What the News Isn’t Saying About Vaccine-Autism Studies

This story was updated Nov. 27, 2016 to add results of new survey of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children

 [The following news analysis and commentary was first published Dec. 31, 2015]

A new study this week found no link between vaccines and autism. It instantly made headlines on TV news and popular media everywhere. Many billed it as the final word, “once again,” disproving the notion that vaccines could have anything to do with autism.

What you didn’t learn on the news was that the study was from a consulting firm that lists major vaccine makers among its clients: The Lewin Group.

That potential conflict of interest was not disclosed in the paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine; the study authors simply declare “The Lewin Group operates with editorial independence.”

(As an aside, according to OpenSecrets.org, The Lewin Group’s parent company, UnitedHealth Group, is a key government partner in Obamacare. Its subsidiary QSSI was given the contract to build the federal government’s HealthCare.gov website. One of its top executives and his family are top Obama donors.)

Conflicts of interest alone do not invalidate a study. But they serve as important context in the relentless effort by pharmaceutical interests and their government partners to discredit the many scientists and studies that have found possible vaccine-autism links.

Many Studies Suggest Possible Vaccine-Autism Links

When the popular press, bloggers and medical pundits uncritically promote a study like The Lewin Group’s, it must confound researchers like Lucija Tomljenovic, Catherine DeSoto, Robert Hitlan, Christopher Shaw, Helen Ratajczak, Boyd Haley, Carolyn Gallagher, Melody Goodman, M.I. Kawashti, O.R. Amin, N.G. Rowehy, T. Minami, Laura Hewitson, Brian Lopresti, Carol Stott, Scott Mason, Jaime Tomko, Bernard Rimland, Woody McGinnis, K. Shandley and D.W. Austin.

They are just a few of the many scientists whose peer-reviewed, published works have found possible links between vaccines and autism. But unlike The Lewin Group’s study, their research has not been endorsed and promoted by the government and, therefore, has not been widely reported in the media. In fact, news reports, blogs and “medical experts” routinely claim no such studies exist.

To be clear: no study to date conclusively proves or disproves a causal link between vaccines and autism and—despite the misreporting—none has claimed to do so. Each typically finds either (a) no association or (b) a possible association on a narrow vaccine-autism question. Taken as a whole, the research on both sides serves as a body of evidence.

The Astroturf Propaganda Campaign

It’s theoretically possible that all of the studies supporting a possible link between vaccines and autism are wrong. And, if the propagandists are to be believed, each of the researchers is an incompetent crank, quack, nut or fraud (and, of course, “anti-vaccine” for daring to dabble in research that attempts to solve the autism puzzle and leads to vaccine safety issues). The scientists and their research are “controversial,” simply because the propagandists declare them to be.

The disparaged scientists include well-published neurologists, pharmacists, epidemiologists, immunologists, PhD’s, chemists and microbiologists from places like Boston Children’s Hospital, Horizon Molecular Medicine at Georgia State University, University of British Columbia, City College of New York, Columbia University, Stony Brook University Medical Center, University of Northern Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Al Azhar University of Cairo, Kinki University in Japan, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Poland, Department of Child Health Care, Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in China, Utah State University and many more.

Their work is, at best, ignored by the media; at worst, viciously attacked by the predictable flock of self-appointed expert “science” bloggers who often title their blogs with the word “science” or “skeptics” to confer an air of legitimacy.

This astroturf movement, in my opinion, includes but is not limited to: LeftBrainRightBrain, ScienceBlogs, NeuroSkeptic, ScienceBasedMedicine, LizDitz, ScienceBasedMedicine, CrooksandLiars, RespectfulInsolence, HealthNewsReview, SkepticalRaptor, Skepticblog, Skeptics.com, Wired, BrianDeer, SethMnookin, Orac, Every Child by Two, the vaccine industry supported American Academy of Pediatrics, and the government/corporate funded American Council on Science and Health (once called “Voodoo Science, Twisted Consumerism” by the watchdog Center for Science in the Public Interest).

This circle operates with the moral support of the vaccine industry and its government partners, citing one another’s flawed critiques as supposed proof that each study has been “debunked,” though the studies continue to appear in peer-reviewed, published journals and in the government’s own National Institutes of Health library.

“Weak,” “too small,” “haphazard,” “not replicated,” “junk science,” “flawed,” “unrelated,” declare the propagandists, without exception. Just as attackers spent years challenging any study that linked tobacco to lung cancer.

They know that reporters who don’t do their homework will conduct an Internet search, run across the blogs with science-y sounding names, and uncritically accept their word as if it’s fact and prevailing thought.

[button link=”https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism/”]CDC claims “no link” between vaccines and autism[/button]

A Small Sampling

Many of the studies have common themes regarding a subset of susceptible children with immunity issues who, when faced with various vaccine challenges, end up with brain damage described as autism.

“Permanent brain damage” is an acknowledged, rare side effect of vaccines; there’s no dispute in that arena. The question is whether the specific form of autism brain injury after vaccination is in any way related to vaccination.

So what are a few of these published studies supporting a possible link between vaccines and autism?

As far back as 1998, a serology study by the College of Pharmacy at University of Michigan supported the hypothesis that an autoimmune response from the live measles virus in MMR vaccine “may play a causal role in autism.” (Nothing to see here, say the critics, that study is old.)

In 2002, a Utah State University study found that “an inappropriate antibody response to MMR [vaccine], specifically the measles component thereof, might be related to pathogenesis of autism.” (“Flawed and non-replicable,” insist the propagandists.)

Also in 2002, the Autism Research Institute in San Diego looked at a combination of vaccine factors. Scientists found the mercury preservative thimerosal used in some vaccines (such as flu shots) could depress a baby’s immunity. That could make him susceptible to chronic measles infection of the gut when he gets MMR vaccine, which contains live measles virus. (The bloggers say it’s an old study, and that other studies contradict it.)

In 2006, a team of microbiologists in Cairo, Egypt concluded, “deficient immune response to measles, mumps and rubella vaccine antigens might be associated with autism, as a leading cause or a resulting event.”

A 2007 study found statistically significant evidence suggesting that boys who got the triple series Hepatitis B vaccine when it contained thimerosal were “more susceptible to developmental disability” than unvaccinated boys.

Similarly, a 5-year study of 79,000 children by the same institution found boys given Hepatitis B vaccine at birth had a three times increased risk for autism than boys vaccinated later or not at all. Nonwhite boys were at greatest risk. (“Weak study,” say the critics.)

A 2009 study in The Journal of Child Neurology found a major flaw in a widely-cited study that claimed no link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism. Their analysis found that “the original p value was in error and that a significant relation does exist between the blood levels of mercury and diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder.”

[quote]The researchers noted, “Like the link between aspirin and heart attack, even a small effect can have major health implications. If there is any link between autism and mercury, it is absolutely crucial that the first reports of the question are not falsely stating that no link occurs.”[/quote] (Critics: the study is not to be believed.)

[button link=”https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/UCM096228#t3″]FDA list of thimerosal-containing vaccines[/button]

A 2010 rat study by the Polish Academy of Sciences suggested “likely involvement” of thimerosal in vaccines (such as flu shots) “in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.” (The critics dismiss rat studies.)

In 2010, a pilot study in Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis found that infant monkeys given the 1990’s recommended pediatric vaccine regimen showed important brain changes warranting “additional research into the potential impact of an interaction between the MMR and thimerosal-containing vaccines on brain structure and function.”

A study from Japan’s Kinki University in 2010 supported “the possible biological plausibility for how low-dose exposure to mercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines may be associated with autism.”

A 2011 study from Australia’s Swinburne University supported the hypothesis that sensitivity to mercury, such as thimerosal in flu shots, may be a genetic risk factor for autism. (Critics call the study “strange” with “logical hurdles.”)

A Journal of Immunotoxicology review in 2011 by a former pharmaceutical company senior scientist concluded autism could result from more than one cause including encephalitis (brain damage) following vaccination. (Critics say she reviewed “debunked and fringe” science.)

In 2011, City University of New York correlated autism prevalence with increased childhood vaccine uptake. “Although mercury has been removed from many vaccines, other culprits may link vaccines to autism,” said the study’s lead author. (To critics, it’s “junk science.”)

A University of British Columbia study in 2011 that found “the correlation between Aluminum [an adjuvant] in vaccines and [autism] may be causal.” (More “junk science,” say the propagandists.)

A 2011 rat study out of Warsaw, Poland found thimerosal in vaccines given at a young age could contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders. (Proves nothing, say critics.)

A Chinese study in 2012 suggested that febrile seizures (an acknowledged side effect of some vaccines) and family history of neuropsychiatric disorders correlate with autistic regression.

A 2012 study from the Neurochemistry Research Marie Curie Chairs Program in Poland found that newborn exposure to vaccines with thimerosal (such as flu shots) might cause glutamate-related brain injuries.

In 2013, neurosurgeons at the Methodist Neurological Institute found that children with mild mitochondrial defect may be highly susceptible to toxins like the vaccine preservative thimerosal found in vaccines such as flu shots. (“Too small” of a study, say the critics.)

In 2016, Frontiers published a survey of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children. The vaccinated had a higher rate of allergies and NDD (neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism) than the unvaccinated. Vaccination, but not preterm birth, remained significantly associated with NDD after controlling for other factors. However, preterm birth combined with vaccination was associated with an apparent synergistic increase in the odds of NDD.

Then, there’s a 2004 Columbia University study presented at the Institute of Medicine. It found that mice predisposed for genetic autoimmune disorder developed autistic-like behavior after receiving mercury-containing vaccines. (Critics say that’s not proof, and the work was not replicable.)

There’s Dr. William Thompson, the current CDC senior scientist who has come forward with an extraordinary statement to say that he and his agency have engaged in long term efforts to obscure a study’s significant link between vaccines and autism, heightened in African Americans boys. (The CDC says the data changes made were for legitimate reasons.)

There’s the current CDC immunization safety director who acknowledged to me that it’s possible vaccines may rarely trigger autism in children who are biologically or genetically susceptible to vaccine injury.

There’s the case of Hannah Poling, in which the government secretly admitted multiple vaccines given in one day triggered her brain injuries, including autism, then paid a multi-million dollar settlement, and had the case sealed from the prying public eyes under a confidentiality order.

There was the former head of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Bernadine Healy, who stoked her peers’ ire by publicly stating that the vaccine-autism link was not a “myth” as so many tried to claim. She disclosed that her colleagues at the Institute of Medicine did not wish to investigate the possible link because they feared the impact it would have on the vaccination program.

There’s former CDC researcher Poul Thorsen, whose studies dispelled a vaccine autism link. He’s now a “most wanted fugitive” after being charged with 13 counts of wire fraud and nine counts of money laundering for allegedly using CDC grants of tax dollars to buy a house and cars for himself.

And there are the former scientists from Merck, maker of the MMR vaccine in question, who have turned into whistleblowers and accuse their company of committing vaccine fraud.

[button link=”https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/index.html”]Read: CDC Vaccine Information Statements[/button]

The Spin

If you want to review research and evidence on the other side, a simple Internet search will easily turn up everything you want to know. Those studies always seem to get covered in the news. They somehow turn up first in Google search results, along with the reports and blogs disparaging all opposing science and news reporting.

You might run across a February article in the New York Times. It treated the vaccine autism theory as if it comes down to a disagreement between emotionally fragile parents of autistic children and real research: “faith” and “feeling” versus hard science.

“Some parents feel certain that vaccines can lead to autism,” stated the article, and “the vaccine-autism link has continued to be accepted on faith by some.”

You might run across this network news story that uses Dr. Paul Offit as an expert on vaccine safety. He’s introduced as “director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia” and he “denies a connection with vaccination and autism.”

Somehow, it goes unreported that Offit has made millions (he won’t disclose exactly how much) inventing a vaccine for Merck, which makes the MMR vaccine in question. Offit’s rotavirus vaccine has, itself, been the subject of safety concerns. And his employment at Children’s Hospital has been funded in part by $1.5 million given by Merck. In addition, he got caught giving false and disparaging information regarding a report I did exposing his financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry he so vigorously defends. His false statements were corrected by the publication that originally reported them. And Offit and his book publisher settled a libel accusation by a vaccine safety advocate who accused Offit of fabricating a disparaging conversation in his book: Autism’s False Prophets. Offit agreed to apologize, correct the book and make a donation to an autism charity.

But to the news: none of that matters. Offit is simply presented as an unbiased expert.

The supposedly best medical experts in the world who deny vaccines have anything to do with autism remain at an utter loss to explain this generation’s epidemic. To declare the science “settled” and the debate “over” is to defy the plain fact that many scientists worldwide are still sorting through it, and millions of people are still debating it.

The body of evidence on both sides is open to interpretation. People have every right to disbelieve the studies on one side. But it is disingenuous to pretend they do not exist.

SharylAttkisson.com vaccine reporting

CDC recommended vaccine schedules

Vaccine court injury and claim statistics

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107 thoughts on “What the News Isn’t Saying About Vaccine-Autism Studies”

  1. Thank you Sharyl! Thank you SO much! This is a truly awesome article which is balanced and fair. The truth is that thousands of parents have seen their children regress into autism after vaccines and in particular, the MMR. The truth is that these parents are sidelined and ignored by those who are supposed to be protecting them from harmful medical products and treatments. The truth is that corrupt organisations and companies will NEVER accept that vaccines cause autism because it will open the floodgates to such massive lawsuits that Big Pharma will not survive them. This is not like the tobacco issue unfortunately because the medical profession was not built on tobacco, but it WAS built on vaccines. It is the ‘sacred cow’ of medicine. It is actually even worse than trying to discuss Israel or the holocaust.

    What is very obvious is that those who advocate health freedom are mostly sensible and polite but those who attack people who don’t want vaccines are always rude, vicious, derogatory, and scathing.

    The truth is that there are between 270 and 300 vaccines waiting ‘in the wings’ to be foisted on the general public. First they will be made available, then recommended and then mandated. Those who accept the current toxic CDC schedule will soon start crying when they not only have to inject their children, but themselves. Adults will soon be more restricted in their movements unless they have followed the mandated adult schedule. Public transport, air travel, crossing state borders, any public service employment, corporate employment. You name it, it will happen.

    Then the cry will be “oh, but I thought this would apply to someone ELSE!”…….

    1. truth is that every last one of those “quacks” hiding facts, funded or aligned with some pharma company, with special interests at hand, such as yourself.. is a poor attempt to help preserve your worthless job.

  2. Catherine J Frompovich

    Sharyl, Are you aware that my posting a comment was deleted while trying to write it? I’m starting over again.
    Thank YOU so very much for writing this important expose’ of how legitimate vaccine research is suppressed. That’s nothing new, I offer. It’s been going on from day one, especially from the 1950s forward until the propaganda is told so many times that it’s become ‘fact’ , is believed and promoted, unfortunately.
    Back in 2000, the CDC’s epidemiologist Dr Verstraeten found a definite connection between vaccines and autism, so the CDC/FDA called a clandestine meeting of vaccine/pharmaceutical officials and a World Health Organization official to discuss that finding. The result was that Dr Verstraeten was sent back to the drawing board to come up with different data sets that would prove vaccines did NOT cause autism. He did, and then went on to work for a pharmaceutical company in Europe. Here’s a transcript of the Simpsonwood Meeting in June 2000 that discussed Verstraeten’s findings https://www.thinktwice.com/simpwood.pdf .

    Here https://www.activistpost.com/2015/09/doctors-revisit-shaken-baby-syndrome-rename-it-abusive-head-trauma.html is my article about a medical-legal issue that needs to be investigated as a very probably vaccine related.
    Thanks, again, for your continued GREAT work, which I truly appreciate.
    Catherine J Frompovich

  3. Thimerosal damages or kills the myelin sheath surrounding and protecting components of the central nervous system. This exposes nerve tissues to toxins and other pollutants, which can lead to even more damage and destruction, including degenerative diseases such as autism. It’s really that simple scientifically, but very complex and provocative politically. We have to decide if the well-being of patients is more vital than the often-indulgent lifestyles of the medical community.

  4. Dear Sharyl: I am so excited to see your excellent research on this topic. I love your integrity. I caught the last few sentences of you on the radio this morning on the Dom Giordano Show in NJ. I didn’t know who he was speaking with but then let us all know when you were signing off.

    I just read your article and wanted to give you some other research doctors to check out. I cried when I watched these symposium talks on You Tube. Here are the links and I look forward to your continued investigations in this plight on humanity in my mind.

    Dr. Theresa Deischer, “Worldwide Autism Epidemic and Human Fetal Manufactured Contaminated Vaccines” https://youtu.be/6Bc6WX33SuE

    Dr. Judy Mikovits, “Environmental Causes of Autism-Investigate If You Dare”

    God Bless You. You are a breath of fresh air, a light shining in this world of darkness.

    Deborah Bradshaw

  5. God bless you, Sharyl. Thanks for your fearless stance on this issue when so many are afraid to deviate from the “approved” narrative.

    There’s some interesting stuff going on. I heard Mark Steyn today commenting on Hugh Hewitt’s show about Donald Trump’s thoughtful, considered position on vaccination, backed up with facts and figures. Steyn only wished that Trump’s has as much substance in his response on Syria. I’ve followed Steyn for years and never heard him mention vaccines before. Interesting to here him describe this at thoughtful and Hewitt seemed to agree. Just maybe the message is starting to break through.

    1. It is suspected (but not proven or admitted) that Barron, Trumps youngest son has mild autism. If so, this is likely a reason for his thoughtfulness on the topic. Trump has said in public he and his wife were very careful on how Barron’s vaccine shoots were administered i.e. gradually and not all at once. Trump is actually much more thought through on all of his positions than at first apparent (whether one agrees with him or not is another matter). He’s also been espousing the same views on most issues for several years now.

    1. If I may ad not just “brave enough” but, intelligent, ethical, and insightful to do such reporting, which are of course just few of the reasons they hired you there at Sinclair Broadcasting.

    2. I’d just like to mention that Donald Trump is the only Presidential candidate that seems to know what’s going on not only with other important issues, but as well as the vaccine/autism link, and is bold enough to defend his stance.

  6. Thank you Sharyl. What a talent you are.

    For those who struggle with their decision not to vaccinate – or struggle supporting their position to others here is what you can say:

    The purpose of the polio vaccine was to bring about a reduction in total rates of non-trauma paralysis and crippling. It failed.

    The purpose of the rubella vaccine was to bring about a reduction in total rates of congenital defects. It failed.

    The purpose of the measles vaccine was to bring about a reduction in total rates of encephalitis and deafness. It failed.

    The purpose of the Hep B vaccine was to bring about a reduction in total rates of liver cancer/disease. It failed.

    The purpose of the Hib and Prevnar vaccines was to bring about a reduction in total rates of meningitis/pneumonia/sepsis. It failed.

    The purpose of the diphtheria/pertussis vaccines was to bring about a reduction in acute respiratory infections. It failed.

    The purpose of the mumps vaccine was to reduce sterility. It failed.


    Rubella and congenital defects: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5701a2.htm.

    Polio and paralysis/crippling:

    extranet.who.int/polis/public/CaseCount.aspx and https://www.who.int/bulletin/archives/78(3)321.pdf (see data for total AFP in India and other developing countries in 1996 and again in 2014) as well as https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v18n6/v18n6p20.pdf and https://www.census.gov/people/disability/ publications/sipp2010.html (Table A-4) (for disability rates). And https://www.christopherreeve.org/site/c.mtKZKgMWKwG/b.5184189/k.5587/Paralysis_Facts__Figures.htm (Around one in 50 Americans have some paralysis and around 40 per cent of those cases are due to disease).

    Diphtheria/pertussis and acute respiratory disease: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0804877 and https://www.pharmacytoday.co.nz/news/2015/may-2015/05/respiratory-hospitalisations-keep-climbing-despite-healthcare-improvements.aspx

    Hep B vaccine and liver cancer/disease:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19224838 and https://news.sky.com/story/1418422/dramatic-rise-in-liver-disease-deaths

    Hib vaccine and meningitis/pneumonia/sepsis. https://www9.health.gov.au/cda/source/rpt_2.cfm… (look at meningococcal disease (invasive) and pneumococcal disease (invasive)) and because of the dismal failure of this vaccine it was inevitably followed by further attempts to vaccinate people against meningitis supposedly caused by other strains (eg Prevnar) showing that abject lunacy (doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result) is the standard procedure for vaccination policy experts.

    Measles vaccine and encephalitis/deafness. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2870605/ and https://www.hear-it.org/35-million-Americans-suffering-from-hearing-loss

    I will give these two non-government sites – http://www.childhealthsafety.com/graphs (all of the data comes from government mortality data) and https://australiansceptics.com/2012/09/06/measles-deaths-in-africa/ because they demonstrate that the notion that vaccines save lives is a complete lie and the WHO cannot be trusted at all on this issue.

      1. you’re barking up the wrong tree, the correct one is to answer this question: what are the long term effects of vaccines if taken according to the current recommended vaccination schedule comparing the vaccinated against non vaccinated? the CDC refuses to do the study and there are a few independent studies which suggest that over the long term vaccines do more harm than good especially among boys. kids today are sicker than ever and a number of studies show this . The one thing we can safely conclude is that vaccines are not making kids healthier, and the last time I checked, a healthy immune system is required to thwart disease.

  7. mothers against #medicaltyranny

    autism is only one of many concerns when it comes to the potential dangers of the routine onslaught of vaccination injections into developing infant systems.

    Dr. Suzanne Humphries obliterates circulating vaccination dogma. protect infants from the harmful developmental interference of vaccination.


    Dr. Suzanne Humphries obliterates circulating vaccination dogma, giving the ins and outs of the busine$$, policies and manufactured industry “$cience” of vaccinations. Protect infants from corporate greed/systemic psychopathy/bold-face lies.


  8. Why has there never been a study conducted using multiple vaccines at the same time? When you take your child to get vaccinated they always give a child different vaccines not just one. If vaccine injuries do not exist why is there a vaccine injury compensation fund that was set up in 1986 and has paid out over 3 billion dollars?

  9. Common Sense is not so common anymore. The evidence before us is so clear a person would have to have a blindfold on not to see it. Hitler said it very well, if you want to hide something from the masses, leave it out in plain sight.

    Here’s what’s in plain sight…

    The FDA and other gov’t agencies are supposed to protect us from harmful ingredients. They are doing the exact opposite. One only has to read ingredient labels to see the truth. Read your food labels. Read your drink labels. Read the labels on products you use in your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. Read the labels on vaccines, and on any other labels you can find.

    What do you find? Tons of chemicals which have no business being put into or onto our bodies, and in many cases, even into our environment. Where is the FDA? Protecting the corporate interests of those very companies that are poisoning us.

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, examine the evidence for yourself, and you can only arrive at one conclusion, the FDA, our gov’t, and the corporations which supply our food, water, personal care products, vaccines and medical….all are guilty of crimes against mankind. There is no other conclusion one can arrive at when merely examining the evidence in plain sight. It is common sense, but the majority is content with just listening to those who claim to know the science. Simple common sense says that the science is lying.

    I challenge anyone reading this to go read your labels, don’t take my word for anything, the labels will provide all the evidence you need.

  10. Objective reporting is so rare, thanks for this. Media twits spent much time declaring Trump’s opinion as simply wrong, as if no other opinion is valid. Where did I read about the researcher at the CDC who said he was fired because he didn’t want to shred studies indicating possible link between vaccines and autism?

  11. I like to look into the study and see how it was done. Often there are invalid assumptions or questionable practices involved to prove an outcome favorable to big business or govt.

  12. Hi

    As with all things science, nothing is settled and there’s evidence on all sides. Funny, it reminds me so much of the debate over climate change.

    The research dollars being spent on autism will, with a little luck, get to the bottom of this sometime over the next 100 years but in the meantime the statistics are clear; we’re better off having our kids vaccinated. Choosing to not vaccinate is both a problem for society as a whole and potentially for individual unvaccinated children as well. Whatever you choose to do, there is risk. It’s the nature of life.

  13. Sharyl,
    I recently asked one of my loved ones to keep an open mind and do more research/reading of vaccine-autism studies in the hope that he/she would see the light (ie support vaccines). Ironically, I was the one who stumbled on your article this morning that addresses the issue and cites numerous sources/references on both sides of the issue. One must be suspicious of studies that show no links between vaccines-autism when the researcher(s) receive monetary consideration or other means of renumeration from the vaccine-producing drug companies. Just sayin…

  14. This paper published in the Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology proves that vaccines produced from aborted babies are the main trigger of autism:


    Check the graphs in the study above, they are worth a thousand words: autism spiked exponentially in 4 DIFFERENT MOMENTS when introduced in 4 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. There is zero probability that another environmental factor was introduced in those 4 countries at that exact different timing.

  15. Angelica Warren PhdBio science

    Thanks Sharyl. The fact that any time a “study” found no link to autism it makes worldwide news, but the other 101 studies showing concerns of a link to autism are routinely ignored on balance, suggests a great level of media complicity, with dark corrupt conflict of interest. for example, the chairman of Fairfax media Roger Corbett, also happens to be the chairman of Mayne pharmaceutical company! Dangerous liaisons to say the least, but it gets more sinsiter: Fairfax media control a website called http://www.essentialbaby.com which gives advice (and surprise, lots of unsolicited advice and scare stories of measles and whooping cough with ‘make sure you vaccinate’ as always the end conclusion). That douche needs to be exposed big time, as do other ‘chairmen’ of media boards who have vested interests in the pharmaceuticals pockets. It makes my blood boil, they are profiting from fear and biased, lop-sided stories.

  16. Désirée L. Röver

    Thanks for this great article.
    Please add Viera Scheibner PhD to your list of researchers. I believe she was the first to exclusively investigate vaccine damage. In her research with a true breathing monitor dr. Scheibner discovered that vaccines are the greatest stressor in a baby’s life. In the alarms, recorded and documented per hour, she recognized the pattern that Hans Selye called the ‘non-specific stress syndrome’. When she found that the death moments of vaccinated SIDS baby’s clustered around the critical moments that she with her breathing monitor had found within Hans Selye’s syndrome, it lead her to state: “Vaccines are killing babies”.
    And if they get not killed outright, baby’s get all sorts of other damage, of which autism is one…

    When I connect the ads by Goldman Sucks and a multinational computer corporation that are specifically asking for autistic personnel, I believe that somewhere in the food chain there are creatures that know exactly what they are doing…

  17. “There’s former CDC researcher Poul Thorsen, whose studies dispelled a vaccine autism link. ”

    I am so glad you included him in your survey. He is indeed a MAJOR player. Even though THORSEN has been on the MOST WANTED FUGITIVE list since 2011, HIS ALLEGED CRIMES ARE NOT FORGOTTEN. Significantly, CDC Whistleblower Dr. William Thompson describes Thorsen and his “girlfriend” as “MONEY LAUNDERING” while working on the CDC vaccine safety studies in Denmark. His conversation with Dr. Brian Hooker regarding this can be found on pp. 65 – 66 in VACCINE WHISTLEBLOWER:Exposing Autism Research Fraud at the CDC by Kevin Barry, Esq. (available at Amazon). This is one more reason Congress needs to have Dr. William Thompson testify under oath. He appears to have inside information on the Thorsen case as well.

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has done an excellent job summarizing the details of the Poul Thorsen case and highlights the significance of his 2003 Danish Thimerosal study. Here’s a small excerpt. Please read in it’s entirety:

    ” Dr. Thorsen was one of the co-authors and data manager for two leading foreign studies offered by CDC as the foundation of its claims that vaccines do not cause autism. Only purposeful misstatement or journalistic sloth can account for Willingham’s declaration that Thorsen’s conclusions “have not been called into question”. For over a decade, myriad critics have exposed those studies as brazen fraud. Thorsen’s thimerosal study, Madsen et al. 2003,6 is one of the principle publications offered by CDC to exculpate thimerosal – the mercury based vaccine preservative from suspicion that it causes autism (The Institute of Medicine largely based its milestone 2004 finding that thimerosal was safe on Madsen et al. 2003, another similarly flawed Scandinavian study, one study from the United Kingdom and two American studies, both of which CDC whistleblower, William Thompson recently exposed as dubious). Madsen et al. 2003 purports to show that autism rates increased in Denmark after the Danish government removed thimerosal from vaccines in 1992. 7 But critics point out that the alleged increase in autism was the illusory artifact of Denmark’s new reporting protocols.”

    Another related article:

  18. I believe that the study which is the starting point for this article was published in April and perhaps an earlier version of the present article was published then. I note that although September 17 is the given publication for this article the first extant reply is July 30 – indeed, I seem to remember reading it before. However, the study by Jain et al was still being cited not only here but for other purposes by Dr Sanjay Gupta on CNN 5 days ago (18 Spetember 2015). These were some comments I made to a journalist in April:

    “Basically, they are comparing two groups that have been heavily MMRed but this is based on billing records – they don’t really know their vaccination status. Nor do they really know their autism status (they may very well not have gone to the insurer with the diagnosis). It focusses on MMR when many children may already be on a downward slope because of the many earlier vaccines. TOO MANY CONFOUNDERS The data is junk and they are comparing very odd things, not vaccinated vs unvaccinated. If you look at the discussion they admit many limitations in the data (why do it at all?)

    “The study which was commissioned by the NIH and touted as a clincher by Insel at the OGR committee last May is very weak and commissioned from a medical insurer and its satellites. Drexel University which hosted the study was the one that Thorsen was forced to resign from in 2010 and often partners with Offit’s CHOP (for instance). Also note that Insel said it was due in 3 months on 20 May 2014, so it comes 8 months late, released a day ahead of crucial votes in California and Vermont. DROWNING IN CONFLICT”

    (That’s why Forbes hires shills like Willingham to push them)

    “Due to advances in biotechnology and vaccine safety, the number of routinely recommended vaccines has been expanded to control newly-preventable diseases, and the composition of some vaccines has been changed to provide the safest vaccines possible. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) continually makes new recommendations to the vaccine schedule to further protect the health of our nation’s children. These recommendations for routine use of additional vaccines to prevent disease result in increased vaccine purchase costs for the immunization program. The cost, using the CDC contract, of purchasing the vaccines to fully vaccinate a preschool child has increased from approximately $130/child in 1990 to approximately $394/child in 2001. For example, the cost of the new pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is about equivalent to the total combined costs of all other pediatric vaccines in the recommended schedule.”

    Did you get that? VACCINES COST $394/child FOURTEEN YEARS AGO! More vaccines have been added to the schedule! They are pushing for mandatory vaccination of ALL citizens, including ADULTS.

    Just take the money spent on them in 2001; if we had used it instead to CLEAN UP SLUMS and PROVIDE CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES, we would have eliminated much of the disease problem with NO VACCINE INJURY and at a FRACTION OF THE COST!

    Here’s a well researched book on eliminating disease through SANITATION:
    DISSOLVING ILLUSIONS: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History by Suzanne Humphries, MD.

  20. Ms Attkisson.

    You’ll be aware of the anti-vaccine campaigner Sherri Tenpenny
    & the cancellation of her Australian speaking tour.

    I wonder what would happen were you to undertake such an Australian speaking tour,
    concentrating 100% on the whole vaccine issue?

  21. A. Warren PhdBio science

    Thank you Sharyl. What an informative and insightful article. You have very well rounded off the main points succinctly, particularly in regards to the “poo-pooing” of every legitimate article and findings pointing towards dangers of vaccines by the “skeptical science”/astroturfers/shills. The media bias is something that is extremely disturbing. Where does this manifest from? Because not every station and paper is owned by Murdoch? Is there large payouts made to media by big pharma? Something happens of which we are seemingly unaware of. Deliberate bias, and pumping out of fear based propaganda for the vaccine cause. Where are all the human rights groups in both the U.S and Australia? They are awfully silent on this, given that basic human rights regarding medical consent are being breached, people oppressed, discriminated against, bullied and downtrodden, whilst the hyppoccratic oath which founded the medical world is ignored, as is the principles of the nuremburg code which forbids human experimentation without full consent. Shocking. Absolutely shocking.


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  23. Small fish in a big sea.
    One of Dorit’s agenda pushers has been outed. Annabel Evangeline (buddies with Andy Lazurus too) the darling of Orac and SR, plus all the other lovely turf sites, happens to also be Whompingwillow on Babycenter and teacozy on mothering. If you are interested in the details it’s easy to find or I can fill you in. She boldly (AKA, drink & post) let things slip, hope Dorit isn’t up-set! She was one of her little darlings pushing the PRO agenda!

    1. I’d love to know how this information came out! If you want to fill me in I’d appreciate it or you can just give me the search terms I need to find it. Thanks!

  24. Very good reporting on the connection between vaccines and autism. Another area of reporting needs to be about the Sitka false flag/scare. The initial news coming out of Brazil linked the government enforced vaccines on pregnant women to the microencephaly birth defects. The pregnant women were told/forced to have the vaccines during their pregnancy. Once the birth defects began to appear, the citizens made the connection and refused any more vaccines for pregnant mothers. Now the number of children born with microencephaly is decreasing. It has nothing to do with the mosquitoes!! But now our own government is racing to come out with yet another vaccine, just like the pneumonia vaccine, Guardisil, etc.

  25. Here’s how corrupt Hillary’s VP choice Kaine is—

    Merck built a $57 million HPV vaccine plant in his home state of Virginia.

    Soon after, Kaine mandated the toxic/deadly HPV vaccine for 6th graders.

    So all Merck needs to do to get their useless/deadly vaccines mandated is to build a plant in every state?

    Now, isn’t that an odd way of setting public health policy?

  26. The absurdity is overwhelming. A mom takes her healthy infant in for a round of vaccinations, and within minutes, in the car on the way home, the little girl begins high-pitched screaming, the classic sign of an encephalitic reaction. At home, only a few minutes after the baby finally falls asleep, the mom reenters the bedroom, to find her daughter in cardiac arrest – the mom’s knowledge of infant CPR saves her daughter. At the ER later, the mom’s told by the nurse that had she not intervened, her daughter would have been a case of SIDS. In the threads to the various posts of that story, many others state the same thing happened to their babies – cardiac arrest within hours of vaccination. Indeed, cardiac arrest is one of the vaccine injuries for which the national vaccine court has awarded over $3 billion.

    Logic dictates that many such cases go undetected by parents, the result, a minute being the determining factor, the silent death of the infant, and another reported case of SIDS.

    Another mom takes her healthy one-year old in for the MMR vaccine. Again, the injury is immediately apparent, as the child develops a high fever, and is lethargic. The next morning the baby no longer responds, has lost contact, worsens over a period of weeks or months, ultimately to be diagnosed autistic.

    These are obvious non-coincidences, cause and effect, putting to rest the notion that autism simply occurs “around the same time” as scheduled vaccinations. Moreover, the HHS Vaccine Injury Table tells us that encephalopathy – brain damage – from vaccines can occur up to two weeks after the shot, and certainly can have the same stymieing effect. This is reality, and when supposed scientific studies can’t explain it, they’re irrelevant; when they deny it, they’re suspect.

    1. Frankly I don’t know how ANYone can deny the autism/vaccine link. I watched the film Vaxxed and personally met Dr. Wakefield. The Q&A session after the movie was just as good as the movie itself!

    1. Yes and that’s why we are seeing a resurgence of diseases that were long gone due to vaccines in western countries. We only need refugees from third world countries to arrive so polio can again run rampant in society, then the people who don’t vaccinate will be shaking their heads wondering how this could have happened when we have better plumbing & eat non gmo organic food.
      Vaccines will lessen the amount of people who come into contact with the diseased people (the unvaxxed) actually getting the full dose of the disease but could still suffer some ill effects. The unvaxxed kiddies will die sadly because their misinformation leads them to believe vaccines are bad.

    2. Excellent question.

      I am the parent of a 22 year old profoundly autistic young woman, so my interests are entirely unconflicted, or completely conflicted depending on your perspective.

      Apart from dodging responsibility for vaccine injury, all the research effort appears to be directed at identifying genetic markers correlating to symptoms of autism.

      At the first pass, the focus on etiology seems benign. It follows logically that identifying a cause is useful in finding a “cure.” The problem is our current system of healthcare has “cured” Down Syndrome largely by identifying genetic markers in utero, then killing the child.

      Fortunately, the markers for autism are more subtle and complex than simple trisomy, so the wholesale abortion of autistics has not yet begun.

      As the medical repression system collapses into Soviet-style single payer, delivered by a wildly insolvent government, I expect a breakthrough in genetic screening that leads to universal abortion of children with an elevated risk of autism. This will be sold by the compliant media as “settled science.”

  27. You are brave to take on this subject which is well defended by those behind the deception and whose money you threaten. If I were you I would be at this point quite seriously concerned for my safety. You are treading in a dangerous area.

    There is no product like vaccines where the manufacturers are absolved of liability by the government. There is no other product for which there is a victim compensation fund. Those facts alone are three bar equivalent to an admission.

    That said, the greater the denial the more likely there is a hidden truth. In our lifetimes this is going to get blown open, and in no small measure with the help of people such as yourself.

    When I was a child, kids got various diseases and ASD was virtually unheard of. Today it’s a crisis. You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. When this finally breaks, there is going to be a hue and cry like no other as this affects people beyond their money. It hits their life. Right now people are just starting to question. This has to grow into a revolt.

  28. My personal theory is that although vaccines maybe a factor the real reason is ultrasound imaging of the fetus. I’m an engineer and so i look at it from energy flows. A high frequency vibration (sound) is directed at the fetus. The vibration (energy) is absorbed by the fetus and the brain of the fetus. After being absorbed a portion of it is gotten rid of as a vibration (energy) some of which can be picked up and turned into an image.

    The point is that to get an image of say the brain the cells of the brain need to absorb that energy before it can be removed back a counter vibration moving out. My theory is that at certain development stages that energy can effect the growth and or structure of the brain cells. This is a direct action on brain cells that is very likely to cause problems.

    A simple statistical study of ADD/ADHD children via-a-vis the use of ultrasound and the timing of the imaging would determine the validity of this theory. Since this is a relatively simple task it should be funded and down as there is nothing much to lose and much to gain!

  29. Sharyl,

    Thank you for bringing perspective to the autism-vaccine debate. I always think it is interesting that many media articles never cite the IOM 2012 report that showed that vaccines as a causal link to autism has not been ruled out for vaccines other than MMR. The causality tables are interesting because they show what we don’t know about vaccines and vaccine safety research deficits. Thank for mentioning them and other pertinent research that is often overlooked in this discussion.

  30. THANK YOU! I so appreciate you writing this article!

    As a father of a child with autism I have always believed there was some type of link. Having no medical background I can’t say how that link occurs. However I know when I disclose that I have no medical background then the first thing I get hit with is “if immunizations cause this then why doesn’t every child who gets immunizations get autism?”

    My simple answer with only one college biology class is what if it is a combination of factors and when that combined WITH the vaccines can trigger the damage that we call autism. Sort of like a cocktail effect. I think this is entirely plausible and it irks me to no end that our beliefs are so easily dismissed.

  31. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Thank you for giving this “crazy autism mom” who believes in testing for MTHFR gene variant and then DELAYING vaccines in cases of the variant of poor methylators something to post in response to the posts that paint me to be a looney tune.

    Thank you SO much for your article. It is my goal to share it with as many others as possible. Hopefully we can help prevent some of the preventable tragedy that my family and so many other families have suffered.

  32. A new book, The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism, by James Lyons-Weiler, reviews over 1,000 studies, and concludes that vaccines are part of the toxic load overwhelming our kids. They are not the only factor, but we would definitely have fewer autism cases if vaccines were made safer, and if we could test for kids more likely to be seriously injured. He calls for immediate removal of heavy metals, aluminum and mercury, both of which are highly toxic.

  33. After my son reacted badly to the MMR vaccine at the age of two, his doctor discontinued it. He had mild learning disabilities, overcome with much effort on his part. I cringe to think what his experience would have been had he been forced to complete the series.

    We’re doing our children no service by sticking our heads in the sand.

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