Tag Archives: vaccinations

Autism and vaccines: “The Vaccine War” on PBS tonight!

A PBS documentary on “The Vaccine War,” featuring Jenny McCarthy and others, will be shown tonight. Times will vary depending on where you are, of course. Here in St. Louis, it’s at 9 p.m.  Check your local PBS station website for the time where you are, and let’s tune in to see what PBS thinks the scoop is!

A study of autism outcome in vaccinated vs unvaccinated: found?

A frequent commenter on this blog, Mike, is a skeptic on Yasko and the possible autism-vaccine connection.

On a recent post of mine, “News media accepting illogic on autism and vaccines again,” I said, “Research has NOT INVESTIGATED these further possibilities (of a link between autism and multiple vaccines). Here are the ones that come to mind:

“1. The immature immune system (first day of life and following) cannot deal with the vaccines, at least in some cases.

“2. Taking multiple vaccines at the same time may overwhelm the young immune system.

“3. A vaccine ingredient, currently unidentified, is toxic to some children.

“These have NOT been tested. … As I have said before, a simple study could settle this question: comparing autism rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.  Are the medical people AFRAID to do it?”

Mike in response posted links to reports on a study that did compare autism outcomes in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, done by the Danish Epidemiological Center, published in 2003. It found no correlation between vaccination and autism. Here are the links:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12421889

And the follow up

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12523209

Thank you, Mike! I am interested to see this.

Unfortunately, at closer inspection, it isn’t the comparison that I am calling for. I would like to see a comparison of the full set of vaccinations that are currently required for kids in the US, against no vaccinations at all. There are enough conscientious objectors now that this is possible.

The kids in Denmark aren’t in the same situation as the kids in the U.S. Here’s why: the kids in the U.S. get three times as many vaccine shots as the ones in Denmark, according to a study by Generation Rescue in April, 2009.  That shows 36 required shots in the U.S., compared to 12 in Denmark.

This study Mike linked to simply asked the question whether and when the child received the MMR vaccine, and symptoms related only to that vaccine.  It is one of the studies that apparently proves that the MMR vaccine, as used in Denmark at the time, by itself does not cause autism. This was a large study, looking at more than 500,000 children, the kind of study that should uncover correlations if there are any.

So, now I am asking again for a study investigating the effect of multiple vaccines on American children. This study doesn’t answer that question.

By the way, the Generation Rescue study looked at published statistics from 34 developed countries. The US has the most required shots, or doses, of any of them, and also the worst mortality rate for children under 5 of any of them. The average number of doses is 13, for these 34 countries, compared to our 36.

News media accepting illogic on autism and vaccines again

There was an article in the Los Angeles Times March 13 (and widely distributed by the Associated Press) in which yet another reporter reported an unbalanced story–failing to report the “other side of the question” –perpetuating the autism-vaccine logical fallacy yet again.

Thomas H. Maugh reported that the government vaccine court has declared that thimerosal, a mercury additive largely discontinued from vaccines, does not cause autism.  This is not surprising and is in fact a logical conclusion. The reason is that while thimerosal is not an ingredient in most vaccines since 2001, autism rates continue to climb.

Maugh’s fallacy is faulty generalizing.  He takes the thimerosal assertion and combines it with another: that the measles vaccine in the MMR shot does not cause autism, at least in most cases. I’ll grant that to be apparently true as well–research supports it.

Therefore, says Maugh, parents should accept that vaccines do not cause autism. There is the fallacy, generalizing from insufficient evidence.  Vaccines could be causing autism by any number of other ways.

Meanwhile, it’s obvious that autism rates have gone up at the same rate and time that the number of childhood vaccines has gone up. There could well be a correlation. The medical establishment should look into it, disregarding their vested interest in the vaccine system.

Research has NOT INVESTIGATED these further possibilities. Here are the ones that come to mind:

1. The immature immune system (first day of life and following) cannot deal with the vaccines, at least in some cases.

2. Taking multiple vaccines at the same time may overwhelm the young immune system.

3. A vaccine ingredient, currently unidentified, is toxic to some children.

These have NOT been tested. Mr. Maugh and colleagues, quit swallowing the line of the vaccine proponents and get on the ball!! You are not doing a service to your country. Please investigate and report the other side.

As I have said before, a simple study could settle this question: comparing autism rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.  Are the medical people AFRAID to do it?

Autism and vaccines: Associated Press, Time Mag. got it wrong

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There was an article in today’s paper by the Associated Press that declared that the autism-vaccine question has been settled. Funny, that’s news to me.

The reporter, Carla K. Johnson in Chicago, wrote, “…much has been written about research that has failed to find a link between vaccines and autism.”  Just a single study raised the question, she said, and it has been retracted. Case closed:  “Fear of a vaccine-autism connection stems from a flawed and speculative 1998 study that recently was retracted by a British medical journal. The retraction came after a council that regulates Britain’s doctors ruled the study’s author acted dishonestly and unethically.”

Whether that particular study was retracted because of politics is a matter of debate. This was the study that suggested that the measles vaccine in the MMR shot causes autism.  The sample size was tiny, and results were debatable.

Time Magazine on Feb. 25 made a similar claim: “And yet research conclusively shows that vaccines are safe for children; just last month, the U.K. scientist who had published a study linking the MMR shot to autism was found by a British medical panel to have acted unethically.”

I would like to tell these under-informed and surely well-meaning news reporters that there are manifold reasons why and how vaccines could cause autism, and this retracted study addressed only one possibility, that of the measles virus in the MMR somehow running amok.

Another possible vaccine-autism link that seems discredited is the theory that thimerosal, a mercury additive in pre-2001 shots, causes autism. Here’s why it’s discredited–despite the fact that there’s no thimerosal in the shots, autism rates continue to rise.

Therefore, if there is an autism-vaccine link, it probably has to do with something besides those two possible causes. For example, the “too many, too soon” theory which says that the many many sticks that kids get these days, at a very young age, could be a cause. There are other possibilities that we don’t know about yet.

What we do know is:

* that the autism epidemic has risen alongside the number of required shots

* that the anecdotal evidence, including before-and-after videos on Youtube, is overwhelming from families reporting regression soon after taking shots

* that the autism epidemic surely has at least partly an environmental cause, because an epidemic cannot have a solely genetic cause

* that vaccines under development are tested alone, not in combination with others, and

* that the medical establishment has a huge vested interest in creating and marketing vaccines.

What we need is a definitive study that compares vaccinated populations and unvaccinated.  THAT study would prove it one way or another, not the tiny measles vaccine study that appeared to be flawed.  The Associated Press article I am discussing reports on a University of Michigan phone survey a year ago of 1,552 parents inquiring about whether they were vaccinating their children.  It’s a shame surveyors didn’t also inquire about whether their children are autistic, permitting correlation of the two pieces of data.

Photo by M. Bartosch at freedigitalphotos.net

Worried about vaccination dangers?

I ran across a very well-reasoned article written by a homeschooling mother who happens to be a naturopathic doctor. She decided not to vaccinate, and wrote about her reasons.

http://homeschoolnewslink.com/up-articles/vaccinev3i6.asp

Danielle J. Emel, ND, PhD, discusses the germ theory that Pasteur composed, and which he later repudiated. The germ theory underlies the idea of vaccinations.  Here is what she says:

Vaccinations are based on the germ theory, which says that bacteria/germs cause diseases. However, during the time that Pasteur introduced his “germ theory” (1822-1895), Bechamp demonstrated that bacteria function in whatever medium they find themselves, changing shapes and functions with the medium. In other words, Pasteur theorized that germs cause diseases and Bechamp that diseases cause germs. (Flies are attracted by rotten meat, but do not cause rotten meat). Claude Bernard, considered to be the father of modern medicine, sided with Bechamp, saying that the general condition of the body, known as the terrain, was the principal factor in disease. Pasteur eventually rejected his germ theory, and on his deathbed is reported to have said: “Bernard was right. The seed is nothing, the soil is everything.”

Mainstream medicine continues to debunk autism-vaccine link

Medical news sources continue to debunk any link between autism and vaccines, saying there is good research that has closed the issue.

For example, a recent issue of the Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, reported in ScienceDaily.com, reviews existing research on vaccine safety in regard to autism. It looks only at the two most-published causation theories, mercury and MMR. It concludes that “there is not convincing scientific evidence supporting a relationship between vaccines and autism.” Therefore, the headline trumpets that there is “no scientific link” between autism and vaccines.

The logic of this conclusion is obviously faulty.

1. There are many other variables about the way vaccines are made and the schedules that are used. Only two variables have been eliminated: thimerosal mercury and measles virus found in the MMR.

2. Since research to date hasn’t identified a link, there isn’t any link.  Research to date is very narrow in scope. No one has dared to do a simple epidemiological study that compares autism rates in kids who have been vaccinated with autism rates in kids who haven’t been.

Meanwhile, the anecdotal evidence mounts.

Can we trust our doctors on vaccines?

Do childhood vaccines cause autism? If you listen to a variety of critics, the answer is possibly yes; the research hasn’t been done, so we can’t say definitely yes or no.  The anecdotal evidence from parents is overwhelming. But if you listen to your doctor and the CDC and vaccine makers he or she listens to, the answer is no.

So, do H1N1 vaccines cause miscarriages?  The anecdotal evidence is piling up.  Again, the studies haven’t been done; no one really knows whether they do or not.  (Actually, we are the guinea pigs for this shot.) But the doctors, CDC, and vaccine makers say pregnant women should take the vaccine.

Dr. Joseph Mercola’s research on the safety of the H1N1 vaccine has led him to “Swedish, Japanese, and Chinese health officials who have also reported a number of serious side effects, including deaths of people who received the H1N1 vaccine.”  Do we hear of U.S. health officials reporting a number of serious side effects? No. The serious side effects in the U.S. aren’t being logged or taken seriously because maybe something else caused them. In fact, the cases of H1N1 flu aren’t being logged either. A  number of months ago, health officials decided to stop testing for and counting H1N1 flu cases because, after all, there is a pandemic on.

Mercola calls the medical system’s approach to vaccines “Russian roulette.”  It’s true.  Doctors expect a certain percentage of people to react badly to any vaccine. But as the “herd immunity” is protected, it’s supposed to be worth the risk.  We need to ask ourselves: is it worth the risk?  After all, we are the ones carrying the risk. We parents sign waivers when our children are vaccinated.  The system depends on this.

It’s not a good system. Perhaps we don’t want our kids and ourselves to be guinea pigs. Herd immunity might be important for a major disease like smallpox, but for minor diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella, and H1N1 influenza,  perhaps we would prefer the risk of the disease to the risk of bad effects from the vaccine.  To make these decisions, we need to be informed. And it would help if the laws were changed to make it easier for conscientious objection to vaccines, as an autism parents group is seeking to do with a ballot initiative in Oregon.

Can we trust our doctors on vaccines? No.

Sources:

Organic Health Adviser on H1N1 vaccine-related miscarriages:

http://organichealthadviser.com/archives/shocking-h1n1-swine-flu-vaccine-miscarriage-stores-from-pregnant-women-tell-your-doctors-that-vaccines-and-pregnancy-do-not-mix

Joseph Mercola:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/12/05/Swine-Flu-Shot-Side-Effects-Beginning-to-Take-Their-Toll.aspx

Oregon ballot initiative:

http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/11/autism-a-simple-plan.html

Study compares vaccinated and unvaccinated populations

Joseph Mercola, DO, has a massive emailing list about health issues. He has recently taken up the vaccine question, which I am very happy about. He has a new posting in which he interviews a pediatrician, Larry Palevsky, who regrets having vaccinated children after carefully reviewing the science involved:  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/14/Expert-Pediatrician-Exposes-Vaccine-Myths.aspx

In the posting, Mercola brings up a favorite topic of mine: that new research should compare vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, in order to understand possible adverse effects of vaccines. Seems like a no-brainer, but it isn’t happening, possibly because the medical establishment is full of conflicts of interest.  Mercola found a study that did in fact compare vaccinated and non-vaccinated populations–not for autism, but for allergies, asthma, eczema, and hay fever. This study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in April 2005, found statistically significant increases in the number of cases of these conditions in the vaccinated and partly-vaccinated groups as opposed to the never-vaccinated groups, according to Mercola. The researchers were puzzled, because they had been told vaccines were safe.

I have been calling for research comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated groups, looking at incidence of autism.  Others are too. Since this isn’t happening with the medical establishment, a parents’ group is stepping in to fill the void. The National Vaccine Information Center has gathered $100,000 so far for some unbiased research, said Mercola.  I am very happy to hear this.

Also in this newsletter, Mercola draws a bead on the concept of herd immunity, which the vaccine proponents cite as the reason for vaccinations.  If most of the population has been vaccinated, the virus is likely to be stopped in its tracks, according to this theory. Go below an unknown percentage, and the likelihood of disease occurrence increases.

Pediatrician Larry Palevsky, interviewed by Mercola, pointed out that the virus doesn’t actually go away if the population is mostly immunized. It’s still there, in our bodies and our environments, but the vaccinated people aren’t (supposed to be) reacting to it.  So since it’s still there, the virus can hardly be stopped in its tracks for those who aren’t vaccinated. There is no herd immunity, Palevsky maintains.

Interesting!! I recommend you read this posting from Mercola and sign up for his newsletter.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/14/Expert-Pediatrician-Exposes-Vaccine-Myths.aspx

Jim Carrey on Huffington Post: Vaccine Research Needed

Actor Jim Carrey wrote a very well-reasoned argument on the subject of research on vaccine safety in today’s Huffington Post.

Pointing out that our children take twice as many shots as children in the rest of the world, he concludes,  “we need more independent vaccine research not done by the drug companies selling the vaccines or by organizations under their influence. Studies that cannot be internally suppressed. Answers parents can trust.”

I agree. This vaccine safety question has been hanging around too long. It’s time to look into it, big time.

Another old friend comments

Another old friend read the previous post and had these thoughts:

I read your blog again last night.  It seems to me that if you spend a week with Mike, you can’t help but see the difference between his behavior now and a year ago!
And you’re right about the current immunization schedule: the FDA never looks at cumulative effects (essentially, drug interactions) for approval. I wouldn’t want to risk my kid getting polio, etc – or endanger a immuno-suppressed kid by not immunizing mine. But a lot of these vaccinations are done in infancy simply because they’ve got the kid then and can’t guarantee that they’ll be able to immunize the kid later.
But your family has a genetic tendency towards autism, and you multiplied the risk by marrying another engineer.  Another family wouldn’t have the same risk.