Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vaccine-Autism War Will Never End Unless Comparative Autism Research Is Done

The performance by Dr. Thomas Insel before US Senator Harkin's Senate committee recently did nothing to end the vaccine-autism war. The head of the IACC took absolute, black and white positions on the key issues which mark the vaccine-autism war. His performance has been critiqued by Katie Wright at Age of Autism. What I found most startling was Dr. Insel's assertion that a comparative study of vaccinated and unvaccinated populations could not be done for ethical reasons.

That is obviously true with respect to experimental studies but observational studies of existing unvaccinated and vaccinated populations could be done and autism rates compared. Dr. Bernadine Healy, Dr. Julie Gerberding and Dr. Duane Alexander have all said that such studies could be done. It is time to fund the comparative study and help bring the vaccine-autism war to an end.

The argument is made though that it would be difficult to conduct such a study because of the logistics involved as well as challenges presented by the lack of controls present in such a study. Personally I don't believe that such a study would actually be that difficult. It is essentially a survey method not substantially different than the epidemiological studies involving completely vaccinated populations relied upon by Dr Insel and others in their at times emotional assertions that a vaccine autism link has been disproved.

Even if it would be difficult to conduct an observational study comparing autism rates amongst existing vaccinated and unvaccinated populations ... so what? Dr. Paul Offit and the mainstream media have been involved in an unrelenting campaign to end the vaccine autism war, by marginalizing, browbeating and intimidating concerned parents into vaccinating their children. The bullying method has not worked. There is still suspicion, given the anecdotal evidence, which is still evidence whether any one wishes to admit it or not, of many parents who testify that their children regressed into autism after being vaccinated.

To say that such anecdotal evidence does not prove causation is fine but observational, anecdotal evidence is still evidence even if it is not conclusive evidence. The real issue is that public health authorities have not proved to the satisfaction of concerned parents that the numbers of children showing regression into autism after vaccinations is in fact just a coincidence. Many concerned parents, and some reputable health care professionals have called for the observational studies comparing autism rates between unvaccinated and vaccinated populations to be done.

If Dr. Insel and the IACC do not fund an observational, comparative study of unvaccinated and vaccinated populations they will fail to persuade those who do not subscribe to their religious like faith in the safety of vaccines. Their continued opposition to conducting such a study will itself create more suspicion around the possible role of vaccines in causing autism disorders. If Dr. Insel and the IACC do not fund such a study they will fail to persuade the very people they are seeking to persuade.

It is time to study, without pharmaceutical industry ties, the autism rates amongst existing vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. If this is not done there will be no end to the vaccine-autism war and Dr. Insel and others on the IACC can accept their fair share of blame for that result ... for the continued reluctance of some parents to vaccinate their children.

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Stephanie said...

You'd think that they'd be eager to get this over with since so many are absolutely sure there is no connection. So than why not do the study?

I feel like this is the same thing about facilitated communication: no one ever proves that the person is communicating yet we are expected to believe what they tell us.

Unknown said...


I agree and I believe that the IACC refusal to conduct the comparative study of autism rates amongst vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations will continue the distrust of the IACC and other medical authorities on vaccine issues.

notepad publishing said...

H1N1 = Conspiracy?

H1N1 notepad

H1N1 notepad

October 11 to October 20 2009
On October 12 2009, Prisonplanet publishes that 'The vaccination propaganda is now kicking into overdrive' but that 'corporate media’s own polls reveal that around two-thirds of parents have serious reservations' and writes about nurses suing the state to block H1N1 vaccinations. While Khaleej Times publishes that the 'WHO Denies Reports of H1N1 Vaccine’s ‘Dangerous Effects' and that 'The side effect of administering H1N1 vaccine is limited to a slight fever and pain at the site of injection'. October 13, the LoudounTimes writes about Desiree Jennings who can move sideways and backwards, but not forward. On October 14 The New American publishes that a growing chorus of doctors and researchers is claiming that being injected with the swine flu vaccine may be more hazardous than catching the flu and Florida Today writes 'Swine flu vaccine here'. FoodConsumer publishes that 'Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, MedImmune, Australian drug maker CSL, and Sanofi-Pasteur will likely make a great deal of money'. October 15, VUE Weekly publishes that 'autism now affects one in 99 American children' and 'Hepatitis B vaccine given to newborn baby boys more than triples their risk'.

Read the full article with all media references @

notepad publishing (a non-profit news agency based in Switzerland)