How Cdc Monitors Vaccine Safety
CDC and FDA monitor the safety of vaccines after they are approved or authorized. If a problem is found with a vaccine, CDC and FDA will inform health officials, health care providers, and the public.
CDC uses 3 systems to monitor vaccine safety:
- The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System : an early warning system, co-managed by CDC and FDA, to monitor for potential vaccine safety problems. Anyone can report possible vaccine side effects to VAERS.
- The Vaccine Safety Datalink : a collaboration between CDC and 9 health care organizations that conducts vaccine safety monitoring and research.
- The Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project: a partnership between CDC and several medical research centers that provides expert consultation and conducts clinical research on vaccine-associated health risks.
Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism
- Some people have had concerns that ASD might be linked to the vaccines children receive, but studies have shown that there is no link between receiving vaccines and developing ASD. The National Academy of Medicine, formerly known as Institute of Medicine, reviewed the safety of 8 vaccines to children and adults. The review found that with rare exceptions, these vaccines are very safe.Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality external icon
- A CDC study published in 2013 added to the research showing that vaccines do not cause ASD. The study focused on the number of antigens given during the first two years of life. Antigens are substances in vaccines that cause the bodys immune system to produce disease-fighting antibodies. The results showed that the total amount of antigen from vaccines received was the same between children with ASD and those that did not have ASD.Increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism external icon
Mercury In Vaccines As A Cause Of Autism And Autism Spectrum Disorders : A Failed Hypothesis
Mercury. It sounds very, very scary, particularly when you learn it was in some vaccines in the form of thimerosal. Fortunately, science tells us that thimerosal does not cause autism or neurologic injury, contrary to what antivaccinationists tell us.
Thimerosal, the molecule that doesnt cause autism.
Why indeed? The use of this precautionary measure, which to health officials seemed prudent at that time, as justification for attacking the safety of vaccines is as good an example of how no good deed goes unpunished as Ive ever seen. Many parents, faced with the enormous challenge of raising autistic children, not unreasonably wondered whether there was something wrong with vaccines in the first place.
Noting that, with the exception of studies conducted by a single pair of authors , all studies done have thus far failed to find a link between TCVs and autism, Fombonne continues:
He then postulates an explanation that I happen to agree with:
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When Older Children And Adults Should Have The Mmr Vaccine
Anyone who has not had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine should ask their GP surgery for a vaccination appointment.
It’s important to check you’ve had both doses if you:
- are about to start college or university
- are going to travel abroad
- are planning a pregnancy
- are a frontline health or social care worker
- were born between 1970 and 1979, as you may have only been vaccinated against measles
- were born between 1980 and 1990, as you may not be protected against mumps
Wakefield V Channel 4 Television And Others
In November 2004, Channel 4 broadcast a one-hour Dispatches investigation by reporter Brian Deer the Toronto Star said Deer had “produced documentary evidence that Wakefield applied for a patent on a single-jab measles vaccine before his campaign against the MMR vaccine, raising questions about his motives”.
In addition to Wakefield’s unpublished initial patent submission, Deer released a copy of the published patent application. At page 1, the first paragraph of this stated:
The present invention relates to a new vaccine/immunisation for the prevention and/or prophylaxis against measles virus infection and to a pharmaceutical or therapeutic composition for the treatment of IBD particularly Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis and regressive behavioural disease .
Before describing the research in Wakefield’s 1998 paper in The Lancet, at the same page this patent explicitly states that the use of the MMR vaccine causes autism:
It has now also been shown that use of the MMR vaccine results in ileal lymphoid nodular hyperplasia, chronic colitis and pervasive developmental disorder including autism , in some infants.
According to Deer, a letter from Wakefield’s lawyers to him dated 31 January 2005 said: “Dr Wakefield did not plan a rival vaccine.”
The judgment identified Channel 4’s “very lengthy extracts” summarizing Deer’s allegations against Wakefield:
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Mercury And Autism Spectrum Disorder: Another Discredited Theory
Blood contains several different chemicals in small amounts. But certain chemicals like mercury can be poisonous if the levels are too high. Some people claim that autism is caused by excess mercury in the blood, which the childs body cant get rid of naturally.
Supporters of this theory also suggest that the excess mercury comes from vaccines. This is because in the past, thiomersal was used as a preservative to make some vaccines. But in any case, the mercury in this preservative was not the type that accumulates in the body and causes difficulties.
Thiomersal-based vaccines are no longer used. None of the National Immunisation Program vaccines used in Australia contain thiomersal. In Australia, thiomersal has been removed from all routine childhood vaccines since 2000.
A large-scale study found that children who had not been exposed to thiomersal had more cases of PDD. Another study found there was no reduction in the rates of autism after thiomersal was removed from vaccines in California.
More Evidence Mmr Vaccine Does Not Cause Autism Even In At
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New research published in Annals of Internal Medicineprovides further evidence that there is no connection between the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine and autism, even in children with other risk factors for the condition.
The hypothesized link between the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine and autism continues to cause concern and challenge vaccine acceptance almost two decades after the controversial and later retracted Lancet paper from 1998, even though observational studies have not been able to identify an increased risk for autism after MMR vaccination,Anders Hviid, DrMedSci, from Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues wrote.
Vaccine hesitancy has been recognized by the WHO as one of the top 10 threats to global health in 2019. Cases of measles has increased 30% globally, according to WHO, and in January, Washington declared a state of emergency after 34 people were infected with measles due to anti-vaccine fervor.
Social media has notably played a role in the anti-vaccine movement and outlets, such as YouTube, are now taking action by blocking anti-vaccine ads.
Hviid and colleagues investigated the association between MMR vaccine and autism in a more recent and larger cohort of children from Denmark over a longer duration of time.
Annals of Internal Medicine
Autism was diagnosed in 6,517 participants .
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Beyond The Autism/vaccine Hypothesis: What Parents Need To Know About Autism Research
A decade ago most researchers agreed that we needed to study vaccines in relation to autism. We had to reconcile the fact that the number of vaccines children were receiving was increasing, and at the same time, the number of children who were being diagnosed with autism also was on the rise. Fortunately this was a question that could be studied and answered by science. We looked at children who received vaccines and those who didnt, or who received them on a different, slower schedule. There was no difference in their neurological outcomes. Multiple studies have been completed which investigated the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination in relation to autism. Researchers have also studied thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, to see if it had any relation to autism. The results of studies are very clear the data show no relationship between vaccines and autism. Read the studies themselves below and browse our recommended reading list.
Vaccines In Infancy And Autism: Too Many Too Soon
Addressing Parents Concerns: Do Multiple Vaccines Overwhelm or Weaken the Infants Immune System?Offit, Paul A., Quarles, Jessica, et al.2002
Offit, Paul A. and Moser, Charlotte A.January 2009
Tozzi AE, Bisiacchi P, Tarantino V, De Mei B, DElia L, Chariotti F, Salmaso S.January 2009
Robert Schechter, MD, MSc and Judith K. Grether, PhDJanuary 2008
New England Journal of MedicineThompson WW, Price C, Goodson B, et al.September 2007
American Journal of Medical GeneticsJudith H. Miles and T. Nicole TakahashiMay 2007
Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing ThimerosalThomas M. Burbacher, PhDApril 2005
Thimerosal Exposure in Infants and Developmental Disorders: A Prospective Cohort Study in the United Kingdom Does Not Support a Causal AssociationJohn Heron and Nick Andrews, PhD and Jean Golding, DScSeptember 2004
Journal of the American Medical AssociationAnders Hviid, MSc
American Journal of Preventive MedicinePaul Stehr-Green, DrPh, MPH
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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
The Data Are In Again
The researchers compared autism rates in children who had received the MMR vaccination and compared them against children who had not had the jab.
As expected, there was no increase in risk associated with the vaccination. Similarly, even in children with a higher risk of developing autism, the MMR vaccination made no difference.
The autism risk factors that the team accounted for included having a sibling with an autism diagnosis, low birth weight, maternal age, paternal age, and smoking during pregnancy. The authors conclude:
ur study does not support that MMR vaccination increases the risk for autism, triggers autism in susceptible children, or is associated with clustering of autism cases after vaccination.
In further analyses, they also looked for links between vaccinations other than MMR and autism again, they found none.
One of the studys main strengths is the large number of individuals included in the analysis. As the authors write, the studys size allowed them to conclude that even minute increases in autism risk after MMR vaccination are unlikely.
editorial , written by Dr. Saad B. Omer and Dr. Inci Yildirim from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
With an air of frustration, the authors write, Even in the face of substantial and increasing evidence against an MMR-autism association, the discussion around the potential link has contributed to vaccine hesitancy.
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Vaccine Ingredients Do Not Cause Autism
- One vaccine ingredient that has been studied specifically is thimerosal. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative used to prevent germs from contaminating multidose vials of vaccines. Research shows that thimerosal does not cause ASD. In fact, a 2004 scientific review by the IOM concluded that the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosalcontaining vaccines and autism.Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism external icon
Since 2003, there have been nine CDC-funded or conducted studies that have found no link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and ASD. These studies also found no link between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and ASD in children. Learn more about the CDC Studies on Thimerosal in Vaccines pdf icon.
Even before studies showed that thimerosal was not harmful, there was a national effort to reduce all types of mercury exposures in children. As precaution, thimerosal was removed or reduced to trace amounts in all childhood vaccines between 1999 and 2001. Currently, the only type of vaccine that contain thimerosal are flu vaccines packaged in multidose vials. There are thimerosal-free alternatives available for flu vaccine. For more information, see the Timeline for Thimerosal in Vaccines.
Besides thimerosal, some people have had concerns about other vaccine ingredients in relation to ASD. However, no links have been found between any vaccine ingredients and ASD.
What Kind Of Scientific Study Was This
This was a case-control study which tested the possibility that the MMR vaccine may contribute to the development of autistic spectrum disorders . The researchers did this by comparing long-lasting signs of measles infection or immune response in children with ASD and children without ASD . The researchers were particularly interested in looking at children who had lost some of their developmental skills and children with specific digestive system problems , as these are both phenomena that have been claimed to be linked to the MMR vaccine. This study was part of the Special Needs and Autism Project , which enrolled 56,946 children from the South Thames region born between July 1 1990 and December 31 1991.
The researchers looked to see whether there were antibodies against the measles virus in the blood and investigated whether the levels of anti-measles antibodies a child had was related to the severity of their autistic symptoms. The childrens blood samples were also tested for the presence of the measles virus by looking for genetic material from the virus. Previous studies have looked for the measles virus in cells from the stomach, however, as this is an invasive procedure it was considered unethical to carry out this procedure on the children, so instead the researchers looked at a particular type of white blood cell where viruses are known to replicate.
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The World Health Organization has deemed vaccine hesitancy the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines as a top 10 threat to global health in 2019.
I think we are at a tipping point, Offit said. I think people need to realize that a choice not to get a vaccine is not a risk-free choice. Its a choice to take a greater risk, and unfortunately right now, we are experiencing that greater risk.
CNNs Debra Goldschmidt and Nina Avramova contributed to this report.
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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Do Vaccines Cause Autism
Some parents of children with ASD wonder whether a link exists between autism and vaccines. The concern first started with the MMR vaccine, an immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella. Some parents believe this vaccine causes the onset of autism. Despite these strongly held beliefs by proponents of the vaccine theory, there is no scientific proof that the MMR vaccineor any other vaccinecauses autism.
Why Are People With Autism At Higher Risk Of Covid
The higher risks of COVID-19 that researchers found in people with autism arent due to the developmental or intellectual disabilities themselves, but rather because people with them are more likely to live in a group setting, be unable to communicate about having symptoms, or have trouble understanding or following safety measures, according to the CDC.
Sometimes it is difficult for people with ASD to wear masks and keep social distancing, themselves and others at increased risk of spreading or acquiring COVID-19, says Robert Hendren, DO, a psychiatrist and the director of the program for research on neurodevelopmental and translational outcomes at the University of California in San Francisco.
Early symptoms may be overlooked because people with ASD may not be able to express their discomforts, such as sore throat. If someone with ASD gets COVID-19, they may have a very difficult time being in the hospital and receiving treatments that are unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and potentially scary, Dr. Hendren explains.
Further, and as noted by the authors of the NEJM Catalyst report, people with intellectual disabilities are more likely to have other health problems at the same time that put them at higher risk for infection and COVID-19 disease, such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Banks says this is true of people with ASD as well.
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