A recent (Online publication date: 26 May 2011) study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health reports ,as set out in the report title, that a positive association has been found between autism and vaccines: A Positive Association found between Autism Prevalence and Childhood Vaccination uptake across the U.S. Population. The study abstract places the conclusion in the context of current thinking which sees autism as the interaction of genetic predispositions and environmental triggers. It also identifies flaws in some of the major studies which are touted as "debunking" any possible autism vaccine connection.
The genetic-environmental model of autism causation does not appear to have broken through the rigid mindsets of those who sek to discourage any further investigation of possible autism vaccine connections, people like Paul Offit, Bill Gates and Richard Gorski. These attack dogs will undoubtedly bark and snarl at this study and attack personally anyone involved with it.
For people with open minds on this serious issue though the article abstract states:
"One of those triggers might be the battery of vaccinations that young children receive. Using regression analysis and controlling for family income and ethnicity, the relationship between the proportion of children who received the recommended vaccines by age 2 years and the prevalence of autism (AUT) or speech or language impairment (SLI) in each U.S. state from 2001 and 2007 was determined. A positive and statistically significant relationship was found: The higher the proportion of children receiving recommended vaccinations, the higher was the prevalence of AUT or SLI. A 1% increase in vaccination was associated with an additional 680 children having AUT or SLI. Neither parental behavior nor access to care affected the results, since vaccination proportions were not significantly related (statistically) to any other disability or to the number of pediatricians in a U.S. state. The results suggest that although mercury has been removed from many vaccines, other culprits may link vaccines to autism. Further study into the relationship between vaccines and autism is warranted."
This study, like all studies, including those that purport to "debunk" any autism vaccine connections will, and should, be given close examination, and criticism, if warranted. Hopefully reviews of this study will be conducted by serious, objective scientists and not just those with a "defend vaccines at all costs" agenda. That, of course, is a very faint hope. Paul Offit and his followers have doubled down on the irrational strategy of personally attacking parents, and researchers, concerned about possible role of vaccines and vaccine ingredients in triggering autism and other neurological disorders in children instead of continuing calmly with objective examination of their concerns.