Sarrc’s Message On Vaccines
At SARRC, we believe the ultimate decision to vaccinate a child is a personal choice. If asked, we would recommend vaccinations because dozens of reputable scientific studies have failed to show a link between vaccines and autism, while numerous other studies demonstrate that the risks from the diseases the vaccines are meant to prevent are dangerous to a childs health and well-being. Our research focuses on early identification of autism because it leads to early intensive intervention, which is the most important support we can provide for a child diagnosed with autism at this time.;
Read more about autism and vaccines in a Q&A with SARRC’s Vice President and Research Director Christopher J. Smith, PhD,;;here.
Autisms Genetic Risk Factors
Research tells us that autism tends to run in families. Changes in certain genes increase the risk that a child will develop autism. If a parent carries one or more of these gene changes, they may get passed to a child . Other times, these genetic changes arise spontaneously in an early embryo or the sperm and/or egg that combine to create the embryo. Again, the majority of these gene changes do not cause autism by themselves. They simply increase risk for the disorder
Is There A Connection Between Vaccines And Autism
Is there a connection between vaccines and autism? Parris
No, there is no connection between vaccines and autism.
Autism is a condition that affects the brain and makes communicating and interacting with other people more difficult. The cause of autism is unknown. But genetics, differences in brain anatomy, and toxic substances in the environment are thought to contribute to children developing the condition.
So how did the idea that vaccines play a role get started? Much of the blame lies with a study published in 1998 that suggested that the MMR vaccine, or infection with the naturally occurring measles virus itself, might cause autism. Since then, numerous scientific studies have shown that there is no link between vaccines or any of their ingredients and autism. And the research used in that study was found to be false, the doctor who wrote it lost his medical license, and the medical journal that published it retracted the paper .
Even with the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe and effective, some parents still decide not to have their children vaccinated or to delay vaccinations. But this is extremely risky because vaccine-preventable diseases like measles are still around. An unvaccinated child who gets one of these preventable diseases could get very sick or even die, as could other people around the child.
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Where Can I Learn More About Autism And Vaccines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , The American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Food and Drug Administration all have information on their websites detailing vaccine use and the risk of autism spectrum disorder .
Always ask any questions you may have of your pediatrician or other health care provider, too; they will have the latest updates.
Mmr And Autism: Discredited Theories
In 1998, researcher Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues published a paper in the medical journal The Lancet describing an apparently new syndrome linking developmental disorders and bowel problems in children who had previously been developing typically.
In 8 of only 12 cases studied, parents linked the beginning of the behaviour difficulties with the MMR vaccination.
The researchers stated that they did not prove a link between the MMR vaccine and the new syndrome. But their paper discussed the proposed link extensively. The paper suggested that the combined MMR vaccine was implicated in the development of autism, although the single measles vaccine was not.
After the paper was published, Dr Wakefield publicly discussed the link. He suggested there was a case for splitting the vaccine into its component parts.
Criticism of the research Since 1998, Dr Wakefields research has been criticised for several reasons, including the following:
- The research applied measures meant for adults to test results from children. This means that some of the findings about bowel disorders in these children were in fact normal for children.
- The paper published an unproven link between the new syndrome that Dr Wakefield described and the MMR vaccine.
Ten of the papers authors issued a partial retraction in 2004. They suggested that the link between autism and bowel disorders is worthy of further investigation. But they admitted they did not find that the MMR vaccine caused autism.
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Myth #: We Don’t Need To Vaccinate Because Infection Rates Are Already So Low In The United States
Thanks to “herd immunity,” so long as a large majority of people are immunized in any population, even the unimmunized minority will be protected. With so many people resistant, an infectious disease will never get a chance to establish itself and spread. This is important because there will always be a portion of the population infants, pregnant women, elderly, and those with weakened immune systems that can’t receive vaccines.
But if too many people don’t vaccinate themselves or their children, they contribute to a collective danger, opening up opportunities for viruses and bacteria to establish themselves and spread.
Not to mention, as the Centers for Disease Control warn, international travel is growing quickly, so even if a disease is not a threat in your country, it may be common elsewhere. If someone were to carry in a disease from abroad, an unvaccinated individual will be at far greater risk of getting sick if he or she is exposed.
Vaccines are one of the great pillars of modern medicine. Life used to be especially brutal for children before vaccines, with huge portions being felled by diseases like measles, smallpox, whooping cough, or rubella, to name just a few. Today these ailments can be completely prevented with a simple injection.
Literature Reviews: Autism And Vaccines
Vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella in children;;
Annals of Internal MedicineMarch 2019
The Journal of the American Medical AssociationApril 2015
Smith, M and Woods, CJune 2010
Offit, Paul and Gerber, Jeffrey S.February 2009
Institute of MedicineMay 2004
Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines: A Report of the Committee to Review the Adverse Consequences of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines
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Autism Groups: Decision A Victory
Sallie Bernard, co-founder of SafeMinds , is ecstatic about the decision. “We’re finally seeing the truth come out,” she tells WebMD. “We’ve gotten such incredible pushback, yet here is a case showing this connection quite clearly.
“Here is a case that really looked into the science, and behind this child’s case of autism, they have found a link between the child’s autism and the vaccines that she was given,” she says.
Bernard says she hopes the decision will spur re-investigation of the issue. “I think this will push more scientists and hopefully the NIH to really investigate the role of vaccines, the role of mercury, in autism, because this case is so compelling.”
Myth #: Vaccines Aren’t Worth The Risk
Despite parent concerns, children have been successfully vaccinated for decades. In fact, there has never been a single credible study linking vaccines to long term health conditions.
As for immediate danger from vaccines, in the form of allergic reactions or severe side effects, the incidence of death are so rare they can’t even truly be calculated. For example, only one death was reported to the CDC between 1990 and 1992 that was attributable to a vaccine. The overall incidence rate of severe allergic reaction to vaccines is usually placed around one case for every one or two million injections.
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Study: Mmr Vaccine Not Linked To Increased Autism Risk
Another study has confirmed children who receive measles, mumps and rubella vaccine are not at increased risk of autism.
The results come as 206 people in the U.S. have contracted measles this year, a number that continues to grow.
We believe that our results offer reassurance and provide reliable data on which clinicians and health authorities can base decisions and public health policies, authors wrote in the study Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccination and Autism: A Nationwide Cohort Study .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Academy recommend children receive MMR vaccine at 12-15 months and 4-6 years. However, some parents hesitate to follow this guidance, citing a 1998 study from TheLancet linking the vaccine with autism. The study was retracted and many more have found no increased risk, but hesitancy remains a problem, putting children at risk of deadly diseases.
The new study is larger than many of its predecessors. Researchers analyzed data on 657,461 children born in Denmark between 1999 and 2010 and followed through mid-2013 using national health registries. Among that cohort, 6,517 were diagnosed with autism.
When comparing children who had and had not received MMR vaccine, the fully adjusted hazard rate was 0.93, indicating there was no increased risk of developing autism.
The Mmr Vaccine And Autism: Sensation Refutation Retraction And Fraud
Address for correspondence:
In 1998, Andrew Wakefield and 12 of his colleagues published a case series in the Lancet, which suggested that the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine may predispose to behavioral regression and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Despite the small sample size , the uncontrolled design, and the speculative nature of the conclusions, the paper received wide publicity, and MMR vaccination rates began to drop because parents were concerned about the risk of autism after vaccination.
Almost immediately afterward, epidemiological studies were conducted and published, refuting the posited link between MMR vaccination and autism. The logic that the MMR vaccine may trigger autism was also questioned because a temporal link between the two is almost predestined: both events, by design or definition , occur in early childhood.
The next episode in the saga was a short retraction of the interpretation of the original data by 10 of the 12 co-authors of the paper. According to the retraction, no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient. This was accompanied by an admission by the Lancet that Wakefield et al. had failed to disclose financial interests . However, the Lancet exonerated Wakefield and his colleagues from charges of ethical violations and scientific misconduct.
The systematic failures which permitted the Wakefield fraud were discussed by Opel et al.
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Cia Fake Vaccination Clinic
In Pakistan, the CIA ran a fake vaccination clinic in an attempt to locate Osama bin Laden. As a direct consequence, there have been several attacks and deaths among vaccination workers. Several Islamist preachers and militant groups, including some factions of the Taliban, view vaccination as a plot to kill or sterilize Muslims. Efforts to eradicate polio have furthermore been disrupted by American drone strikes. This is part of the reason Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries where polio remained endemic as of 2015.
Why Ican Claims A Win Against The Cdc
The article from ICAN has a lengthy, and more than a little hyperbolic, description of a line of FOIA requests between ICAN and CDC. To remind readers, in a previous alleged win, ICAN claimed that it won a lawsuit showing the CDC does not have evidence that vaccines cause autism.
In reality, the Department of Justice settled a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by having the CDC put together a list of some studies on vaccines and autism, to make the request go away. As I explained in that post, the claim was a misuse of FOIA, and characterizing the settlement as showing anything about the link between vaccines and autism is incorrect both legally and scientifically.;
This new claim is even less convincing. ICAN put the following two screenshots to show that the CDC changed something.
Note that there is one difference here, and one difference only. In the first, the heading is Vaccines Do Not Cause autism. In the second, the heading is Autism and Vaccines.
The text in both is similar, as far as I can tell, and is the current text. It opens with a paragraph describing what autism is. The text then says:
Reminder the language there is no link between vaccines and autism means that vaccines do not cause autism. The statement about research showing that vaccines do not cause ASD repeats that point.
ICAN claims a meaningful win that they are taking credit for. In fact, in an email asking for money they send their email list, they described this as a huge win.
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Are Vaccines And Autism Linked Answers From The Best Scientific Studies
I have written more about the question, are;vaccines and autism linked?,;than just about any other topic;other than the cancer preventing HPV vaccine, Gardasil. Unless you want to ignore the overwhelming;evidence, the scientific consensus is pretty clear vaccines are not linked;to autism.
In my article, Vaccines and autism science says they are unrelated, I list out over 125 published, peer-reviewed articles that basically provide us with some of the overwhelming evidence that debunks the myth that vaccines cause autism. But thats a long list that takes quite a bit of time to absorb. I think its more important to focus on the handful of the best studies that provide the best evidence. I hope this kind of resource helps you refute arguments from patients, friends, and family members who might try to claim that we dont vaccinate because of the autism risk. I cant guarantee that a few important studies will convince anyone, but maybe it will help with a fence sitter.
Im relying upon Dr. Peter Hotezs article, The Why Vaccines Dont Cause Autism Papers, published in PLOS Blogs to choose the best of the best papers. Im going to add a couple of more categories, because they discredit;some;of the arguments that try to state that the answer to the question, are vaccines and autism linked, is yes.
So lets dive into this scientific research.
What If I Don’t Vaccinate My Child
It is important to vaccinate to prevent outbreaks of diseases that are nearly under control today.
Vaccinations are one of the most important actions we can take to protect ourselves, our children, and our communities from disease. This is especially important for children who cannot be vaccinated because they are too young or sick.
If a case of a disease is introduced into a community where most people are not vaccinated, an outbreak can occur because the widespread protection known as “herd immunity” breaks down. Herd immunity refers to the ability to avoid a contagious disease within a community. This occurs if enough people are immune to the disease by building antibodies, especially through vaccination or prior illness.
In 2000, the United States was declared measles-free.
- But infected travelers visiting or returning to the US from abroad have caused outbreaks, and unvaccinated children are most at risk, research has shown.
- As published in the Journal of the American Medical Association , several measles outbreaks occurred in the U.S. among groups with low vaccination rates, including in the states of Texas, New York and California, in 2014.
- As reported by the CDC, from January 1 to December 31, 2019, 1,282 individual cases of measles were confirmed in 31 states in the U.S. The majority of cases were among people who were not vaccinated against measles.
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Want To Inform Others About The Accuracy Of This Story
Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.
Eric Ferkenhoff has been a reporter, editor and professor for 27 years, working chiefly out of the Midwest and now the South. Focusing on the criminal and juvenile justice systems, education and politics, Ferkenhoff has won several journalistic and academic awards and helped start a fact-checking project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he continues to teach advanced reporting. Ferkenhoff also writes and edits for the juvenile justice site JJIE.org.
Study Made Possible By Large Database
The investigators performed their analysis using the claims records from a large US health plan database . Participants included children continuously enrolled in an associated health plan from birth to at least 5 years of age between 2001 and 2012. All had an older sibling.
Of the 95,727 children in the study, around 1 percent were diagnosed with autism during the studys follow-up period. Among those who had an older sibling with autism , approximately 7 percent developed the disorder. This difference in autism prevalence between children with or without an older sibling affected by autism is consistent with earlier studies.;
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Myth #: Natural Immunity Is Better Than Vaccine
In some cases, natural immunity meaning actually catching a disease and getting sick results in a stronger immunity to the disease than a vaccination. However, the dangers of this approach far outweigh the relative benefits. If you wanted to gain immunity to measles, for example, by contracting the disease, you would face a 1 in 500 chance of death from your symptoms. In contrast, the number of people who have had severe allergic reactions from an MMR vaccine, is less than one-in-one million.
Autism And The Mmr Vaccine
What is Autism?
Autism is a complex biological disorder of development that lasts throughout a person’s life. People with autism have problems with social interaction and communication, so they may have trouble having a conversation with you, or they may not look you in the eye. They sometimes have behaviors that they have to do or that they do over and over, like not being able to listen until their pencils are lined up or saying the same sentence again and again. They may flap their arms to tell you they are happy, or they might hurt themselves to tell you they are not.
One person with autism may have different symptoms, show different behaviors, and come from different environments than others with autism. Because of these differences, doctors now think of autism as a “spectrum” disorder, or a group of disorders with a range of similar features. Doctors classify people with autism spectrum disorder based on their autistic symptoms. A person with mild autistic symptoms is at one end of the spectrum. A person with more serious symptoms of autism is at the other end of the spectrum. But they both have a form of ASD.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development , part of the National Institutes of Health , is one of the NIH Institutes doing research into various aspects of autism, including its causes, how many people have it, and its treatments.
Why do people think that vaccines can cause autism?
Should my child have the MMR vaccine?
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