe.

  2. Kev

    Kelli Ann – the truth has already been pursued for the last 10 years. There’s no evidence that vaccines cause autism. What *floodgates* are you referring to exactly?

    In the meantime, vaccine preventable diseases are rising again. People are being hospitalised and dying again. I really think you and your pals need to gain a bit of perspective.

  3. Kendra

    “But studies of concomitant use, which are required by the Food and Drug Administration before licensure to show that new vaccines do not affect the safety or immunogenicity of existing vaccines or vice versa, have clearly shown that multiple vaccines can be administered safely.”
    Really, where are these studies? How can we access them? If they exist why has no one ever brought them up in the more than 6 years I have been involved in this issue? So has every vaccine has been tested in conjunction with the typical vaccine schedule? Seems like this would preclude knowing if the new vaccine caused issues on it’s own. If a vaccine is tested with the existing schedule and something goes wrong, how do they know if it was the new vaccine or one of the existing on the schedule. Oh that’s right, there is no such thing as a vaccine reaction. No reaction will ever be acknowledged as being caused by the vaccines, it is all freak coincidence even if suffered by thousands. Children that die within 24 hours of multiple vaccines are brazenly labeled SIDS despite that the intention of the SIDS label is that there is no known or logical explanation. Apparently 6 vaccines within 24 hours is not considered a plausible explanation for sudden death. People bought the sudden infant death “unknown cause” with babies, but even now Gardasil related deaths we hear the same exact explanation as if it is perfectly normal and natural for a healthy teenager to drop dead for no reason. Have they come up with a SIDS like synonym for Sudden Unexplained Teenage Death Syndrome.
    The bottom line is the CDC, Offitt, FDA, ECBT, has never once responded to an independent study, the Poling Case, any news outside their own manufacured and contrived studies with the proper comportment. If they wanted to show America they really cared, every single news item would be handled with compassion and care. How about, “The Hannah Poling Case surprised us and even more so because now we don’t know whether Mitochondrial issues might be a factor in the exploding epidemic of Autism. This is something, we the CDC, take very seriously and will investigate with all our resources available. The Poling case does sound striking similar to thousands of other stories across America. But all science and speculation must be studied and verified”. Now that might have made sense. But instead on Day 1 they came out in denial and LIED TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE saying the Poling case was an anomaly when THEY DID NOT KNOW. In fact we hear that ever since that day there have been phone conferences, secret meetings, and potential future studies to determine what if any affect mitochondrial issues could have on Autism diagnosis and how many have been affected and how many are at risk. One American scientist says he believe it may be 1 in every 50, which would be really close to the Dept. of Education numbers we see for Autism of 1 in every 67.
    They don’t seem to realize that their tactics are not working. I’m the expert, trust me, and not only do I not have the evidence to prove to you I’m right, I wouldn’t show it to you if I did because you are ignorant and my ego precludes me from sharing. It didn’t work on the parents of autistic children and it is not working on the parents trying to prevent their child from becoming autistic. The Genie cannot be put back into the bottle, and they better figure out how to fix this problem for the sake of all children and humanity. And if I was them I would quickly be hiring a new Public Relations Advisor because the current one “sucks”.

  4. “…where are these studies? How can we access them?” I am by no means an expert on vaccine science. But when enter the terms “vaccine” and “combination” into PubMed, I estimate that there are a few thousand published, peer-reviewed studies of concomitant use. Recent examples include: “Safety and immunogenicity of a DTaP-IPV(Vero) (serum-free) combination vaccine in comparison to DTaP-IPV(Mkc) when administered simultaneously with Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (PRP-T) in children at 2, 3.5, 5 and 16 months of age” and “Safety and immunogenicity of CRM197-conjugated pneumococcal-meningococcal C combination vaccine (9vPnC-MnCC) whether given in two or three primary doses.” It seems that Kendra has been looking in the wrong places for six years.

  5. Maurine Meleck

    It’s hard to believe that this same magazine published the important article last year “Understanding Autism-the answer may lie in the gut, not the head.”
    First off, Hannah Poling had nine vaccines at one visit-not five. Therre were 5 shots administered, but 9 vaccines.
    Secondly, autism is not necessarily incurable. Hundreds of children have completely recovered from autism and are no longer distinguishable from their neuro-typical peers.
    A large number of parents of autistic children have studied the science for years. They are highly educated and not simply pulling a cause out of thin air as this article suggests.
    This article from Discover is a big disappointment, to say the least.

  6. Heidi

    Kev, you are the most annoying type of pro-vaccine blogger. Show me the numbers. What vaccine preventable diseases and what humans died? There are 127 cases of measles recorded this year so far in the US and no body died. You are sounding very much like the ridiculously arrogant Paul Offit who publicized the sad tale of one child with autism dying during chelation treatment, in his recent press conference, but oops he neglected to mention that the doctor made an error and used the wrong chelation agent. That makes that story the same as the Dennis Quaid twins or a doctor who accidentally amputates the wrong leg. I wish I could have asked Paul to explain how his very own revenue generating Rota-Teq vaccine has killed one infant already and has not yet been recalled LIKE HIS PREVIOUS ROTATEQ VACCINE WAS. He is the biggest pusher of vaccines and he makes a LOT of money selling them. Forget about autism for a minute, people die due to vaccines, just like every other medical product. Do you want your infant or your friend’s child or your little sister or brother to possibly die from a vaccine? Then stop fighting us and join us in demanding that these medical products be properly tested and not injected willy nilly into humans in such a cavalier fashion. And by the way, start really researching whether these vaccines really work or are just a huge moneymaking machine. There were 100 cases a year of HIB meningitis before the vaccine and , guess what, still the same 100 cases a year after the vaccine. And a lot more than 100 cases of adverse reaction a year I’m sure. OH and one more thing, about those double blind placebo controlled studies, look really close. I can tell you for sure that for the new Gardasil vaccine, the placebo had the same boatload of Aluminum in it that the vaccine does. Think that was a real test study? I WISH I could believe as you do, but I have seen the greed and deceit first hand and I regret to inform you that vaccines are evil and buyer beware.

  7. “…recalled LIKE HIS PREVIOUS ROTATEQ VACCINE WAS. ”

    You do realize (well, apparantly not) that Dr. Offit had nothing to do with the previous rotavirus vaccine? It was called It is also worth noting that the name was “RotaShield”.

    However, that’s all small potatoes when you make statements like:

    “And by the way, start really researching whether these vaccines really work or are just a huge moneymaking machine.”

    They do work. Very well. Check statements by Dr. Poling on this. I believe he agreed that they are one of the greatest inventions.

    When people start questioning whether vaccines actually work, it is difficult to give them credibility. Sorry to put it so bluntly, Heidi. But, anyone who has done their homework on this knows that to be the case.

    Also, it makes it hard to claim that people are only “pro safe vaccines” or “anti-toxins”. It sounds very “anti-vaccine”.

  8. Terry Poling

    Well, well, well. Who exactly are you?

    Remind me to cancel Discover Kids and Discover magazine tomorrow. Just as soon as I complain to the editors about this blog!

  9. Heidi J

    Here read this article: new vaccines…money, money, money is all they care about. Not our children..and they vaccinate our food source. What effect does that have on our bodies?? “2000 times more potent” “cheaper to produce” MORE MONEY in their pockets..
    “”Every production bird in the world is required to be vaccinated”
    No mention of studies done on what vaccinating our food source does to US..

    Aug 07, 2008 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX)
    OTCPicks.com: OTCPicks.com Daily Market Movers Digest Midday Report for Thursday, August 7th MGRN, MEXP, MDIN, CLXN, VRG

    VIROGEN INCORPORATED (OTC: VRGI | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating) “Up 63.16% in morning trading”

    Detailed Quote: http://www.otcpicks.com/quotes/VRGI.php

    Virogen, Inc. is the developer and patent holder of a revolutionary vaccine to combat Newcastle disease, a deadly disease that kills chickens worldwide.

    VRGI News:

    August 6 – Virogen’s Distributor Signs Multi-Million Dollar Contracts

    Virogen, Inc. (OTC: VRGI | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating) announced that its distributor has signed contracts with the largest poultry producers in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Vaccine sales of two million in the first year and four to five million thereafter are projected based upon these contracts alone.

    While poultry vaccines are now available in the form of a spray or nasal inhalant, the product developed by Virogen is 2000 times more potent than those now on the market. It is injected directly into the chicken embryo and provides immunity up to ten weeks, with the average time to market being six weeks. The trend in protection of livestock is to administer vaccines in-ovo wherever possible, and the Virogen vaccine (inovo-immune) not only fulfills that preference, but is also far cheaper to produce, more effective, and far less expensive to the purchaser than conventional vaccines.

    Newcastle is a deadly disease which can decimate entire flocks should an outbreak occur. The most recent outbreak, which occurred in California in the 90s, cost the government over $300 million and the loss of hundreds of thousands of birds. Another outbreak occurred in Texas with similar results. Most outbreaks worldwide go unreported. Fully 85% of the worldwide market resides outside of the United States with Asia, South America, and the Middle East comprising the largest markets. The company has made the strategic decision to concentrate its resources on these world markets in order to maximize revenues and market penetration in the shortest possible time frames. These markets are experiencing rapid growth as protein consumption abroad is rising at a far more rapid rate than in the US domestic market.

    To position itself to reach the worldwide market, the company entered into a manufacturing agreement with Romvac, a company headquartered in Bucharest, Romania that has been manufacturing veterinary medicines since 1978. Romvac is an established, well respected manufacturer and meets the highest standards available for a certified distributor. Manufacturing within a European Union member country allows access to the EU market and allows the company to fast track registration of the vaccine in countries worldwide in the shortest possible time. This strategy has not only been cost effective, but has also shortened the commercialization to world markets by several years.

    Paul Hogan, CEO of Virogen, Inc., notes that “Every production bird in the world is required to be vaccinated, and since Virogen’s vaccine is the only in-ovo patent-protected product on the market, the company anticipates it will capture this exclusive market for several years. With approximately 45 billion birds being produced annually outside of the United States, and consumption growing by close to 30% per annum and expected to increase further, one can anticipate the revenue opportunity for this vaccine is in the tens of millions over the product life cycle.”

  10. In Kev’s defense, he’s from the UK, where “people are being hospitalised and dying again.” Measles has been declared pandemic in England and Wales. As of the end of May, there had been 461 confirmed measles cases in England and Wales and one measles death. There is no doubt that the large increase in measles cases in England and Wales (especially London) over the last few years is due to the drop in immunization rates after the “Wakefield scare.” There are also large ongoing outbreaks in Switzerland, Austria and Italy.

  11. Having found much to be concerned about in Discover Magazine’s article last year, “Understanding Autism-the answer may lie in the gut, not the head” (http://www.autismvox.com/it-is-what-it-is-autism-not-just-in-the-head/), this post is overdue; thanks.

    Many parents have invested a great deal of resources, time and emotion in this issue, and the emotions come clearly through in this exchange. I expect to see more.

  12. Darn. That reminds me. I forgot to bring my pet cockatoo to the vet to be vaccinated.

  13. Teresa

    “Reality Base is a blog about the interplay between science and politics, and the tricky tasks of letting each help the other without compromising them both.”

    Dear Melissa Lafsky -

    The autism-vaccine issues of the Poling case are not a political decision. Who put you up to posting the industry-friendly article above? Like Ms Amanda Peet, the puppets and their hidden puppeteers are crawling out of the woodwork.

    “The government isn’t doing the medical/scientific community any favors with the Poling case, and it could also be opening the floodgates for other parents of autistic kids to demand compensation.”

    That pretty much sums up what some attorneys for some big Pharm companies might like to say. And you also worked for the NYT too?

  14. Unaccepting of Autism

    Heidi — Right on about Mr. Kev Leech. He’s pro-vaccine and pro-autism. You know, accept them, love them, who gives a shit what happens to them when they’re 40 and their parents are dead and they end up in an institution?

    And Mr. Sullivan — contrary to what you and Dr. Poling believe (yeah, you’re probably thinking…”hold on, we don’t believe the same thing”) vaccines are not all that. My dear son, having been fully vaccinated, had a nice big case of the chicken pox not long ago. Oh yeah, the doctor called in “atypical”. That means he wasn’t supposed to get it cause he got the shot.

  15. Follow the Money

    The terribly hurt and offensive parents here may all be in line to get a big pay off from vaccine court or from civil litigation after their cases are heard in vaccine court. They are working overtime to keep this truly stupid idea alive. Ms. Poling has posted the truth about her daughter to a Yahoo! group and then panicked when she found that what she had posted was available for all to read. She knows that her daughter would have had an encephalopathy if Hannah had caught a case of measles or another infection (on top of the many infections and constant diarrhea Hannah had from food intolerances, reported by Ms. Poling to that Yahoo! group). Ms. Poling also made comments to that indicated that she had been listening to the antivaccine propagandists at the DAN! conferences that she began attending right after Hannah was diagnosed with whatever it was she was diagnosed with. I wouldn’t take Ms. Poling’s word for anything about her daughter because she gives conflicting accounts. Ms. Poling also reported that her husband was at that time considering becoming a DAN! doctor (this is the extreme quack organization that helped to kill that boy in Pennsylvania that Kendra is associated with). The doctor (Roy Kerry) did not mix up the drugs. He only used the kind that killed the boy. He didn’t have any of the “other kind” that he supposedly confused it with. It is the only kind he had in his office according to the court documents. He is a DAN! doctor in good standing. No doubt held in high esteem by Kendra. Ms. Poling and the rest of these people.

  16. Follow the Money

    Discover magazine did a great deal of harm to the autism community with their falsehood-filled article about autism and the gut. It would be good of Discover to print an article that shows where you went wrong in praising that woman Amy Yasko. She’s a fraud if there ever was one. She’s a huckster of the most extreme kind and you only added to her business. Martha Herbert may not be a fraud but they don’t come much more dimwitted and myth-loving than her. There hasn’t been an autism epidemic, for starters, there’s an article right there, people.

  17. Teresa

    Follow the money–

    Your comments are laughable. Maybe you should call yourself Aunt Bee–like a character from some small town gossiping about the neighbors.

    Andy called Goober, who reported that Gomer wasn’t at the gas station because Barney was eating all of the fried chicken.

    Do you know how crazy you sound? Did Discover magazine get bought out by MAD comic book?

  18. Follow the Money

    Teresa, have you read what Ms. Poling has posted to recoveredkids Yahoo! group?

    http://groups.yahoo(dot)com/group/RecoveredKids/message/5568
    http://groups.yahoo(dot)com/group/RecoveredKids/message/5267
    “Besides, vaccinating everybody is NEVER going to happen so……
    you have one child that has autism–if it was due to the vaccines or
    something in them, then its possible your next child could…..at the same
    time, whatever biological or genetic predisposition our children may have
    for reacting may also be the same for the disease itself. In otherwords,
    perhaps my daughter with multiple ear infections and 3 myringotomies, (prior
    to dietary changes etc), might not fare well contracting the measles virus.
    She might be the one with the encephalopathy from it. And, contrary to what
    people may say, measles can be very debillitating unlike chicken pox.”

    Her husband was going to be a DAN! doctor
    http://groups.yahoo(dot)com/group/RecoveredKids/message/4721

    Can you tell us how Dr. Bradstreet and his children are doing, Teresa?

  19. GrammaKnows

    Paul Offit needs to reveal just how much he DOESN’T know about vaccines – including the one that made him millions. One would think that a science magazine would ask him specific questions about his own testing protocols…such as why there was no mutagenic testing done on RotaTeq, why there was no testing of Rotateq when administered simultaneously with other vaccines, and what tests on mitochondrial impact were conducted so his claims to safety could be verified.

    This is an example of interviewers being starstruck by a piece of paper (Offit’s MD), and credential bought and paid for by a pharmaceutical manufacturer, not by actual substantive research.

    Remember the joke (which is apparently a joke on us all), What do you call someone who graduated at the bottom of their class at med school? Doctor…the same title one who accomplished learning 100% of the curriculum is bestowed upon someone who has only learned 60% – heaven help those who assume they are equal.

    In this case, Dr Poling is FAR more knowledgeable than Dr (and I use the title loosely) Offit.

  20. Kev

    “Kev, you are the most annoying type of pro-vaccine blogger. Show me the numbers. What vaccine preventable diseases and what humans died? There are 127 cases of measles recorded this year so far in the US and no body died.”

    Far be it from me to remind you that neither autism nor vaccine preventable diseases are the sole province of the USA. I’m from the UK where two people have died from measles in the last two years.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4871728.stm
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2166778/Teenager-dies-of-measles-as-cases-continue-to-rise,-Government-officials-say.html

    There is a world beyond the borders of the US Heidi. I would again suggest that people such as yourself gained some perspective.

    “You know, accept them, love them, who gives a shit what happens to them when they’re 40 and their parents are dead and they end up in an institution?”

    Huh?

  21. Mike

    The following symptoms are used to diagnose what
    disorder?

    Symptoms: seizures, loss of skills, gi tract problems,
    developmental delay, neuropathy, muscle weakness,
    endocrine imbalances,hearing and vision problems.

    a) Autism
    b) PDD-NOS
    c) Asperger’s syndrome
    d) Mitochondrial disease

    answer: d

    source: Mitochondrial disease criteria, diagnostic
    applications in children. Neurology 2006;67:1823-1826

    Anyone with autism have any (all) of these symptoms? Rare my a**!

  22. Mike

    Speaking of aluminum, this study shows that injecting mice with 100 ug al/per liter blood causes neuron death. Lets see, a two month old infant gets 1,250 ug of al. Added to a 0.50 liter of blood which is what an infant has , this would put the level 25 times higher than what the mice got. If alumuinm can cause Gulf War Syndrome in a healthy, combat ready, adult soldier, what is it doing to newborns and infants?

    Petrik MS, Wong MC, Tabata RC, Garry RF, Shaw CA. Aluminum [vaccine]
    adjuvant linked to gulf war illness induces motor neuron death in
    mice. Neuromolecular Med. 2007;9(1):83-100.

  23. Joseph

    “Secondly, autism is not necessarily incurable. Hundreds of children have completely recovered from autism and are no longer distinguishable from their neuro-typical peers.
    A large number of parents of autistic children have studied the science for years. ”

    I guess you’re referring to parents other than yourself. I say that because anyone who has studied the scientific literature on autism knows that successful outcomes are not particularly surprising, and this has been the case always. See, for example, Kanner (1972).

    In recent times autism is being diagnosed quite early. At the age of 2 an autism diagnosis is notoriously unstable, so there will naturally be more children who lose the label. See, for example, Kleinman et al. (2007).

  24. Joseph

    “Heidi — Right on about Mr. Kev Leech. He’s pro-vaccine and pro-autism. You know, accept them, love them, who gives a shit what happens to them when they’re 40 and their parents are dead and they end up in an institution?”

    @Unaccepting of Autism: I have never heard Kev say that he doesn’t care where his daughter ends up at 40. I think you’re misrepresenting him. I would imagine Kev is very much interested, as am I, in research on successful outcomes. Unfortunately, much effort and funding these days goes to dead end hypotheses such as vaccine causation, which have not produced any demonstrable results in a decade.

  25. Kev

    Quite right Joseph – unfortunately I have a comment spam trapped due to providing links to Heidi. Thanks for sticking up for me.

  26. Kev

    “Anyone with autism have any (all) of these symptoms? Rare my a**!”

    Hi Mike, could you provide us with peer reviewed data to prove your assertion these traits exist in the autistic population beyond ‘rare’?

  27. jeff belloni

    Mercury is a known neurotoxin, Aluminum is a heavy metal…both are present in vaccines. Until somebody admits this we won’t get anywhere.

  28. isles

    LOL! It’s not an antivaxer party until somebody says aluminum is a heavy metal!

  29. JoAnn

    Oh dear Gulf War Syndrome caused by the Anthrax vaccine. Don’t forget to get your Anthrax shots. If a vaccination can cause sickness in adults does that mean vaccinations might cause sickness in children??? Remember a full one third of all the military from the first Gulf War have Gulf War Syndrome. (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines)

    A 2001 memorandum from former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove to then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz indicates that the White House knew of problems relating to the Gulf War Syndrome and the military’s controversial anthrax vaccine.

    The Pentagon’s anthrax vaccine is manufactured by a single contractor, Emergent BioSolutions. It has been plagued with complaints from soldiers and soldiers’ advocates, who assert that the vaccine causes myriad debilitating ailments.

    Despite repeatedly maintaining it is safe, documents obtained by Raw Story last year showed that the Pentagon and medical military personnel have known since at least 1998 that there are genetic triggers between illnesses and some required immunizations. They also revealed the military knew and did not implement routine pre-screening which could help reduce vaccine-related illnesses.

  30. jeff belloni

    so its not a “heavy metal” i still don’t want it in my kids vaccine..smart ass

  31. Terry Poling

    I read my prior posts. What exactly is the problem “follow the money.” Or is that, Autism diva?
    Terry Poling

  32. It’s important for readers to understand why there are aluminum salts in some (but not all) vaccines. It’s difficult to explain this in a sound bite, but the following are some excerpts from the the National Network for Immunization Information at http://www.immunizationinfo.org/vaccine_components_detail.cfv?id=61.

    “Some vaccines contain chemicals called adjuvants to help stimulate the production of immunity against the vaccine ingredients, making the vaccine more effective. The word ‘adjuvant’ is derived from the Latin word ‘adjuvare’ which means ‘to help’. Adjuvants serve to: (1) bring the antigen—the substance that stimulates the specific protective immune response—into contact with the immune system and influence the type of immunity produced, as well as the quality of the immune response (magnitude or duration); (2) decrease the toxicity of certain antigens; and (3) provide solubility to some vaccines components. Studies have shown that many aluminum salt-containing vaccines cause higher and more prolonged antibody responses than comparable vaccines without the adjuvant.”

    “Aluminum is a very abundant element in our environment. It is in many foods we eat, many personal hygiene products we apply to our skin (deodorants, for example), and many medicines we ingest. Thus, all infants are exposed to aluminum in the environment. Breast milk, for example, contains approximately 40 micrograms of aluminum per liter, and infant formulas contain an average of approximately 225 micrograms of aluminum per liter.”

    “Various government agencies establish guidelines for exposure to potentially toxic substances. These guidelines are called “minimal risk levels” —the maximum amount that one can be exposed to over time-usually on a daily basis-without expected harm. The US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) estimated these levels for infants taking into account the amount of aluminum a child would eat as well as receive by injection of vaccines. The body burden of aluminum from both sources is below the minimal risk level except transiently following vaccinations; since 50-70% of injected aluminum is excreted within 24 hours, this is has been calculated to have no negative effect. (Keith LS, Jones DE, and Chou C-HSJ (2002). Aluminum toxicokinetics regarding infant diet and vaccinations. Vaccine, 20: S13-17)”

    “Aluminum salt-containing vaccines have more than a 75 year record of safety around the world. Serious adverse effects attributable to the aluminum salt adjuvants are rare. However, local reactions such as redness, swelling and/or tenderness at the injection site are not infrequent. More severe local reactions such as large areas of swelling, sterile abscesses, subcutaneous (SC) nodules (small lumps under the skin some of which have inflammation in the tissue), and allergic responses are much less common.”

    “A recent review of the evidence of adverse events after exposure to aluminium salt-containing vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP), found no evidence that aluminum salts cause any serious or long-lasting adverse events. (Jefferson T, Rudin M, and Di Pietrantonj C (2004). Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 4(2):84-90)”

    I encourage you to read the entire article at National Network for Immunization Information link above.

  33. Teresa

    follow the money-

    Your point? I think Terry Poling’s comments were accurate and very helpful but how sad that you creepily search the internet to try and use things against us. If you want gossip about Bradstreet or anyone else, go ask AutismNewsBeat and his alter egos–what’s that, you are him??? Actually, you spell better.

  34. Teresa

    Joseph-

    Since we are talking regression and not death via aluminum (or thimerosal,) your sound bite from National Network for Immunization Information just does little to reassure..or not, the actions of aluminum:

    Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2005 Oct-Dec;18(4):683-9.
    Aluminum impairs rat neural cell mitochondria in vitro.
    Niu PY, Niu Q, Zhang QL, Wang LP, He SE, Wu TC, Conti P, Di Gioacchino M, Boscolo P.Institute of Occupational Medicine, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, P. R.China.Exposure to aluminum has been reported to lead to neurotoxicity. Mitochondria are important organelles involved in maintaining cell function. This study investigates the effect of aluminum on mitochondria in rat neural cells. The ultrastructure of mitochondria was observed, and the cell death rate (CDR), reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and 3-[4,5demethyl-2-thiazalyl]-2,-5diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) were measured to investigate the effect of aluminum on the mitochondrial structure and its function in neural cells. Results observed from the mitochondrial ultrastructure show that aluminum may impair the mitochondrial membrane and cristae. Increased CDR, enhanced ROS, decreased MMP, and decreased enzyme activity in mitochondria were observed in the Al-exposed neurons (100 500 microM). The present study demonstrates that alteration in the mitochondrial structure and function plays an important role in neurotoxic mechanisms induced by aluminum. J Cell Biochem. 2004 Dec 15;93(6):1267-71.
    Aluminum decreases the glutathione regeneration by the inhibition of NADP-isocitrate dehydrogenase in mitochondria.
    Murakami K, Yoshino M.Department of Biochemistry, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, Nagakute, Aichi 480-1195, Japan.Effect of aluminum on the NADPH supply and glutathione regeneration in mitochondria was analyzed. Reduced glutathione acted as a principal scavenger of reactive oxygen species in mitochondria. Aluminum inhibited the regeneration of glutathione from the oxidized form, and the effect was due to the inhibition of NADP-isocitrate dehydrogenase the only enzyme supplying NADPH in mitochondria. In cytosol, aluminum inhibited the glutathione regeneration dependent on NADPH supply by malic enzyme and NADP-isocitrate dehydrogenase, but did not affect the glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase dependent glutathione formation. Aluminum can cause oxidative damage on cellular biological processes by inhibiting glutathione regeneration through the inhibition of NADPH supply in mitochondria, but only a little inhibitory effect on the glutathione generation in cytosol.
    Arch Toxicol. 2004 Oct;78(10):565-74.
    Mitochondrial viability and apoptosis induced by aluminum, mercuric mercury and methylmercury in cell lines of neural origin.
    Toimela T, Tähti H.Medical School, Cell Research Center, University of Tampere, 33014 University of Tampere, Finland. Tarja.Toimela@uta.fi.Mercury and aluminum are considered to be neurotoxic metals, and they are often connected with the onset of neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, mercuric mercury, methylmercury and aluminum were studied in three different cell lines of neural origin. To evaluate the effects, mitochondrial cytotoxicity and apoptosis induced by the metals were measured after various incubation times. SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma, U 373MG glioblastoma, and RPE D407 retinal pigment epithelial cells were subcultured to appropriate cell culture plates and 0.01-1,000 microM concentrations of methylmercury, mercuric and aluminum chloride were added into the growth medium. In the assay measuring the mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity, WST-1, the cultures were exposed for 15 min, 24 or 48 h before measurement. Cells were allowed to recover from the exposure in part of the study. Apoptosis induced by the metals was measured after 6-, 24- and 48-h exposure times with the determination of activated caspase 3 enzyme. Mitochondrial assays showed a clear dose-response and exposure time-response to the metals. The most toxic was methylmercury (EC50 ~0.8 microM, 48 h), and the most sensitive cell line was the neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. Furthermore, there was marked mitochondrial activation, especially in connection with aluminum and methylmercury at low concentrations. This activation may be important during the initiation of cellular processes. All the metals tested induced apoptosis, but with a different time-course and cell-line specificity. In microscopic photographs, glioblastoma cells formed fibrillary tangles, and neuroblastoma cells settled along the fibrilles in cocultures of glial and neuronal cell lines during aluminum exposure. The study emphasized the toxicity of methylmercury to neural cells and showed that aluminum alters various cellular activities.
    J Inorg Biochem. 2003 Sep 15;97(1):151-4.
    Intracellular mechanisms underlying aluminum-induced apoptosis in rabbit brain.
    Savory J, Herman MM, Ghribi O.Department of Pathology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA. jsr2@virginia.eduLoss of neurons is a hallmark of neurodegenerative disorders and there is increasing evidence suggesting that apoptosis is a key mechanism by which neurons die in these diseases. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in this process of neuronal cell death, but there is a growing body of evidence suggesting also an active role for the endoplasmic reticulum in regulating apoptosis, either independent of mitochondria, or in concert with mitochondrial-initiated pathways. Investigations in our laboratory have focused on neuronal injury resulting from the administration of aluminum maltolate, via the intracisternal route, to New Zealand white rabbits. This treatment induces both mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Agents such as lithium or glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) have the ability to prevent aluminum-induced neuronal death by interfering with the mitochondrial and/or the endoplasmic reticulum-mediated apoptosis cascade. Cytochrome c release from mitochondria and binding to Apaf-1 initiates the aluminum-induced apoptosis cascade; this is prevented by lithium treatment. GDNF also protects against aluminum-induced apoptosis but by upregulation of Bcl-X(L), thereby preventing the binding of cytochrome c to Apaf-1. This animal model system involving neurotoxicity induced by an aluminum compound provides new information on mechanisms of neurodegeneration and neuroprotection.

  35. jeff belloni said he wanted aluminum out of vaccines. I used the quotes from the National Network for Immunization Information to explain some of the benefits and risks of aluminum salts in vaccines. I made no mention of death, since there has never been any mortality risk associted with the amount of aluminum salts in vaccines.

    Teresa, Your third reference is completely irrelevant to this discussion, since there has never been methylmercury in vaccines.

    Jeff, I’m trying to help you make an informed decision here. As I pointed out above, aluminum is a very abundant element in our environment. It is in many foods we eat and in the water we drink. Breast milk contains approximately 40 micrograms of aluminum per liter, and infant formulas contain an average of approximately 225 micrograms of aluminum per liter.

    Jeff, if you are avoiding immunization for your kids because there are aluminum salts in vaccines, I have some other safety advice for you, because statistics have shown these activities to be significantly more dangerous. Never take your kids to a playground. Never drive your kids even a block away from home, even with the best, safest car seats. Lastly: when you bathe your children, make sure they wear motorcycle helmets.

  36. Heidi

    Damn! It is always a mistake to engage in these debates because nothing we write is going to change the minds of the people who believe that the risk is outweighed by the benefit from vaccines. These pro-vaxxers have no compromise in them. They think more vaccines are better. They don’t believe anyone got poisoned by Thimerosal. Maybe they are all being paid by the Pharmafia to say these things, who knows? The vaccine program is not working. If 3 out of 4 ebayers that came to my house for pickup of their purchase, random encounters over the course of a year from the internet, that all DON’T have a child with autism, all saw a vaccine choice sign and told me they don’t vaccinate their kids, well, that means that the vaccine program is not working. When my son needed dental surgery I had to have an argument with the pediatrician over getting a tetanus shot. She KNOWS my son has a chronic immune deficiency and she wants to stress his immune system because he was having a tooth extracted in an operating room setting? “will there be horse poop and rust on those surgical instruments?” I asked her. In my mind, she was pushing a medical procedure that had a good chance of hurting my son over a non existant risk. Why can’t things be done to compromise with the public in order to try to make the schedule safer? Because the Pharmafia doesn’t want to lose any potential sales. Why can’t they UNbundle the DTaP and stop giving the Diptheria shot? Why can’t Pertussis work by itself? (I have heard it doesn’t) So you stress the immune system 3 times as badly just to protect from Pertussis? For the love of Prada, Pharma can’t figure out an antibiotic to treat Pertussis into just another bronchitis? There is a new irony for you. How can you trust a program that gave the oral Polio vaccine for years and years when the Inactivated one was available and the oral vaccine gave however many small children polio? Would you still feel the same way Kev if that was your son? all paralyzed for life? by a vaccine? We all understand there is a Risk/Benefit ratio just like most things in life but there is absolutely no confidence level that the Risk is worth it. 15 year old girls are suffering horrible muscle pain, developing vascular disease, being paralyzed with Guillain Barre and dropping dead on the gym floor and for what? And the flu vaccine. Untested. and chock full of mercury. And only 24 more days before 2 doses are forced on 6 month olds in NJ. How can you not want to scream? I can only guess that you still have your immortality complex from your twenties and don’t really care about humanity in general. I’m done here, you’re not changing my mind and clearly I’m not affecting your view either. I’m just going to keep trying to change the vaccine program.

  37. Teresa

    Epi Wonk Says:
    “Teresa, Your third reference is completely irrelevant to this discussion, since there has never been methylmercury in vaccines.”

    Epi, I do know that but if you read the entire study you would understand “the point”:

    “Furthermore, there was marked mitochondrial activation, especially in connection with aluminum and methylmercury at low concentrations. This activation may be important during the initiation of cellular processes.
    All the metals tested induced apoptosis, but with a different time-course and cell-line specificity.”
    also-you didn’t mention the other studies that clearly show how toxic aluminum is especially to mitochondria.

  38. Like most things connected with vaccination, there is science and objective measurement on the one hand, and there is raving pseudoscience on the other hand. The objective means of measuring whether “the vaccine program is working” is the National Immunization Survey (NIS), a stratified random sample that is representative of the U.S. population. According to the lastest results from the NIS, 80.4 percent of children ages 19–35 months had received the recommended combined five-vaccine series (the 4:3:1:3:3 combined series of 4 (or more) doses of diphtheria, tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccines, diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, and diphtheria, tetanus toxoids and any acellular pertussis vaccine (DTP/DT/DTaP); 3 (or more) doses of poliovirus vaccine; 1 (or more) doses of any measles-containing vaccine; 3 (or more) doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine; and 3 (or more) doses of hepatitis B vaccine).

    The last reported period of measurement for the NIS ended in June 2007. I don’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the 4:3:1:3:3 combined series vaccination rate of 80.4 percent has deceased since then. I have to admit (with distress) that Jenny McCarthy is a more attractive spokesperson than Paul Offit.

    Incidentally, I wonder if it’s possible to refrain from ad hominem attacks and wild guesses about people’s motives in the rest of this discussion.

  39. Schwartz

    EpiWonk,

    You write a bit like Dr. Novella. I’m not an expert but… Is that caveat supposed to excuse inaccuracies?

    You should review the studies you decide to hold up as examples of safety studies of concomittant use that Dr. Offit refers to when addressing Dr. Poling’s concern.

    The first one you referenced was a comparison between two different vaccines concommitantly applied with HiB. That’s a great example of the noise that Dr. Offit and now you supply as evidence. A proper safety study on the concomitant use of vaccines would compare a concomitant application with non-concomitant application, not two different concomitant applications.

    Additionally, did you see the sample size? 800 healthy children. If you read Dr. Poling’s letter, he is stating that we’re looking for subgroups of susceptible children. I hardly see how 800 children who all receive concommitant vaccine application applies as an example? Read it more carefully and you’ll find that the primary objective: “The primary objective was to demonstrate noninferiority of DTaP-IPV(Vero) to DTaP-IPV(Mkc) as regards immunological protection against polio virus types 1, 2 and 3.Furthermore, the immunogenicity of all vaccine antigens and the safety profile of the vaccines were assessed.” No suprise the safety of concommitant vaccination was not an objective. Oh, and it concludes it’s safe for healthy children. So much for susceptible children.

    Let’s move on to the second one:
    “This randomized trial compares safety and immunogenicity when vaccinating infants with a pneumococcal-meningococcal conjugate vaccine in two doses vs. three doses. ”

    That doesn’t seem to qualify either, since they don’t even mention concommitant vaccination with other vaccines. Certainly, the objective doesn’t seem to be to study the safety of concomitant application of vaccines. How does a sample size of 223 help us finding subgroups of susceptible children? Given the abstract’s conclusions, it appears pretty clear that the primary objective was to measure immunogenicity and that safety was just observed.

    Additionally, these both look and sound very much like post-approval trials, but I can’t be sure.

    If we do a bit of research on Health Canada’s site (which uses FDA studies as proxy) we find: “Thus, ongoing post-marketing studies of vaccine safety and effectiveness are essential, not only to gather data on new vaccines but also to monitor existing vaccines for any change in the frequency of known events that might occur if newly released vaccine lots do not perform as expected. Post-marketing data help to refine the benefit-risk assessment of a given vaccine as well as add to key information regarding contraindications, warnings and concomitant use with other vaccines.”

    This pretty much confirms that primary safety studies on concomitant use occur POST-approval (contrary to Dr. Offit’s claim). Additionally, I’m sure you’re aware of how often big Pharma follows up on post-marketing trials since they are not compulsary? You should probably read “FDA’s Monitoring of Postmarketing Study Commitments” by the inspector general. FDA cannot readily identify whether or how timely postmarketing study commitments are progressing toward completion: In 2004 35% of the ASRs were missing or incomplete and the FDA doesn’t put much priority on these trials. You should check out how many are on schedule or actually completed?

    If these are typically the only trials that look at safety when applying concommitant vaccines, and the FDA doesn’t treat them as a priority, that’s pretty consistent with what Dr. Poling is saying, and not very consistent with Dr. Offit.

    Look at Dr. Offit’s own Rotateq pre-approval trials. The Merck circular doesn’t list ANY safety results from the trials regarding concommitant use. Concomitant immunogenicity was studied of course.

    You said: “It seems that Kendra has been looking in the wrong places for six years.” That’s pretty insulting for someone giving such a poor example of evidence. Funny how the devil is always in the details.

  40. Epi Wonk

    Schwartz,
    We can’t go on meeting like this. People might think that I post comments on the blogosphere just so you can show off.

  41. Schwartz,

    Seriously:
    First, I should apologize to Kendra, which I do.

    Second, despite Heidi’s protestations to the contrary, I’m pretty open-minded to evidence. My “I’m by no means an expert on vaccine science” statement left the possibility open that somebody more knowledgeable about these types of studies (like you) might come along and correct me. Now I’ve actually learned something from your comment.

    The same thing goes for Teresa’s citations of studies of animal models of mitochondrial dysfunction. I can’t knowledgeably respond to her last comment until I actually read those studies, but I’ll try to make time for reading them.

    Does that mean I’ve suddenly become an anti-vaccinationist? Far from it. Does it mean I’m now much more skeptical when someone makes a statement about concomitant use without a citation? Obviously.

    Such is the nature of rational scientific exchange. For which I thank you.

  42. Kev

    “Maybe they are all being paid by the Pharmafia to say these things, who knows?”

    Pharmafia – good one. I’ll add that to my collection of really dumb things people have said.

  43. Kev

    “Incidentally, I wonder if it’s possible to refrain from ad hominem attacks and wild guesses about people’s motives in the rest of this discussion.”

    You’ll find it isn’t :)

    Schwartz – Hi :)

    “f you read Dr. Poling’s letter, he is stating that we’re looking for subgroups of susceptible children.”

    That may well be what he is looking for, is there any peer reviewed evidence to suggest that he should?

    And if he is, what happened to the ‘autism tsunami’….the ‘autism epidemic’…?

    “If these are typically the only trials that look at safety when applying concommitant vaccines, and the FDA doesn’t treat them as a priority, that’s pretty consistent with what Dr. Poling is saying, and not very consistent with Dr. Offit.”

    If indeed….do you have any evidence to suggest that actually is the case?

  44. ricky

    While it is horribly unfortunate that some people are severely immune-compromised (whatever the cause), are we sure that we should vaccinate millions to avoid two deaths by immune-compromised individuals in the UK?

    And if two immune-compromised people die of influenza, which they almost certainly have, then should flu vax be mandatory? Maybe we should insist that many more vaxes be used, even if they save one life per several million doses. How many people should we be required to treat to save one life?

  45. Kev

    “While it is horribly unfortunate that some people are severely immune-compromised (whatever the cause), are we sure that we should vaccinate millions to avoid two deaths by immune-compromised individuals in the UK?”

    Measles deaths worldwide are numbered at over half a million in 2005. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2005/pr11/en/index.html

    I’ll say it for a third time. Perspective. Get some.

  46. Kev

    Excuse me, 2003.

  47. Schwartz

    EpiWonk,

    “Does that mean I’ve suddenly become an anti-vaccinationist? Far from it. Does it mean I’m now much more skeptical when someone makes a statement about concomitant use without a citation? Obviously.

    Such is the nature of rational scientific exchange. For which I thank you.”

    Thank you. Sorry about the tone, it was late and I was feeling overly sarcastic.

  48. Schwartz

    Hi Kev,

    “That may well be what he is looking for, is there any peer reviewed evidence to suggest that he should?”

    Yep, his own case study along with the other evidence he referenced in the letter.

    “And if he is, what happened to the ‘autism tsunami’….the ‘autism epidemic’…?”

    Definition of Epidemic: “Defining an epidemic can be subjective, depending in part on what is “expected”. An epidemic may be restricted to one locale (an outbreak), more general (an “epidemic”) or even global (pandemic). Because it is based on what is “expected” or thought normal, a few cases of a very rare disease like rabies may be classified as an “epidemic,” while many cases of a common disease (like the common cold) would not.”

    Apparently, the rate is higher than expected, but then, I didn’t use the term epidemic, let alone tsunami. You’ll note that I usually follow Joseph’s writing on the topic of prevalence with great interest and I attribute a fair bit of weight to his arguments.

    “If indeed….do you have any evidence to suggest that actually is the case?”

    The quote from Health Canada (since they use FDA trials as proxy) describes pretty clearly that concommitant safety trials are typically post-approval trials. Dr. Offit’s own clinical trials also appear consistent with my statement, despite his claims that these studies are required for approval. In the Rotateq case, that does not appear to be the case. I have yet to see an example of a pre-approval vaccine clinical trial that was designed to test the safety of concommitant vaccine application vs staggered.

    Shame that Dr. Offit doesn’t back it up that statement with references, because his own vaccine approval trials don’t appear to fit the bill.

  49. ricky

    I wasn’t talking about worldwide measles deaths and since you mentioned 2 deaths in the UK from measles, so I thought that was what you were speaking about as well. I was asking how many people must be vaxed in order to save one life in the UK.

    So my perspective was that you’re raising concerns about measles deaths, and I’m pointing out that the people who died were immune-compromised. You didn’t say anything that shifted my perspective.

    Certainly it takes a lot more than exposure to a pathogen in order to clinically have a disease or illness. Offit even writes about an incident in 1955 where polio vax that was supposed to be killed was subject to manufacturing error and live virus was shipped and administered instead to 200,000 people. 40,000 of which actually got ill (20%), 200 of which (so .1%) had permanent paralysis and 10 died. And this was from being actively injected/infected with live polio. This very direct exposure resulted in surprisingly little illness and mortality. So presumably there are other factors involved in these diseases, and I am not sure that even if there is a lot of measles in one part of the world that it necessarily benefits everyone elsewhere in the world to be vaccinated when we don’t know what the co-factors of measles morbidity and mortality are.

    Naturally it is wonderful if measles deaths in Africa are dropping due to vaxing. But I don’t think that we know that this means that it is important to vax everywhere. Aren’t uptake rates of vax (esp MMR) in the UK supposed to be below the rate at which herd immunity is supposed to work? And with this there are still only two deaths, and both in compromised individuals?

  50. ricky

    Uh, forgive my brazenness, but I don’t believe you actually *know* what would have happened if vax take up rates were higher in the UK – that’s just a little theoretical musing; you imagine that it would have gone the way you liked. In actuality the individuals in question were relative rarities and no one can know what would have happened.

    It’s not that I think the world is only as big as the UK, of course I never made such a claim – I’m saying stick to the claim you were making and don’t run away from defending it by changing its substance. You were the one who quoted the UK death rates. You said that there were 2 measles deaths in the UK, I pointed out that both of those were special cases, at which point you were suddenly discussing measles deaths in the rest of the world. If every single person in Angola (for example), is imune to measles or is dying of it, how does that affect the two people in the UK dying of measles – that is what I am asking.

    Why the jump from discussing UK measles deaths to measles deaths in the world? I suspect you wanted to say that measles deaths are not just occurring in the third world, but are occurring right here, but when it turns out that these people were taking azathioprine, you don’t want to acknowledge that these cases may have had nothing to do with surging measles deaths, but were cases of people who are at risk from every infectious agent.

  51. Bundy

    Melissa,

    You obviously have brought out the militias on this post, good job! I have a question about Offit’s decisive “concise blow” though.

    Offit says, “Poling claims that I didn’t have access to his daughter’s medical records. My information was based on a verbatim transcript of the DHHS concession”

    How did Offit obtain this document or any other document on the case? I cannot find any reference to it except from David Kirby, and that was a leaked (probably illegal) copy.

    Offit might have some trouble coming his way if he 1) somehow obtain access to sealed court documents or 2) used an illegal leaked document in the New England Journal.

    Maybe I’m wrong and their out there in the public domain–does anybody have access to these court documents? I would like to see them.

  52. Portuguese study which (if I recall) suggests a mito prevalence of 4%.

    That study discusses a group of children very much unlike Hannah Poling. Only one is noted as having gone through regression, for example.

    Even amongst the children like Hannah Poling, those in the study that will be published sometime in the near future, Hannah Poling stands out as the one case were there appears to be vaccine injury. One other child is noted to have a regression within a week of vaccination, and the rest (28) had regressions free and clear of vaccinations.

    It seems to be often implied that “mitochondrial disorders” and “autism” is an indication of vaccine injury. It is not.

  53. TO ALL NON BELIEVERS OUT THERE:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/new-research-shows-one-200/story.aspx?guid=%7B2F796147-29A1-481B-9AAE-212134C83DAE%7D&dist=hppr

    Today, the United Mitochondrial Foundation released findings that 1 in 200 children may have mitochondrial disorder.

    That says it all.

    I don’t think my kids care if you call it “autism” or “autism-like” symptoms.

    Idiots.

  54. Offit might have some trouble coming his way if he 1) somehow obtain access to sealed court documents or 2) used an illegal leaked document in the New England Journal.

    Maybe I’m wrong and their out there in the public domain–does anybody have access to these court documents? I would like to see them.

    When Mr Kirby posted the concession document to his blog, he put them in the public domain.

    The Court has noted that the Polings request to make that document, and another report from the DHHS, public is “moot” since (a) Mr. Kirby quoted most of the first one on his blog and (b) reported details of the second in a piece on the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

    If any illegal acts were committed, they have not been by people using the information that Mr. Kirby put in the public domain.

  55. Cindy stated:

    Today, the United Mitochondrial Foundation released findings that 1 in 200 children may have mitochondrial disorder.

    Which is not accurate at all. The first sentence of the link is:

    The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) today announced landmark research finding that one in every 200 people has a DNA mutation that could potentially cause a mitochondrial disease in them or their offspring.

    “could potentially cause” is not the same thing as “may have mitochondrial disorder”.

    Also, only a fraction of people with mitochondrial disorder do not have autism or even autistic features.

    This is exactly the sort of misimpression I was discussing above.

  56. Also, only a fraction of people with mitochondrial disorder do not have autism or even autistic features.

    Sorry for the confusing statement–meant to say, “only a fraction of people with mitochondrial disorders have autsim or even autistic features”

  57. Y’all are deluding yourself. We all know that vaccines are just a tool of the CIA to inject people with nano-microphones and nano-radio transmitters. I know because I see them watching me all the time, those sneaky jerks.

    (and that was still more rational that the antivaxers)

  58. Schwartz

    Kev,

    “Does his own case study suggest evidence? I don’t think so.”

    From the abstract: “These data suggest that further metabolic evaluation is indicated in autistic patients and that defects of oxidative phosphorylation might be prevalent.”

    From the Portugese study: “A diversity of associated medical conditions was documented in 20%, with an unexpectedly high rate of mitochondrial respiratory chain disorders.”

    Poling’s case study referenced this among others: “Mitochondrial dysfunction in patients with hypotonia, epilepsy, autism, and developmental delay: HEADD syndrome.”

    So yes, there are several indications that further investigation is merited. His case study both discusses and references the evidence.

    “It stands to reason that if we’re only looking for ‘vaccine induced autism’ in these very very small populations, it can hardly qualify as an epidemic in the way it was described as being.

    Small being a relative term. When a small percentage is applied to EVERY child, the number can still be quite large. If that number is large the use of the term epidemic is pretty irrelevant to the safety discussion.

    “OK, but once we move past thinking that there might be something and stop using ‘if’ ‘might’ ‘appear to be’ is there anything to allow us to use ‘is’?”

    Dr. Offit made a statement of fact to contradict Dr. Poling’s statement. Since it’s not customary to prove a negative (since it can’t really be done), I would think Dr. Offit would provide some evidence to back it up. None was provided. Evidence to the contrary has been provided. No evidence to support his assertion is available. If you think that immunogenicity trials for concommitant medication meet the letter of his argument, then his argument falls away as it doesn’t counter Dr. Poling’s statement.

  59. Schwartz

    Sullivan,

    “If any illegal acts were committed, they have not been by people using the information that Mr. Kirby put in the public domain.”

    As Kev pointed out “If” doesn’t help us much. I haven’t seen anyone charged yet, so it’s pure speculation as to who leaked the document.

  60. Schwartz

    Sullivan,

    The portugese study isn’t being used to show that vaccines cause Autism. It is being used to show that children with Autism have a “high frequency of mitochondrial dysfunction”. Why are you looking for vaccine damage in the study?

  61. Alex G.

    As the parent of an autistic child my wife and I found it very easy to jump to the conclusion that vaccinations caused our sons disablility. I have always been an analytical thinker and a skeptic, but once your emotionaly invested in something it’s easy to lose your objectivity. The new study will hopefully put to rest this issue. Based on the data that I’ve seen so far, autism is largly genetic. My family is one example. I have an autistic son with moderately to servere autism, another son with moderate ADHD, my 25 month old still is not speaking, I have light to moderate ADHD, my brother has a daughter with moderate to severe autism, his son has speach delay, my mothers side of the family: I have 2 uncles and 1 aunte with Schizafrania, my grandfather suffered from schizafrania also. Recently I have come to find out that two more of my moms brothers have been diagnosed with ADHD and bi-polar having never been diagnosed as children. I am not one to easily slap labels on things like doctors have been doing lately but in the cases of my imediate family these diagnoses are very robust. We must have a delicate brain chemistry:-)
    More and more families are poping up like mine now that doctors/people are more informed. Having said that. I’d like to type in all caps if I may and just express this simple logic.

    LESS VACCINES + MORE ILLEGAL IMAGRATION = A BIG PROBLEM.

  62. Can you please provide more details on this?

  63. Can you provide more details on this?

  64. Do you really think so? Maybe you are right but I have my doubts. Amateur Blog

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When he has put the cat out and locked up the office for the night, he just relapses into a state of coma from which he emerges only to start being a Captain of Industry again.|As one retiring chief executive said to his successor “Yesterday was the last day you heard the truth from your subordinates.”|Barbaric accuracy – whimpering humility.|Benefits should be granted little by little, so that they may be better enjoyed.|Big business is basic to the very life of this country; and yet many -perhaps most – Americans have a deep-seated fear and an emotional repugnance to it. Here is monumental contradiction.|Business is a combination of war and sport.|Business is more exciting than any game.|Business is really more agreeable than pleasure; it interests the whole mind . . . more deeply. But it does not look as if it did.|Business? It’s quite simple. It’s other people’s money.|By pursuing his own interest (the individual) frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.|Capital is past savings accumulated for future production.|Capitalism in the United States has undergone profound modification, not just under the New Deal but through a consensus that continued to grow after the New Deal. Government in the U.S. today is a senior partner in every business in the country.|Chaplin is no businessman – all he knows is that he can’t take anything less.|Christmas is over, and Business is Business.|Commerce is greedy. Ideology is blood-thirsty.|Competition means decentralized planning by many separate persons.|Condoms aren’t completely safe. A friend of mine was wearing one . . . and got hit by a bus.|Corporations cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicated, for they have no souls.|Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behaviour that is often considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.|Don’t gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.|Enjoy life. Think of all the women who passed up dessert on the Titanic.|Entrepreneurship is the last refuge of the trouble-making individual.|Everybody should believe in something; I believe I’ll have another drink.|Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work.|Expansion means complexity and complexity decay.|Expenditure rises to meet income.|Few great men could pass Personnel.|Few have heard of Fra Luca Parioli, the inventor of double-entry bookkeeping, but he has probably had more influence on human life than has Dante or Michelangelo.|Going to work for a large company is like getting on a train. Are you going sixty miles an hour or is the train going sixty miles an hour and you’re just sitting still?|Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris.|Good management consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.|Gray hair is God’s graffiti.|Gross National Product is our Holy Grail.|Had there been a computer a hundred years ago, it would probably have predicted that by now there would be so many horse-drawn vehicles it would be impossible to clear up all the manure.|I am a Millionaire. That is my religion.|I can’t believe that out of a hundred thousand sperm, you were the quickest.|I don’t believe in just ordering people to do things. You have to sort of grab an oar and row with them.|I hope you live to be as old as your jokes.|I know lots more old drunks than old doctors.|I lived in Miami for a while, in a section with a lot of really old people. The average age in my apartment house was dead.|I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business.|If a cluttered desk is an indication of a cluttered mind, what is indicated by an empty desk?|If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.|I’m a one-drink woman, two at the most, three I’m under the table, four I’m under the host.|In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.|In all modern depressions, recessions, or growth-correction, as variously they are called, we never miss the goods that are not produced. We miss only the opportunities for the labour – for the jobs – that are not provided.|In economics, the majority is always wrong.|In matters of commerce the fault of the Dutch Is offering too little and asking too much. 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Briefly stated, it means that the time spent on any item of the agenda will be in adverse proportion to the sum involved.|It takes no more actual sagacity to carry on the everyday hawking and haggling of the world, or to ladle out its normal doses of bad medicine and worse law, than it takes to operate a taxi cab or fry a pan of fish.|Labour is not a commodity, or a standard, or a means to an ulterior end, but an end in itself.|Live together like brothers and do business like strangers.|Luck is infatuated with the efficient.|Man exploits man. 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