Vaccines and Autism

You are right. Let me assure you parents. You are right. You should be concerned about anything that has to do with your children. You are their first defense, their last defense, and oftentimes their only defense. You are the sole protectors of your children. Who, if not you, will make the hard decisions about their lives? As loving and caring parents, it is your job to question everything that affects your child.  Our struggle, as parents, is deciphering the ocean of information that is flooding us on a daily basis. Vaccines. Oh, I know this is a dirty topic. Reading it probably put a swell in your stomach. Is she going to tell me that vaccines are the answer, or the problem? I’m not going to tell you what you should think. I’m going to ask you to think for yourself. Figure your own shit out, because it sits on your head no one else’s. The decision along with the reward and the consequences are yours to bare. I’m not a doctor or a scientist. I’m a mom with a knack for research.

What does a vaccine do?

According to Stephanie Pappas of Live Science, “The immune system still sees them as an enemy and produces antibodies in response” (Pappas, 2010). Very basically, antigens (the bad guys) get introduced to our body. Our immune systems create antibodies and fight the antigens. The problem is that big scary antigens build up faster than our immune system can build its army of antibodies. So, we get sick. A vaccine is a dead or nearly dead antigen that is introduced to our bodies. The immune system sees the antigen and creates antibodies, the antigen doesn’t get to build an army. Then the immune system stores that information and saves it for future encounters. Thus giving it the advantage of being prepared.

The Origin of the Vaccine Autism Correlation and Panic.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield was not the first to suggest that Autism may be cause by the MMR vaccine. Though he definitely was the loudest. Wakefield’s first claimed that “These findings suggest that measles virus may play a part in the development not only of Crohn’s disease but also of ulcerative colitis.” (N.P Thompson MRCP, 1995). His claim was refuted, and proof was found to show that there was no such link “These findings provide no support for the hypothesis that measles vaccination in childhood predisposes to the later development of either IBD overall or Crohn’s disease in particular.” (Mark Feeney, 1997) Wakefield later went on to add Autism to the claim.

Wakefield was hired by an attorney who was attempting to sue on behalf of parents of autistic children (Triggle, 2010). Wakefield would serve as a consultant to the attorney. In his study to prove Autism’s link to vaccinations he broke many ethical rules, enough that he was bared from practicing medicine in England. The committee charged with evaluating his ethical practices wanted to make it very clear that it “did not investigate whether Dr Wakefield’s findings were right or wrong, instead it was focused on the methods of research.” (Triggle, 2010)

The chief and main reason he was barred is for his treatment of children. “Dr Wakefield for the invasive tests, such as spinal taps, that were carried out on children and which were found to be against their best clinical interests.” (Triggle, 2010). He did not receive ethical approval from the hospital he worked out of. Wakefield obtained blood samples by paying children for their blood at a birthday party. He then gathered medical information in conversations with parents, as opposed to medical documentation. Out of the 8 children he studied, four were misdiagnosed or misrepresented in the study (Deer, 2011). He also created a measles vaccine that was irrelevant as long as the MMR vaccine was in use. This should be a clear indicator of biased intent.

In order for a scientific study to be considered legitimate it must be unbiased, follow a scientific process, and be subject to peer review. Most of us know that not all sources are reliable. If you go to buy a bottle of water and the bottle says that it’s the purest water in the world, we know that claim is likely unfounded or biased. There is an inherent problem with a scientist being paid money to come to a particular outcome. It happens though. That is why in college one of the first things we learn is how to find a reliable resource. We’re taught to look at the coalitions, companies, and boards that researchers are associated with. We’re taught to look at who financed the research. With this knowledge in hand I can come to the reasonable conclusion that the study by Wakefield is unreliable. You can decide for yourself.

What research has been done concerning vaccines and their correlation with Autism?

Wait, if Wakefield is wrong then does that mean that vaccines and the companies that produce them are right? No, ask the questions, demand quality safe ingredients. Demand third party review. I don’t trust any major company who stands to make billions of dollars on any product. For instance, there was a mettle used in vaccines called Thimerosal. This is the mercury that is in fish, and was once called the safe mercury. The CDC explains the removal, “This was done as part of a broader national effort to reduce all types of mercury exposure in children before studies were conducted that determined that thimerosal was not harmful. It was done as a precaution. Currently, the only childhood vaccines that contain thimerosal are flu vaccines packaged in multidose vials. Thimerosal-free alternatives are also available for flu vaccine.” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). The information that I garner from this is, the FDA allowed a solution to be used without proper study and encouraged us to inject our children with it. Later, they found some problems with Thimerosal, “The study found no associations with thimerosal and general intellectual functioning, verbal memory, fine motor coordination, executive functioning, behavior regulation and language. There was a small association between early thimerosal exposure and the presence of tics in boys, but no association among girls. It is necessary to perform additional studies examining the association between thimerosal and tics using more reliable and valid measures of tics.” (CDC).

The nine CDC funded studies are easily read and reviewed, the link is in the bibliography. We just talked about paying attention to who is funding the study, are they looking for a specific outcome? That is for you to decide. The CDC is what started the FDA in removing Thimerosal from vaccines until further studies can be done. All their studies showed no link to Autism. Barile JP, Kuperminc GP, Weintraub ES, Mink JW, Thompson WW. Thimerosal exposure in early life and neuropsychological outcomes 7-10 years later. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2012 January/February; 37(1):106-118 are the scientists that noticed a correlation with tics in boys who received vaccines containing thimerosal. This encouraged a study done and submitted to journal by Thompson WW, Price C, Goodson B, Shay DK, Benson P, et al. Early Thimerosal Exposure and Neuropsychological Outcomes at 7 to 10 Years. N Engl J Med 2007; 357:1281-1292. Take note that Thompson WW was on both studies. The findings concluded that “The study found only a few statistically significant associations between exposure from thimerosal and neuropsychological functioning. Results of this study show no link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders in children.” (CDC). So, They conclude that while there is some cases of tics, it is within reason. Is your eyebrow raised? Mine is. There may be no real risk, but if there are alternatives why are we even talking about this? I’m not saying don’t get vaccinated, I’m saying we should use the safest ingredients possible regardless of cost. That is my opinion, you make your own.

There have been many studies on the correlation of Autism and vaccines. It is widely regarded that vaccines do not cause Autism. National Academy of Sciences says “The committee concludes that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism. The committee also concludes that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. The committee further finds that potential biological mechanisms for vaccine-induced autism that have been generated to date are theoretical only.” (The National Academies of Science, 2004).

Don’t fall for scare tactics and fallacy!!

I’m going to take a quick brake right here and say any fucking site that tells you there has not been any research is lying! I’ve been researching and reading and looking at names and funding nonstop for hours. How would I be able to do this if there was no research? Stop telling people there hasn’t been any studies! I’m finding this line on almost every anti-vaccine site and its infuriating. All I’m trying to do if find a study that is third party and shows cause for concern and I’m coming up empty handed. Quoting journalists and lawyers for medical advice is stupid. That is not a scientist, nor is it a doctor. Find me a reliable person with a clean record.

One site author J.B. Handley, Jr. claims that there is a study done by Jackson State University proved the correlation, I could not find the study. He posts a picture of said study on his website. The study is conducted by phone and e-mail with mothers of homeschooled children. There is no reference to medical documentation (Jr, 2017). Jackson State University also requires vaccinations for admission. I only know that because I scoured their site for anything about vaccines. I used the link that the author provided and found no resource to his claim. Please people, don’t just assume check. Check the resources.

One site listed fourteen studies that prove a correlation. Two links worked and the rest were pages not found. Of those two links one was a phone survey. Phone surveys are not a reliable source for scientific proof, in case you didn’t already know that. I’ll attempt to find links for these sites so you can see for yourself. I didn’t gather the information originally because they aren’t reliable. Now I know that people need to see this garbage that I’m seeing.

If you want to read studies on the link between autism and vaccines check out this site http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2014/03/75-studies-that-show-no-link-between.html These ladies have collected and posted links to 107 studies. I wish I found them before I spent days on research. Seriously I’m kind of mad that I had to spend so much time sifting through garbage.

Think for yourself, read, ask questions, check resources.

Here is the deal people. These are your children/child. This decision is yours. If you decide based off questionable resources, you deserve to get sick unfortunately it’s your child that will pay the price. Let that sink in, your child will pay the price of your decisions. We cannot stand idly by and just accept what is handed to us, we cannot fall for con artists that speak loudly and passionately.

Everything from fruit juice, to clothing needs to be monitored. Pay attention to what is happening around you. Listen to what your neighbor says, then do your own research. Learn about how studies are conducted and what the scientific process is. If you think anyone but you have your child’s best interests in mind you are a fool. Now we need to stop wasting Autism research funding on vaccines and put it to better uses.

References

CDC. (n.d.). Science Summary:. Retrieved from CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/pdf/cdcstudiesonvaccinesandautism.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, November 23). Vaccines Do Not Caust Autism. Retrieved from CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism.html

Deer, B. (2011, January 11). How the vaccine crisis was meant to make money. Retrieved from BMJ: http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c5258

Jr, J. H. (2017, February 8). Diabolically dishonest: Lewin Group’s MMR-Autism sibling study. Retrieved from A Medium Corporation: https://medium.com/@jbhandley/diabolically-dishonest-lewin-groups-mmr-autism-sibling-study-f83af102bb38

Mark Feeney, M. A. (1997, September 13). A case-control study of measles vaccination and inflammatory bowel disease. The Lancet, 350(9080), 764-766. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673697031929

N.P Thompson MRCP, P. R. (1995, April 29). Is measles vaccination a risk factor for inflammatory bowel disease? The Lancet, 345(8957), 1071-1074. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673695908161?_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_origin=gateway&_docanchor=&md5=b8429449ccfc9c30159a5f9aeaa92ffb&ccp=y

Pappas, S. (2010, June 1). How Do Vaccines Work? Retrieved from Live Science: http://www.livescience.com/32617-how-do-vaccines-work.html

The National Academies of Science. (2004, May 14). Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism. Retrieved from The National Academies of Sciences: http://nationalacademies.org/HMD/Reports/2004/Immunization-Safety-Review-Vaccines-and-Autism.aspx

Triggle, N. (2010, January 28). MMR scare doctor ‘acted unethically’, panel finds. Retrieved from BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8483865.stm

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