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Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Children and Autism: Why no Studies?



November 10, 2012
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Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Children and Autism: Why no Studies?

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child receiving vaccine Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Children and Autism: Why no Studies?



by Vera Sharav
Alliance for Human Research Protection


The Centers for Disease Control issued an alarming report: 1 in 88 US children are afflicted with autism-an increase of 25% between 2006-2008.


On March 29, 2012, the US Centers for Disease Control reported startling evidence: the number of children diagnosed with autism in the United States increased 25% between 2006 and 2008. The autism rate jumped from 1 in 100 (2006) to 1 in 88 children (2008).  The autism rate is even higher for boys: one in 54 compared to girls, one in 252.


This CDC report was featured as headline news throughout the media-but not The New York Times, which buried the CDC news report on page A20.


Yesterday, The Times published on its front page an article under the headline, "Scientists Link Gene Mutation To Autism Risk," reporting that three teams of  scientists found several rare spontaneous gene mutations in a few individuals with autism whose father was over age 35. The scientists suspect that such gene mutations may result in a 5 to 20 times higher risk of developing autism.


The scientists' reports were published in NATURE-abstracts accessible: herehere and here


"The gene mutations are extremely rare and together account for a tiny fraction of autism cases, suggesting that the search for therapies will be a long one, and that what is loosely known as autism may represent a broad category of related but biologically distinct conditions. There are likely hundreds, perhaps thousands, of rare mutations that could disrupt brain development enough to result in social and developmental delays."


If rare gene mutations are suspected to be the cause of  5% to, at most, 20%  autism, it leaves the most important questions unanswered:
What about the cause of autism in 80%  (possibly 95%) of autistic children unanswered?


To date, only the MMR vaccine and mercury in vaccines have been studied.


With so many millions of children affected by autism-and the spiraling increase in that number-shouldn't scientists take seriously the eye witness reports by thousands of parents who blame vaccines for triggering autistic spectrum in their previously healthy children?


There is a pressing need to examine without prejudice whether the vaccine-autism association is valid by comparing  autism (and other health) outcomes in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children.


Why is such an obviously necessary research approach so contentious and, therefore, neglected?


Whose financial investments are threatened by an analysis of data comparing the health of children vaccinated with those not vaccinated?


Read the Full Article Here:


Unvaccinated Children Madness

By J.B. Handley
Age of Autism


Dan Olmsted: Has the government ever looked at the autism rate in an unvaccinated U.S. population, and if not, why not?


Julie Gerberding: In this country, we have very high levels of vaccination as you probably know, and I think this year we have record immunization levels among all of our children, so to (select an unvaccinated group) that on a population basis would be representative to look at incidence in that population compared to the other population would be something that could be done.


But as we're learning, just trying to look at autism in a community the size of Atlanta, it's very, very difficult to get an effective numerator and denominator to get a reliable diagnosis.


I think those kind of studies could be done and should be done. You'd have to adjust for the strong genetic component that also distinguishes, for example, people in Amish communities who may elect not to be immunized (and) also have genetic connectivity that would make them different from populations that are in other sectors of the United States. So drawing some conclusions from them would be very difficult.


I think with reference to the timing of all of this, good science does take time, and it's part of one of the messages I feel like I've learned from the feedback that we've gotten from parents groups this summer (in) struggling with developing a more robust and a faster research agenda, is let's speed this up. Let's look for the early studies that could give us at least some hypotheses to test and evaluate and get information flowing through the research pipeline as quickly as we can.


So we are committed to doing that, and as I mentioned, in terms of just measuring the frequency of autism in the population some pretty big steps have been taken. We're careful not to jump ahead of our data, but we think we will be able to provide more accurate information in the next year or so than we've been able to do up to this point. And I know that is our responsibility.


We've also benefited from some increased investments in these areas that have allowed us to do this, and so we thank Congress and we thank the administration for supporting those investments, not just at CDC but also at NIH and FDA.
*  *


I'm sure Julie Gerberding had a point with her answer, for the life of me I don't know what it was.


Not to be outdone, Dr. Paul Offit recently got into the act with his own perspective on studying unvaccinated children (at least he concedes the studies don't exist):


"No studies have compared the incidence of autism in vaccinated, unvaccinated, or alternatively vaccinated children (i.e., schedules that spread out vaccines, avoid combination vaccines, or include only select vaccines). These studies would be difficult to perform because of the likely differences among these 3 groups in health care seeking behavior and the ethics of experimentally studying children who have not received vaccines."


Health care seeking behavior? Ethics of studying kids who haven't gotten vaccines?


Let me get this straight: we have the most complex and raging health epidemic amongst our kids in modern times, and no plausible explanation for cause from the mainstream authorities. Meanwhile, we have tens of thousands of case reports of kids regressing into autism after vaccination, but it's just too complicated and unethical to study unvaccinated kids?


"Health care seeking behavior" is the notion that parents who do not vaccinate their children may be less inclined to seek an autism diagnosis if there is a problem with their child's development. Fair enough, that MAY be true. But, in a well-designed study that issue could be dealt with in a very straightforward way: you independently evaluate every single kid for neurological disorders. Would that be expensive? Yes. Would it be thorough? Yes. Would it mitigate any issues related to health seeking behavior? Yes.


It's also interesting to consider a study completed by the CDC and published in Pediatrics, Children Who Have Received No Vaccines: Who Are They and Where Do They Live? The study noted:


"Unvaccinated children tended to be white, to have a mother who was married and had a college degree, to live in a household with an annual income exceeding $75,000, and to have parents who expressed concerns regarding the safety of vaccines and indicated that medical doctors have little influence over vaccination decisions for their children."
And, it continues:


"Why do some parents avoid vaccinating their children? Our results indicate that parents of unvaccinated children are much more concerned about vaccine safety than are parents whose children receive 1 vaccine dose. In a survey of parent's beliefs and practices regarding vaccinations and autism, siblings in families in which there was an autistic child were 3 times more likely to be unvaccinated, compared with siblings in families in which there was a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In response to concerns about the perceived risk of autism resulting from vaccinations, parents might have avoided having their sons vaccinated at a higher rate than their daughters, as a result of knowing that they have risk factors for autism and knowing that the rate of autism is 4 times greater for boys than for girls."


What are the chances that white, upper middle-class families with an annual income in excess of $75,000 who are very concerned about vaccine safety don't pursue an autism diagnosis if their child is exhibiting the signs of autism? Probably close to nil, but science can still account for that.


Read the Full Article Here:


Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Children: Some Data are In and They are Disturbing

By Maria  D.  Majewska
Age of Autism


While  in western countries  government officials  and their corporate sponsors  aggressively  resist conducting the studies comparing health of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children , such studies have been, in fact, conducted in Africa.   Below is the abstract of one such study from Guinea-Bissau, which  shows doubling of   mortality rate among infants vaccinated with a single  dose  of DTP vaccine, and more than quadrupling after the second and third dose.    VAERS data also show high infant mortality in the US  after DTP vaccination (much higher than from pertussis, diphteria and tetanus together,  hence  it  is clear that DTP vaccine is  harming more children than saving.  In the EU,  there is a relatively high incidence of pertussis (more than 20 000 per year), but  total mortality due to this disease was  4 in 2009.   At the same time, infant  mortality index in western EU  countries  is 2 or 3 times lower than in the US.  These data speak for themselves.


Int J Epidemiol. 2004 Apr;33(2):374-80.


The introduction of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine and child mortality in rural Guinea-Bissau: an observational study.


Aaby PJensen HGomes JFernandes MLisse IM.


Bandim Health Project, Apartado 861, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau.


Comment in:


Int J Epidemiol. 2004 Apr;33(2):381.




BACKGROUND: and objective Previous studies from areas with high mortality in West Africa have not found diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine to be associated with the expected reduction in mortality, a few studies suggesting increased mortality. We therefore examined mortality when DTP was first introduced in rural areas of Guinea-Bissau in 1984-1987. Setting Twenty villages in four regions have been followed with bi-annual examinations since 1979.


SUBJECTS: In all, 1657 children aged 2-8 months. Design Children were weighed when attending the bi-annual examinations and they were vaccinated whenever vaccines were available. DTP was introduced in the beginning of 1984, oral polio vaccine later that year. We examined mortality for children aged 2-8 months who had received DTP and compared them with children who had not been vaccinated because they were absent, vaccines were not available, or they were sick.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Mortality over the next 6 months from the day of examination for vaccinated and unvaccinated children.


RESULTS: Prior to the introduction of vaccines, children who were absent at a village examination had the same mortality as children who were present. During 1984-1987, children receiving DTP at 2-8 months of age had higher mortality over the next 6 months, the mortality rate ratio (MR) being 1.92 (95% CI: 1.04, 3.52) compared with DTP-unvaccinated children, adjusting for age, sex, season, period, BCG, and region. The MR was 1.81 (95% CI: 0.95, 3.45) for the first dose of DTP and 4.36 (95% CI: 1.28, 14.9) for the second and third dose. BCG was associated with slightly lower mortality (MR = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.30, 1.33), the MR for DTP and BCG being significantly inversed. Following subsequent visits and further vaccinations with DTP and measles vaccine, there was no difference in vaccination coverage and subsequent mortality between the DTP-vaccinated group and the initially DTP-unvaccinated group (MR = 1.06, 95% CI: 0.78, 1.44).


CONCLUSIONS: In low-income countries with high mortality, DTP as the last vaccine received may be associated with slightly increased mortality. Since the pattern was inversed for BCG, the effect is unlikely to be due to higher-risk children having received vaccination. The role of DTP in high mortality areas needs to be clarified.


by on Nov. 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM
Replies (31-40):
by Gold Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:01 AM


Quoting Themis_Defleo:

Quoting EireLass:

Has anyone here considered Tuberous Stenosis to be the cause?

I'm not familiar with that condition.  I'll have to do some research!

My stepson has a 1 year old on a delayed vaccination schedule.  He said that he recently read some studies that point to the mother's inflammation levels during pregnancy as a huge factor in developing autism.  As I suffer from multiple auto-immune conditions, it's an interesting idea.  I haven't read the studies yet.

I know there were also some studies implicating paternal age.  I'm not sure what became of those. 

I truly believe that the cause is really an amalgam of many factors, which makes it very difficult to pinpoint.

Male parent age is being studied as it is associated with more genetic mutations.   

And I think you mean tuberous sclerosis, not tuberous stenosis.

There is already a well-documented relationship between tuberous sclerosis and developmental delay.

In fact there is a group of disorders that has been identifed that are associated with autism and autistic-like symptoms.   But still, the majority of autism cases do not occur with any specific disease being identified as a 'cause'.

by Gold Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:11 AM

Quoting maciymommieof3:

 I don't want an article that remotely mentions "vaccines"...... Just baby's/kids who have Autism that have never been vaccinated.........

Ugeskr Laeger. 2002 Dec 2;164(49):5741-4.

[MMR vaccination and autism--a population-based follow-up study].

[Article in Danish]


Center for Epidemiologisk Grundforskning, Institut for Epidemiologi og Socialmedicin, Aarhus Universitet, DK-8000 Arhus C.



It has been suggested that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination causes autism.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all children born in Denmark from January 1991 through December 1998. The cohort was established based on data from the Danish Civil Registration System. A unique person identifiable number given to all subjects enabled linkage with other national registries. MMR vaccination status was obtained from the Danish National Board of Health. Information on the children's autism status was obtained from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register which contains information on all diagnoses received from psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric wards, and outpatient clinics in Denmark. We obtained information on potential confounders from the Danish Medical Birth Registry, the National Hospital Registry, and Statistics Denmark.


In the cohort of 537,303 children (2,129,864 person-years), 440,655 children had been MMR vaccinated. We identified 316 children with a diagnosis of autistic disorder and 442 with a diagnosis of other spectrum disorders. After adjusting for potential confounders, the risk for autistic disorder and other spectrum disorders was not increased in vaccinated compared with unvaccinated children (relative risk 0.92; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.68 to 1.24 and relative risk 0.83; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.65 to 1.07). There was no association between age at vaccination, time since vaccination or calendar period at time of vaccination and development of autistic disorder.


This study provides strong evidence against the hypothesis that MMR vaccination causes autism.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
by Gold Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:18 AM


Quoting EmmaZate:

The only thing I knew about these studies is that the doctor who wrote the original paper linking autisim with vaccines fabricated evidence and lost his lincence.

His research was thrown out and he admitted to manipulating his data to make it seem that vaccines were the culprit.

Why did he do it?   To enable him to make money off people.

by Gold Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:25 AM
Lancet. 1999 Jun 12;353(9169):2026-9.

Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: no epidemiological evidence for a causal association.


Department of Community Child Health, Royal Free and University College Medical School, University College London, UK.



We undertook an epidemiological study to investigate whether measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine may be causally associated with autism.


Children with autism born since 1979 were identified from special needs/disability registers and special schools in eight North Thames health districts, UK. Information from clinical records was linked to immunisation data held on the child health computing system. We looked for evidence of a change in trend in incidence or age at diagnosis associated with the introduction of MMR vaccination to the UK in 1988. Clustering of onsets within defined postvaccination periods was investigated by the case-series method.


We identified 498 cases of autism (261 of core autism, 166 of atypical autism, and 71 of Asperger's syndrome). In 293 cases the diagnosis could be confirmed by the criteria of the International Classification of Diseases, tenth revision (ICD10: 214 [82%] core autism, 52 [31%] atypical autism, 27 [38%] Asperger's syndrome). There was a steady increase in cases by year of birth with no sudden "step-up" or change in the trend line after the introduction of MMR vaccination. There was no difference in age at diagnosis between the cases vaccinated before or after 18 months of age and those never vaccinated. There was no temporal association between onset of autism within 1 or 2 years after vaccination with MMR (relative incidence compared with control period 0.94 [95% CI 0.60-1.47] and 1.09 [0.79-1.52]). Developmental regression was not clustered in the months after vaccination (relative incidence within 2 months and 4 months after MMR vaccination 0.92 [0.38-2.21] and 1.00 [0.52-1.95]). No significant temporal clustering for age at onset of parental concern was seen for cases of core autism or atypical autism with the exception of a single interval within 6 months of MMR vaccination. This appeared to be an artifact related to the difficulty of defining precisely the onset of symptoms in this disorder.


Our analyses do not support a causal association between MMR vaccine and autism. If such an association occurs, it is so rare that it could not be identified in this large regional sample.

by Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:27 AM

i would agree, i believe that there is a genetic component  to autism. it would explain how some families can have more then one child affected, and also could be a genetic mutation that has developed over time as well.
rather the vaccinations have triggered the condition to become active or if it is something that has become more common i cant say. however i do believe that to blame vaccinations as the only reason for the condition is foolish without more research into both aspects of the the condition.

Quoting Themis_Defleo:

To have a truly valid study on the effects of vaccines is difficult.  There are so many confounding variables.  Environmental factors come into play.  Genetics come into play.  I think the best scientific model for a study of vaccines would be a twin study using identical twins.  However, then bioethics come into play.  As most parents are either firmly in the vaccination camp or firmly in the anti-vaccination camp, who would vaccinate one of their two children?

I believe there is a genetic component to autism.  I believe that vaccines may act as a catalyst in those children who have the genetic "flaw." My oldest and my youngest are both on the spectrum.  They are both fully-vaccinated.  My daughter is neuro-typical.  She is also fully-vaccinated.  Until a cause is found, I will always wonder if my sons' autism spectrum disorders are a result of some choice that I made as a parent.  I comfort myself by telling myself that I have always tried to do the right thing based on the information I had at the time.  

If I had it to do all over again, I think I would at least selectively vaccinate or delay vaccinate.   

by Gold Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:31 AM

An identical twin study would NOT be the best method, because identical twins are not genetically identical.

Our ideas about 'identical twins' were formed centuries before we had the means to examine their genetics in sufficient detail.  They were termed 'identical' because their outward appearance was so similar.   Because of their appearance people ASSUMED they were genetically identical.

Studies of large groups of people can 'correct' for the presence or absence of vaccines; epidemiological studies like this have great value in establishing connections such as autism/MMR jab.   They have failed to do so - miserably failed, time and time again, over many years, both when the vaccine contained thimerosol (sp) and when it did not.

Further, there are THREE types of twins - identical (whom remember, are not genetically identical), semi-identical (who are less identical than identical twins) and fraternal twins, who are less genetically identical than even semi identical twins.   And most likely there are other kinds of twins yet to be understood.

It is already a very well documented fact that identical twins are discordant for a rather impressive number of disorders that have genetic 'identical twin' studies of autism, when  one identical twin has autism the other twin has it around 50% of the time, not 100% of the time, but this sort of result happens with other disorders that are genetic as well.   They simply are not identical genetically.

The idea of two people being genetically identical is not based in fact - even for clones.  The idea that a disorder that involves hundreds or thousands of genes is going to occur in the same pattern of a trait that involves ONE gene is - it's terribly misguided.  

Multiple-gene disorders inherit like a 'cloud' - the rate of occurance in the offspring is not like those little squares we drew in highschool biology for Mendel's spotted peas!   Further, a great many 'genetic mutations' are NOT inherited - they occur in the individual, they are 'genetic' but not in the sense most people think of.

by Gold Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:43 AM

Why do people keep bringing up the autism fear regarding vaccinations? 

Do they not realize that most people who choose not to vaccinate, delay vaccinations, or selectively vaccinate do so for reasons that don't even involve autism?

by Jes on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:51 AM
1 mom liked this
I don't honestly think there's been a "rise" in Autism. I think there's been a "rise" in people bein diagnosed.

Autism has been around for a LONG time but we didn't have official names and labels for such things. And now Autism has such a BROAD spectrum...

Anyways, There have been plenty of studies. I have 3 kids. All are fully vaccinated. 1 has SPD and is borderline Autistic. The other 2 are fine.
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by Gold Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:52 AM

There is however, if you read the research, a huge association within people's minds, so much so that in families with an autistic child other family members abstain from vaccinating subsequent male children (males having a higher incidence of autism).   This idea about autism and vaccines IS having a huge effect on people's healthcare seeking behaviors.

by Ruby Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:53 AM

There is only one real study that is highly touted by the medical community regardless of the fact that it has been shown to be flawed.

Quoting LindaClement:

It has been studied. It continues to be studied.

Whoever says it isn't and hasn't is either not looking very hard, or has an axe to grind.

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