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Vaccine-autism how long will this crap be taken seriously

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Vaccine-autism how long will this crap be taken seriously

Post by farley2k » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:19 am

How much evidence to people need to stop this crap? I know autism devastates families and lives but there just isn't any scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism
Yet today on the front page of CNN is another story about parents suing claiming that their child's autism was caused by a vaccine.

I can sort of understand why these cases can't be thrown out since science is never 100% sure of anything but why does the media continue to give so much coverage to this? It isn't news. When people sue over untrue stupid ideas it isn't news!

This kind of thing just drives me nuts because giving it press implies that there may be some merit to the case.
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Post by paulbaxter » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:26 am

I'm not gonna argue about this since it isn't my issue and I haven't studied it seriously, but from what I've heard, your statement that there is NO scientific evidence is something of an overstatement.
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Post by Smoove_B » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:27 am

I think some of the confusion is over the actual classification of Autism. It seems that there's such a wide range of symptoms it's hard to collectively group everyone diagnosed.

Plus there was a recent ruling that suggested the vaccination series aggrivated a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder this girl had. End result? An appearance of "features of autism spectrum disorder."

It's certainly a complex issue.

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Post by farley2k » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:30 am

One a side note - what is wrong with that link?
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Post by AWS260 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:40 am

paulbaxter wrote:I'm not gonna argue about this since it isn't my issue and I haven't studied it seriously, but from what I've heard, your statement that there is NO scientific evidence is something of an overstatement.
I think it's more accurate to say that the overwhelming preponderance of scientific evidence indicates that there is no link between vaccines and autism.

For perspective on the recent ruling mentioned by Smoove, see this post on the Autism Vox blog.

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Post by Moliere » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:50 am

farley2k wrote:One a side note - what is wrong with that link?
A carriage return after .html].


Vaccine-Autism Panic Debunked Yet Again by New Study
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Post by Peacedog » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:52 am

farley2k wrote:One a side note - what is wrong with that link?
Maybe try to reduce the amount of text between the URL tags. The actual url works fine. That's kind of odd.[/url]

Or, see above.

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Post by Tokek » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:42 am

I deal with a lot of autistic children and their families in my line of work so I have a little bit of knowledge in the subject.

There is no scientific evidence to link vaccines and autism, but in a lot of the cases that I've heard, their children were typical prior to receiving their vaccinations and started exhibiting signs of autistic behavior after their vaccinations. I'm not talking about just 1 vaccine, but a whole series of them given at one time or within a very short period of time. I believe this is why the link is made in the first place.

Another thing that I've heard is while thimerasol is not being used anymore but they are still using the older stockpile of vaccines that still has thimerasol in it. How true this statement is, I'm not sure.

The thinking is that there is a genetic predisposition that's being triggered by something in the vaccines that causes autism.

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Post by farley2k » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:57 am

Moliere wrote:
farley2k wrote:One a side note - what is wrong with that link?
A carriage return after .html].
Thanks!
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Post by Smoove_B » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:58 am

Tokek wrote:The thinking is that there is a genetic predisposition that's being triggered by something in the vaccines that causes autism.
In time, I think this is what it'll come down too - identifying a certain percentage of the population that has some kind of genetic anomoly that predisposes them to developing "autism" when exposed to vaccines. And it might not even be the vaccine or the ingredients. It could simply be the act of vaccination or as you said having too many vaccines at once.

Or it could be something totally unrelated.

It could turn out to be something like PKU.

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Post by farley2k » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:00 pm

AWS260 wrote:
paulbaxter wrote:I'm not gonna argue about this since it isn't my issue and I haven't studied it seriously, but from what I've heard, your statement that there is NO scientific evidence is something of an overstatement.
I think it's more accurate to say that the overwhelming preponderance of scientific evidence indicates that there is no link between vaccines and autism.

For perspective on the recent ruling mentioned by Smoove, see this post on the Autism Vox blog.
That is it. As I said nothing is science is 100%. Heck even things such as the Law of Gravity are not 100% true all the time. However based on everything we know, all the studies we have done, etc. there is no link.
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Post by Eightball » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:05 pm

There's a nice timeline on Thiomersal/thimerosal and autism, as this was the mercury-containing ingredient blamed for the rise of autism.

Interestingly, CA concluded a study in 2006 that showed incidents of autism were still increasing after the thimerosal was banned from vaccines. Thimerosal is still used in OUS (outside US) vaccines by the WHO, and...no increase of autism has been linked to it there.
Tokek wrote:Another thing that I've heard is while thimerasol is not being used anymore but they are still using the older stockpile of vaccines that still has thimerasol in it. How true this statement is, I'm not sure.
It used to be true; FDA and CDC in 2002 said that older stockpiles of vaccines containing thimerosal still could be used. But I doubt there are any stockpiles of thimerosal left today. Thiomersal was no longer included in all vaccines as of 2001...but in 1999 the American Academy of Pediatrics requested removal of thimerosal from vaccines. Most vaccine manufacturers stopped including it in vaccines at that point (hello, liability). Since vaccines have a relatively short shelf-life (most 2-3 years at most)...it's unlikely to the extreme that any of the vaccines administered now, or in the recent past, have thiomersal in them.

In fact, I'd hazard a guess that most vaccine manufacturers recalled any remaining vaccines containing thimerosal in 2001 to avoid any kind of potential liability issues as a risk-benefit analysis issue.
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Post by Eightball » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:09 pm

Smoove_B wrote:In time, I think this is what it'll come down too - identifying a certain percentage of the population that has some kind of genetic anomoly that predisposes them to developing "autism" when exposed to vaccines. And it might not even be the vaccine or the ingredients. It could simply be the act of vaccination or as you said having too many vaccines at once.
Perhaps it's a combination of the immune system being overstimulated by the administration of multiple vaccines, and then some sort of environmentally stimulated damage? Or maybe we're just diagnosing autism a hell of a lot better (the definition is constantly expanding), and we're a lot more sensitive to it?
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Re: Vaccine-autism how long will this crap be taken seriousl

Post by RLMullen » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:11 pm

farley2k wrote:This kind of thing just drives me nuts because giving it press implies that there may be some merit to the case.
The court's agreeing to hear the case is what gives it merit, not the press.

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Re: Vaccine-autism how long will this crap be taken seriousl

Post by Eightball » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:12 pm

RLMullen wrote:
farley2k wrote:This kind of thing just drives me nuts because giving it press implies that there may be some merit to the case.
The court's agreeing to hear the case is what gives it merit, not the press.
Well, you could look at it that way.

Or you could look at it as the Vaccine Court is simply doing it's job by considering another possible side-effect of vaccination; and desires to put an end to the controversy one way or another.
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Re: Vaccine-autism how long will this crap be taken seriousl

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:15 pm

farley2k wrote:How much evidence to people need to stop this crap?
Evidence means nothing to them.

Add in the fact that no one wants to admit fate fucked them (or their child). There's always someone to blame. I imagine a hard fought lawsuit can be a welcome distraction for some.
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Re: Vaccine-autism how long will this crap be taken seriousl

Post by farley2k » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:21 pm

RLMullen wrote:
farley2k wrote:This kind of thing just drives me nuts because giving it press implies that there may be some merit to the case.
The court's agreeing to hear the case is what gives it merit, not the press.
Perhaps "merit" was a poor word choice.

There are millions of court cases, CNN has a limited space on their front page and limited person-hours for research/interviews. When CNN puts it on their front page people suddenly think there is a connection.

Do you honestly think CNN will have a front page story if this case is lost? Will they proudly have a slew of articles about how there isn't a link? I don't.
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Post by Dr. Sugardaddy » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:22 pm

Tokek wrote:...There is no scientific evidence to link vaccines and autism, but in a lot of the cases that I've heard, their children were typical prior to receiving their vaccinations and started exhibiting signs of autistic behavior after their vaccinations...
I provided behavioral therapy to children with autism as my side job during graduate school. We often speculated that many of these "my child was fine until s/he received her vaccinations" scenarios were actually cases of Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Symptoms are similar to those seen in Autism Spectrum Disorders, but don't start showing until age 2.

I don't have any empirical evidence to back this up though; it was just speculation.
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Post by farley2k » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:24 pm

Is it some sort of Autism awareness day? I went back to CNN to re-read the story and now there is a different one up, and there is a whole section about autism as well.
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Re: Vaccine-autism how long will this crap be taken seriousl

Post by Eightball » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:35 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:Add in the fact that no one wants to admit fate fucked them (or their child). There's always someone to blame. I imagine a hard fought lawsuit with the potential of a huge windfall award can be a welcome distraction for some.
Your statement, while accurate, lacked something... :wink:
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Post by RunningMn9 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:44 pm

John McCain wrote:It’s indisputable that (autism) is on the rise amongst children, the question is what’s causing it. And we go back and forth and there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines.
I'm glad that at least John McCain has his facts straight.
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Post by Jag » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:50 pm

farley2k wrote:Is it some sort of Autism awareness day?
Yes.

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Post by The Preacher » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:54 pm

RunningMn9 wrote:
John McCain wrote:It’s indisputable that (autism) is on the rise amongst children, the question is what’s causing it. And we go back and forth and there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines.
I'm glad that at least John McCain has his facts straight.
You and Obama are just pro-autism. Shut it.
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Post by AWS260 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:15 pm

The Preacher wrote:
RunningMn9 wrote:
John McCain wrote:It’s indisputable that (autism) is on the rise amongst children, the question is what’s causing it. And we go back and forth and there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines.
I'm glad that at least John McCain has his facts straight.
You and Obama are just pro-autism. Shut it.
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Post by Moliere » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:22 pm

RunningMn9 wrote:
John McCain wrote:It’s indisputable that (autism) is on the rise amongst children, the question is what’s causing it. And we go back and forth and there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines.
I'm glad that at least John McCain has his facts straight.
When did Johnny say that? Was he sucked into the drama with everyone else?
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Post by Eightball » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:46 pm

Moliere wrote:
RunningMn9 wrote:
John McCain wrote:It’s indisputable that (autism) is on the rise amongst children, the question is what’s causing it. And we go back and forth and there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines.
I'm glad that at least John McCain has his facts straight.
When did Johnny say that? Was he sucked into the drama with everyone else?
Way past the Wakefield time.

RM9 likely pulled that from the wiki timeline I quoted above, but they got it from a McCain town hall meeting given on February 29, 2008.
McCain was responding to a question from the mother of a boy with autism, who asked about a recent story that the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program had issued a judgment in favor of an unnamed child whose family claimed regressive encephalopathy and symptoms of autism were caused by thimerosal.

"We’ve been waiting for years for kind of a responsible answer to this question, and are hoping that you can help us out there," the woman said.

McCain said, per ABC News' Bret Hovell, that "It’s indisputable that (autism) is on the rise amongst children, the question is what’s causing it. And we go back and forth and there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines."

McCain said there’s "divided scientific opinion" on the matter, with "many on the other side that are credible scientists that are saying that’s not the cause of it."
Divided scientific opinion my ass.

Yay to willful ignorance!
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Post by Bob » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:03 pm

My son, diagnosed with autism, will be 6 in June. He can't speak or sign. He communicates by grunting and gesturing.

He's always been off though, so we've never blamed vaccines. We've been trying out the DAN! protocol; they believe some autism is caused by an immune system disorder and an inability to correctly digest some proteins which flow into the bloodstream and act as a sort of drug. Willie has been on a gluten free, casein free diet for several months. He's improved greatly; though who-knows whether that's the diet or just the natural course of his development.

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Post by Marik » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:06 pm

Eightball wrote:Divided scientific opinion my ass.

Yay to willful ignorance!
Amen. Yay to not knowing your history as well. The vaccines we give children prevent a host of plagues from cycling through our population. If vaccines made every twentieth child's head explode on the spot, they would still be a better idea than not vaccinating our children.

It's really frustrating to deal with. People tend to start showing the signs of autism a little after age 2. You get your major battery of immunizations at age... 2. It is no wonder that people want to associate the two, but the research doesn't back up any causal link. Unvaccinated kids get autism at the same rate.

Even the thiomerisol theories turned out to be unsubstantiated. Autism is going up. It just doesn't appear to be the vaccines that are the problem.
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Post by gameoverman » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:47 pm

I'm one of those who knows next to nothing about this issue, other than it IS an issue, but...

If I was a parent told I had an autistic child, then I did something that seemed to cause a 'recovery', and then the people that told me I had an autistic child said(after seeing the recovery) "Uh, no, it turns out your child didn't have autism after all."- I'd be suspicious. In fact I'd think they were trying to hide something.

I mention that because in the CNN story I read, involving Jenny McCarthy and some guy she's with, the parents claim that is what happened when they showed the gains their child made.

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Post by Bob » Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:28 pm

gameoverman wrote:I'm one of those who knows next to nothing about this issue, other than it IS an issue, but...

If I was a parent told I had an autistic child, then I did something that seemed to cause a 'recovery', and then the people that told me I had an autistic child said(after seeing the recovery) "Uh, no, it turns out your child didn't have autism after all."- I'd be suspicious. In fact I'd think they were trying to hide something.

I mention that because in the CNN story I read, involving Jenny McCarthy and some guy she's with, the parents claim that is what happened when they showed the gains their child made.
I have a child diagnosed with autism on the same diet, and frankly, I'm surprised Jenny thinks anyone should be "beating down her door" trying to figure out why it worked for her son. He's one case. Studies are being done by several groups, adding her one case isn't going to make any difference.

It's not like they can dissect her son and figure out what's going on. If there's an easy to find biological link, they'd have found it by now.
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Post by Malachite » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:07 pm

RunningMn9 wrote:
John McCain wrote:It’s indisputable that (autism) is on the rise amongst children, the question is what’s causing it. And we go back and forth and there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines.
I'm glad that at least John McCain has his facts straight.
Apparently he has since recognized this to not be true, and has corrected himself in more recent statements. Or so it appeared in the snippet I saw on CNN this morning while getting my autistic child ready to go to his therapy program.

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Post by Malachite » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:26 pm

Eightball wrote:Or maybe we're just diagnosing autism a hell of a lot better (the definition is constantly expanding), and we're a lot more sensitive to it?
This is at least a large chunk of it.

I'm the mother of an Autistic child. As a baby, my son did not look at me. He did not point to objects that attracted his attention. He produced very, very few preverbal sounds. He was hypersensitive to some sounds, and oblivious to others. He hit me if I tried to sing to him. He had a very high pain tolerance. And so on, and so forth.

We had his hearing tested early on. We had his vision tested. And, when it became clear that he was NOT developing language and he had some serious behavioral issues, we had him tested for developmental problems. Not too surprisingly, he was diagnosed as Autistic.

But. He didn't have many of the characteristics that were associated with a diagnosis of "Autistic" 20 or 25 years ago, when I was taking my psych classes. He did not perform repetitive actions. He did not fixate on objects. He was not self-injurious. He did socially interact with others, just not in a "normal" way.

Back when I was a kid, someone like my son would have been considered "weird". He might have been labelled mentally retarded, even. But he would most likely not have been labelled Autistic.

The criteria has changed, and those changes have resulted in a massive expansion of what is considered Autistic. In fact, "Autism" is now an umbrella term. It includes a bunch of syndromes that share a number of characteristics, but that may be quite unrelated. It even includes the very vague "Pervasive Developmental Disorders Not Otherwise Specified" - talk about a category designed to be a catch-all for all kinds of problems!

Add in the fact that since my child was diagnosed, he became eligible for treatment services, and he will remain eligible for educational assistance, and there's also a massive increase in the desirability of the diagnosis. I might not have sought evaluation when I did if I hadn't known that he might be eligible for services.

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Post by The Meal » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:41 pm

farley2k wrote:As I said nothing is science is 100%. Heck even things such as the Law of Gravity are not 100% true all the time.
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Post by Sarkus » Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:42 pm

Marik wrote: Unvaccinated kids get autism at the same rate.
That's what I've been waiting to see. Do you have a link on that?

The wide sweep of what is defined as "autism" now bothers me. I'm sure that parents are happy if it means they get aid to deal with whatever the problem is, but at the same time it makes me mad with all the attention that is paid to the problem that we act like it's a crisis when most of the public thinks "autism" in terms of its most severe forms.

There is a local former pro baseball player who has been active in fundraising for the cause. His motivation is that his daughter was diagnosed as autistic. The problem is that despite this she is able to participate fully in his activities, including recording ads for radio, and is an honor roll student in school. So, is she really that affected? Or is it something that has been exagerrated?
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Post by AWS260 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:15 pm

Sarkus wrote:
Marik wrote: Unvaccinated kids get autism at the same rate.
That's what I've been waiting to see. Do you have a link on that?
There isn't any data I'm aware of on unvaccinated children, because there are very, very few unvaccinated children in industrial countries these days. Instead, we have studies that look at children's exposure to thimerosal, the preservative used in vaccines that has been alleged to cause autism. The data on thimerosal is clear:
Journal of the American Medical Association, October 2003 -- Reviewed records of nearly 500,000 children in Denmark and compared those given thimerosal-containing pertussis vaccine with children given thimerosal-free vaccine. The authors found that the risk of autism and other autistic-spectrum disorders did not differ between the groups of children who had received no thimerosal-containing vaccine versus those who had received one, two, or three doses of thimerosal- containing vaccine.

New England Journal of Medicine, September 2007 -
1047 children between the ages of 7 and 10 were evaluated for 42 neuropsychological outcomes. Exposure to thimerosal was determined by medical records, immunization records and parent interviews. The authors concluded that their study did not support a causal association between early exposure to mercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines and immune globulins and deficits in neuropsychological functioning at the age of 7 to 10 years.

Archives of General Psychiatry, January 2008 - Study of time trends in the prevalence by age and birth cohort of children with autism who were active status clients of the California DDS from January 1, 1995, through March 31, 2007. The DDS data do not show any recent decrease in autism in California despite the exclusion of more than trace levels of thimerosal
from nearly all childhood vaccines. The DDS data do not support the hypothesis that exposure to thimerosal during childhood is a primary cause of autism.

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Post by Sarkus » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:36 pm

So, nobody's done a look at rates of autism in parts of the world where vaccines aren't common? Seems like it could be done, since they manage to have stats for a lot other health conditions.
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Post by AWS260 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:39 pm

Sarkus wrote:So, nobody's done a look at rates of autism in parts of the world where vaccines aren't common? Seems like it could be done, since they manage to have stats for a lot other health conditions.
Health stats in those parts of the world are really dicey. They're accurate enough to highlight the biggest problems and guide high-level policymaking, but in many cases they're fairly rough estimates (the exceptions are diseases like polio and Guinea worm that are nearing eradication). I can't imagine how epidemiologists would go about measuring rates of a condition like autism that is vaguely defined and certainly not widely recognized by people in those countries.

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Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:07 pm

BTW, it is Autism Awareness Day, hence the media blitz. And I agree with Eightball and Malachite. The Wikipedia History page covers what has now been seen to be autistic behavior recorded going back centuries. And let's not forget the refrigerator mothers of the 1950s.
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Post by Eightball » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:12 am

AWS260 wrote:
Sarkus wrote:So, nobody's done a look at rates of autism in parts of the world where vaccines aren't common? Seems like it could be done, since they manage to have stats for a lot other health conditions.
Health stats in those parts of the world are really dicey. They're accurate enough to highlight the biggest problems and guide high-level policymaking, but in many cases they're fairly rough estimates (the exceptions are diseases like polio and Guinea worm that are nearing eradication). I can't imagine how epidemiologists would go about measuring rates of a condition like autism that is vaguely defined and certainly not widely recognized by people in those countries.
Agreed, it would be a completely worthless comparison. Countries that do not vaccinate their children likely have the most rudimentary health care systems, which simply by necessity would not include specialists qualified to make autism diagnoses.

So, you'd expect autism rates to be lower in countries where they do not routinely vaccinate the children...simply because there's no one there to make the correct diagnosis of autism.
Stupid & lazy

Sarkus
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Post by Sarkus » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:13 pm

Well, from what I've been reading there is a huge disparity even between "developed" countries over what exactly is classified as autism. On top of that, there are disparties within countries and even within states in the U.S.

That makes it very hard to get a grip on the true extent of the problem. Another article I read suggested that while autism is on the rise due to a wider definition of it, it's simply catching conditions that have also always been around. So, that would suggest that the rate of illness remains the same.
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Clegg: Hitler was a corporal!
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