Saturday, February 21, 2009

Vaccine-Autism War: WHY Won't They Do The Research?

Apart from the many thousands of allegedly hysterical, delusional parents and allegedly fraudulent, huckster professionals who have raised safety concerns, particularly autism concerns, about vaccines two high ranking members of the American public health system have stated a need for more research of possible vaccine-autism connections.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, former head of the CDC and Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the NIH and the American Red Cross have BOTH indicated that more research of vaccine-autism issues COULD and SHOULD be done.

So WHY are public health authorities like the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee REFUSING to authorize funding to research possible vaccine-autism connections?

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Anonymous said...

To answer your question, it's more of a matter of who has been doing the research, which is many people. Studies keep coming out saying that there is no connection between vaccines and autism.

While it may be true that it can be (but not always) caused by environmental factors, I'm quite sure that it is not the mercury in vaccines, although some people swear that it is.

I personally have nothing against anybody doing any studies, even wrong-headed studies as long as no one gets hurt by them. It just seems like a complete waste of time and resources to find the mercury/autism link. However, if there is a study undertaken by the believers of it themselves and it once again comes up negative, and they can finally shut up and do some truly useful autism research, I'll be happy. But it just seems that they want to take that angle over and over again ad infinitum until they get the results that they want, and will never satisfied until they do.

They may come up with one study that 'proves' their hypothesis (or pre-drawn conclusion) and jump on that. And if anything is shown to be wrong with the science of it, they will say that we are all part of some conspiracy, and are paid off by Big Pharma. I suspect that is what may ultimately happen.

Unknown said...


Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Dr Healey and Dr Gerberding have both stated a need for more study of the vaccine autism issues. I find it hard to believe they would publicly call for wrong-headed studies to be done.

The many studies that have been done are all epidemiological studies which are limited in their ability to address population subsets that might be vulnerable to vaccine ingredients. Dr Healy's observation not mine.

And there have actually been thousands of cases settled by government payment in the Vaccine Court system where brain and neurological injuries had been claimed. Dr. Healy has suggested that such cases should be followed up for study in connection with autism.

With all respect it is difficult to dismiss such comments from a former NIH and American Red Cross head and a recent CDC director as being "wrong headed".

Anonymous said...

I was specifically referring to the belief that autism is caused by mercury in vaccines. That has been refuted over and over again. I heard there are some diseases that women can get while pregnant, like rubella, that might cause autism. I'm open to that and other possibilities, just not mercury.

If they come out with a study that does link mercury to autism, I would be skeptical to say the least. I'll presume that the evidence has been 'doctored'.

J said...

Harold -
What Dr. Healy was saying is that the epidemiological studies that have been done are not granular enough to detect extremely small subsets of children that may in some way (a way that is currently not known or understood in even the vaguest way, if such a circumstance even exists) be vulnerable to vaccines as a cause of autism.
But there is a HUGE logical flaw in this; for the most part, the same people who subscribe to the notion of a real autism epidemic are the ones who tend to support the vaccine etiology of autism. But if the subsets are so small that they are undetectable by the extremely rigorous pre-licensure vaccine safety studies as well as over 20 well-designed, peer-reviewed epidemiological studies, then there is no way that vaccine etiology numerically could account for a measurable portion of the increase in administrative caseload.
The devil is in the details - one cannot have it one way (too small to be detectable by epi- studies and clinical trials) and the other (significant contributor to rise in incidence).

Marni Wachs said...

At this point, the direct causal relationship between mercury as a single factor and autism has very little evidence, and I personally believe that we keep hearing about that particular angle because it has been defunct. This is a strawman argument, which is a technique used to distract the listener from a stronger argument somewhere else in, or potentially as part of the discourse.

I didn't read anywhere in the post about "mercury" and autism. I read about a potential relationship between VACCINES and autism.

I'm hoping for the long-overdue paradigm shift, and naturally it would follow that the proper studies could then be done. I think the studies are not being done because of what Dr. Healy said in her CBS news interview. They (public health) want to keep the vaccination as high as possible, and they believe the best way to do that is to put forth a simple positive message. I think they are not going to get the desired results unless they change course on that, again, reflecting the thoughts of Dr. Healy, to pursue the true science. Instead, I have been reading about plans for more and more coercive and mandatory measures a la Paul Offit.

In Canada, we have the right to refuse treatment. I just wanted to end with that. I don't know what's going to happen in the US, there's some pretty frightening violations of rights going on, particularly in New Jersey.

Unknown said...

Steve D

YOU added the "extremely" small qualifier to Dr Healy's words. And you ignored her remarks in their entirety.

In two commentaries, one in the US News & World Report and in the CBS interview with Sharyl Atkisson Dr Healy pointed out that the professional literature has many reports of neurological injuries from vaccines.

There have been thousands of government settlements involving brain injuries during the vaccine court proceedings. These injuries have never been studied or followed up on in connection with autism.

Studies of unvaccinated children have not been done to see what their autism rates look like in comparison to vaccinated children.

Again, I have no fixed position on the vaccine-autism issue. When two prominent health authorities like Dr Healy and Dr Gerberding state publicly that more studies could and should be done then the onus is on those who say they should not be done to make their case.

Please make the case and explain why such research should NOT be done.

Claire said...

Yes Marni W....we need to move away from the "it's the mercury" thing. When I did my vaccine research stuff a million years ago (OK, 17, when my first daughter was born)I was never looking for anything specific (i.e.autism), but I did find lots of issues about overloading immature immune systems, too large doses used on infants, poor storage of the vaccines...the fact that when Japan stopped administering the whole cell pertussis vaccine to infants, its SIDS rated dropped by 80%, that the only cases of polio in N.A. were all within the vaccinated population...more recently, a rash of teenagers with shingles...a variant of chicken pox...among those vaccinated with the chicken pox vaccine. Lots more. SO...the point is, vaccines cannot be above strict and rigorous scrutiny. If they did the research properly, they would more likely get support from the general population. As long as the powers that be continue to insist that alot of very intelligent and thoughtful people are all a bunch of hyper conspiracy theorists, there will be ongoing resistance to vaccinating.

shakingsystem said...

Vaccines have doubled from 1991.This has caused an increase in the level of toxic mercury,and an increase in the frequency and probablity of children receiving multiple vaccines in a single injection.

Toxins may have not been so destructive within children's immune-systems had they been capable of detoxifying.Many children with asthma,adhd,allergies,and autism would fall into this category.

As a result this creates damaged cells in the brain and nervous system,inflammation in the gut and immune-system,and toxic build-up in the cells and the bloodstream,which could in fact create cell dysfunction.

A child having low glutathione will be unable to detoxify heavy metals.This can lead to neurotoxicity,poor nerve conduction,vulnerability to toxins in the brain,increased autoimmunity ,allergy and reduced methylation.

Studies and research have not been done to thouroughly disprove the vaccine-autism connection.Studies,research and early testing must zero in on the sub-set of children who are highly vulnerable and susceptible and whose immune systems are compromised.Early testing should be done to delay the vaccination process in certain sub-sets of children.

The primary focus should not only be made towards the autism-vaccination connection but rather the early testing, to rule out the vulnerable and compromised metabolic systems of children unable to handle the over burden of toxins in their bodies.