Monday, November 12, 2012

Vaccines and Autism

I spoke with a researcher recently who will be leading a government-sponsored vaccine safety meta-analysis (in other words, looking at other studies and drawing conclusions by looking at the compilation of data). The researcher does not have a medical background, but rather degrees in economics and public policy. That didn’t disturb me. Sometimes a fresh perspective is beneficial.

What bothered me was the stated presumption that the lack of an autism vaccine link has already been firmly established. It seems to me the Principal Investigator (PI)--for a safety study for something nearly every American infant is subjected to—should be unbiased going in. Because this study is being funded by the National Institutes of Health, I suspect it is being done in an effort to say concerned parents’ concerns are being heard and this is the response.

An assumption of no vaccine-autism association prior to even beginning gives a strong indication as to what the findings will be. This type of “science” that is used to assure the public should give people pause. I wonder about the objectivity of the other studies that have been done—none of which compare unvaccinated children’s autism rates to those who have been vaccinated. An analogy of studying vaccinated children against less-vaccinated children might be like comparing 1-pack a day smokers with those who smoke two packs a day. Both got cancer, therefore smoking doesn’t cause cancer. 
A lot of people strenuously say there are studies showing vaccines are safe and absolutely do not cause autism—yet I dubiously wonder if they have ever read them for themselves know who conducted them and what their conflicts of interest might be, and the methodologies being used. I seriously doubt it. It's a lot of work to do your own research.

The government says over and over again that vaccines don’t cause autism. They don’t know what causes it, but our vaccine schedule-on-steroids simply cannot be a factor. We know at least 83 families have been compensated by the Vaccine Court when their children developed “autism-like symptoms” following vaccination. How is autism diagnosed if not by symptoms? 

I’m not making any claims that vaccines cause autism but I sure believe they cause conditions that can lead to it, and I don’t think the issue has been adequately or properly studied. I don’t believe the right questions are being asked. Neither does the late Dr. Bernadette Healy, former head of the National Institutes of Health. 

I’ve read dozens of studies that implicate vaccines for a host of issues, such as ischemia (reduced blood flow), vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels), mitochondrial disorders, seizures, autoimmune disorders, and death. A 2012 study cites 13 previous studies in saying, In recent years it has become increasingly clear that vaccines may be a triggering factor for severe neurological manifestations of autoimmune etiology.” 1

I used to fall firmly into the “Vaccines Good -  Diseases Bad” camp. I never applied a moment of critical thought to the debate.  After all, don't doctors say vaccines are safe and effective? But then, should we blindly trust our doctors? 

And should we trust the FDA when they accept the results vaccine manufacturers provide?

Last year while doing research for a paper, I happened upon some preliminary findings regarding attenuated virus (the weakened strains from vaccines) being found in the intestinal tracts of autistic children. The percentage of autistic kids in the study who were afflicted with bowel disease attributable to vaccines was quite high—not a surprise to many autism parents. 

I called the researcher, a PhD molecular biologist from a well-respected university medical research center, and asked where I could find his published results. He told me he hadn’t published because he couldn’t find a large enough control group (children without bowel disease)—who wants to allow their healthy child to submit to an invasive procedure? That made sense.

But then he went on to say something that has stuck with me. He said vaccines are untouchable--that the pharmaceutical companies are like the tobacco companies used to be. They conduct the research on the vaccines they develop and maintain their product is safe. The government accepts this. I admit to being old enough to remember tobacco companies insisting there was no link between lung cancer and cigarettes. We all know how that turned out. 

Researchers are afraid to even look for an autism – vaccine link. They know they’ll be labeled fringe lunatics and their funding will dry up. Under those circumstances, who would be brave enough to risk their livelihood to delve deeper? When I do read studies of vaccines, it’s funny to see the way scientists carefully word their findings to make sure the reader knows they believe vaccines are a greater good, even while reporting evidence of harm. 

Parents vaccinate because they have been led to believe there are these super-germs everywhere ready to infect. Without a vaccine, your child could--and probably will--die! The argument that these diseases are sure and certain killers is also not particularly compelling to me anymore. We no longer live in unsanitary conditions, we have proper nutrition, clean water and access to health care, and not to be glib, but we know to wash our hands. Looking at government data of disease incidence by year, we can see it was steadily decreasing before vaccines entered the picture. We also see diseases not widely vaccinated against—scarlet fever and typhoid declining.

No one wants their child to die from measles, or from any other cause, preventable or otherwise, but there is a constant implication in the media that all childhood viruses are nearly always fatal—this is simply not the case. Until my father told me most the kids he knew growing up had measles and it really not a big deal, I thought children nearly always died or were left with severe brain damage. Now that I've done some reading, I've learned poor outcomes are in actuality very rare events. 

But I would also ask why the life of a child that succumbed to illness is more valuable than the lives of children who are vaccine-injured or succumb after vaccination. Every life is precious. 

It is this fear of fatal infection, as unlikely an occurrence as it might be, that keeps parents keen on vaccines believing they are protecting their children from serious harm. However, a 2012 study published by Human & Experimental Toxicology found a clear correlation in the increase in infant mortality rates and the increase in the number of doses given routinely. It also points out that although we spend more per capita than any other nation, 33 countries have lower infant mortality rates.2  The study also looks at a possible relationship between Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and the increase in infant vaccinations. 

Are vaccines safe? Are they even highly effective? I could go on and on and will in future blogs. As I learn to use blogger's features more proficiently I will post peer-reviewed literature and if so inclined, you can read and decide for yourself. Vaccines are an elephant, and you have to eat an elephant a bite at a time. 


1.  Tomljenovic, L. & Shaw, C. A. (2012). Death after Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination: Causal or Coincidental? Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs. S12-001.

2. Miller, N. Z. & Goldman, G. S. (2012). Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given: Is there a biochemical or synergistic toxicity?” Human Experimental Toxicology published online 4 May 2011. DOI: 10.1177/0960327111407644.


  1. The Practice of Medicine is a well established culture within our culture. Doctors have been practicing medicine for over 4,000 years. The AMA is a powerful and rich political force imbedded within our government. Money, prestige and power is used to influence governments, agencies and individuals toward certain goals not always beneficial to us, the public.

    Thank you for this beneficial information.

  2. The "assumption" of no link is not necessarily what you fear. It's part of the process - the "null hypothesis" - a line in the sand to be proven or disproven by the evidence. It doesn't mean that it's believed to be true - just that it's the thing to be tested. The null hypothesis in a smoking study is that smoking does not increase the risk of cancer. The null hypothesis in a pregnancy study is that sex does not cause pregnancy. Both of those hypotheses will be rapidly disproved. The vaccine hypothesis, as I understand it, has withstood previous attempts to prove otherwise, but a good scientist remains open-minded and open to evidence that the null hypothesis is wrong.

  3. My dad smoked camels lung cancer caused his death not nf1 genetic.disease he passed on to me also he was working near asbestos. I had regression as toddler mom thought nf1 eye tumor was the cause of reggression. Yeah right autism was braille institute said so my mom ignored it and i was finally diagnosed at age 10 and half. I believe play a role in autism

  4. There is so much research on vaccine components and their neurotoxicity but it doesn't get the press the "Vaccines are Like Mother's Milk" does...have you noticed which companies are huge sponsors of the evening news? I'm sure you've noticed couples sitting in separate bathtubs on a hill holding hands...while the voice over chirps, "Ask your doctor if it's right for you!". I don't believe vaccines are the only cause of autism, but they are one of them for sure, IMO.

  5. Take a look at the cases of all those diseases before and after the vaccinations and youll clearly see when vaccines came out for each disease, the cases dropped right off. Because there was a decline in the deaths of those diseases does not mean there were a steep decline in the cases. For example there was still 500k cases of measles when the vaccine came out and just 4 years later it was less than 50k. 90% drop. Yhe reason why we saw decline in deaths before the vaccine was because of advancements in medicine during that time.
    Believe what you wish, that theres a huge world wide conspiracy that vaccines cause autism and advancements in detection cant be the reason autism rates have gone up, that its all about the money and the experts who are qualified come back with conclusive evidence that vaccines dont cause autism and even when they take out the minute metals because people said that was the problem, people still say conspiracy, or an anecdotal story proves scientists wrong. I guess all those first world countries with universal healthcare who agree vaccines are safe are also in on the conspiracy even though the profit isnt there for them huh?
    id bet youll still be glad to get morphine in the hospital if something ever horrible happens to you like a car crash and for some reason these same doctors who you distrust suddenly become trustworthy when they are stitching you back up or needing life saving surgury with the modern medical technology and medicine. People who believe the earth is flat and claim we are falling up at the same rate that "physicists" call gravity also believe in a world wide conspiracy with scientists and government agencies, have their evidence and anecdotal stories too.

    The beauty of science and the scientific method is its self correcring. Peer reviewed studies is the best and most accurate way humans can do to come to facts or falsify a claim. Theres an.incentive to show holes or otherwise disprove a claim and the reason we have all this tech we have today. Theres plenty we still dont know and plenty we will revise in the future based on new evidence but to equate a world wide conspiracy between the scientific communities because big pharma rakes in profits like nothing else and as a business is sleezy as hell is just a post hoc

  6. Actually, your statement is not correct. You should check out Vital Statistics on the CDC's website and you will see that measles deaths had declined to basically zero before the vaccine was introduced in late 1963. Take a look at the incidence of typhoid (for which the US does not vaccinate) and Scarlet Fever for which there is no vaccine.

    As far as a big worldwide conspiracy, those are your words, not mine. I don't believe that it's anything more that simple greed. Kind of the same reason why fossil fuels, which are filthy and carcinogenic are still the primary source of energy--oil companies want to make money.

    There are literally hundreds of peer-reviews studies that show vaccines can be harmful. Do you honestly believe we are all genetic clones of one another? You most likely accept that Vioxx caused death and injury to some, but not to most who took that drug. Why do you think vaccines cannot not injure some? Have you ever taken a look at the VAERS database?

    As far as plenty we don't know--well, we certainly are in violent agreement on that point. Scientists just recently discovered the brain and the immune system are connected through lymphatic tissues...just over a year ago medical researchers discovered a new ligament. I don't equate a medical degree with all-knowing omnipotence.

    I'm not sure what being thankful for a pain medication that has been around for centuries has to do with being concerned with vaccine injury, but OK. Why don't you take a look at the work by Dr. Gregory Poland (Mayo Clinic and Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal, "Vaccine") on what he terms "Vaccinomics", "Adversomics"...he also uses the term, "Vaccident"--you can guess for what. The way the science is going is there is a realization among vaccine developers that all human beings are not exactly the same and they have identified genes that make people more susceptible to vaccine injury. The US Army (Reif et al) has published in peer-reviewed journals about the higher incidence of vaccine injury in individuals with MTHFR polymorphisms--which two of my children have homozygously. In fact you cannot participate in a vaccine trial if you have an MTHFR polymorphism, but that same vaccine is "safe" for you once it has passed trials and you might become a "one-in-a-million" statistic.

    I didn't "suddenly distrust" anyone, nor do I distrust everyone. I am an electrical engineer, have studied gravity and physics and don't know anyone who believes the Earth is flat or disputes the theory of gravity, and find your equivalency to be pejorative. I believe in the scientific method, however, I seriously doubt you have ever read one of the peer-reviewed studies you speak of--you haven't cited any. These are epidemiological studies, which means they are statistical in nature, vice toxicological. Statistical data is very easy to manipulate when certain results are desired.

    When does anecdotal evidence become actual evidence in your mind? The thousands of families that have witnessed their walking, talking children suddenly sit in the corner and bang their heads, lose all language ability and become incontinent following vaccines are, in fact, data points. Just because it isn't convenient to collect this data and put it into a study doesn't mean the data isn't there.

    1. There is so much research on vaccine components and their neurotoxicity but it doesn't get the press the "Vaccines are Like Mother's Milk" does...have you noticed which companies are huge sponsors of the evening news? I'm sure you've noticed couples sitting in separate bathtubs on a hill holding hands...while the voice over chirps, "Ask your doctor if it's right for you!". I don't believe vaccines are the only cause of autism, but they are one of them for sure, IMO.
      Jennifer Dominquez

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