About Those Research Papers Supporting the Vaccine/Autism Link

Have you heard about the ever growing list of research papers that ‘support’ a link between vaccines and autism?

Over 1,000 studies support the fact that vaccines do not cause autism.
Over 1,000 studies support the fact that vaccines do not cause autism!

They don’t.

Are you surprised?

On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that vaccines do not cause autism.

Research Papers ‘Supporting’ the Vaccine/Autism Link

The list of research papers that supposedly support a link between vaccines and autism has now grown to 131.

That is a lot of research.

“Even though anti-vaccers claim to have lengthy lists of papers supporting their position, most of those papers are irrelevant, used weak designs, and had small sample sizes.”

The Logic of Science

So what’s wrong with the list?

Why doesn’t it really support a link between vaccines and autism?

As pointed out in this review, “Vaccines and autism: A thorough review of the evidence,” the papers on the list include:

  • papers that aren’t about vaccines!
  • papers that aren’t about autism!
  • papers that are about research done on cells or tissues in a petri dish (in vitro trials)
  • animal trials (how do you show that an animal has autism?)
  • papers about elemental mercury or methyl-mercury, even though thimerosal, which was removed from almost all vaccines in 1999, is ethyl-mercury
  • conference abstracts (these haven’t made it into a medical journal yet)
  • case reports (basically a story about a patient)
  • opinion papers
  • non-research papers
  • reviews that “are deceptively only showing the papers that support their position while ignoring all of the papers that refute it”
  • a few that were retracted!

What’s wrong with animal trials and in vitro studies? They are simply among the weakest type of study you can do. The evidence is considered to be much stronger if you can a meta-analysis or systemic review or a randomized control trial.

So they are left with about a dozen studies that are about vaccines and autism, including:

  • SeneffEmpirical Data Confirm Autism Symptoms Related to Aluminum and Acetaminophen Exposure – misuses the VAERS database, so the reports of autism are unconfirmed
  • DeisherImpact of environmental factors on the prevalence of autistic disorder after 1979 – has a ton of problems with the way it analyzed its data
  • NevisonA comparison of temporal trends in United States autism prevalence to trends in suspected environmental factors – tries to correlate autism rates with a list of environmental factors, from maternal obesity, pollution, and glyphosate on foods to aluminum adjuvants in vaccines
  • Tomlejenovic and ShawDo aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism? – “yet another association study. It cannot demonstrate causation,” with tons of other problems
  • Gallagher and GoodmanHepatitis B triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US children aged 1–9 years – a small study that used parental surveys, and although the study found higher levels of early intervention or special education services in vaccinated boys than in unvaccinated boys, it found significantly lower levels of early intervention or special education services in vaccinated girls than in unvaccinated girls?!?
  • Gallagher and GoodmanHepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and autism diagnosis, NHIS 1997–2002 – used a “weak experimental design with a tiny sample size,” just 33 autistic kids
  • Singh – Serological association of measles virus and human herpesvirus-6 with brain autoantibodies in autism – a poorly done paper with so many problems that it has been labeled “fraudulent” and which found “no significant difference in viral levels in the autistic and non-autistic group (which is the opposite of what you would expect if exposure to the virus caused autism)”
  • Singh – Abnormal Measles-Mumps-Rubella Antibodies and CNS Autoimmunity in Children with Autism – discredited by several papers which found No Evidence of Persisting Measles Virus in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells From Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Kawashti – Possible immunological disorders in autism: concomitant autoimmunity and immune tolerance – while trying to link autism to the formation of autoantibodies to casein and gluten antibodies and the immune response to the MMR vaccine, they state that “at this stage, we can conclude that M.M.R. vaccine may not be a cause of autism”
  • MumperCan Awareness of Medical Pathophysiology in Autism Lead to Primary Care Autism Prevention Strategies? – a poorly done “retrospective study with no control group” with a very small sample size
  • KawashimaDetection and sequencing of measles virus from peripheral mononuclear cells from patients with inflammatory bowel disease and autism – a study that was done with Andy Wakefield
  • DeisherEpidemiologic and molecular relationship between vaccine manufacture and autism spectrum disorder prevalence – the study talks about residual human fetal DNA fragments in vaccines and that somehow “fetal DNA in these vaccines can recombine with infant DNA to cause autism.” It can’t.

What about any new studies they say supports a link between vaccines and autism?

Are they about vaccines?

Are they about autism?

What kind of study was it?

What journal was it published in? A predatory, pay-to-publish journal with a low impact value or a real, peer-reviewed, medical journal like PLos One, Lancet, JAMA, or Pediatrics?

Although 6 or 7 studies were recently added to their list, most get excluded right off the bat using the above criteria (not about vaccines or autism, animal studies, in vitro studies, etc.). The one that gets included (and has already been retracted)?

  • MawsonPilot comparative study on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12- year old U.S. children – published at Open Access Text (is that really a journal?) after it was retracted at another journal last year, this survey of homeschoolers is being billed as the “First Peer-Reviewed Study of Vaccinated versus Unvaccinated Children,” which is strange, as this study was done in 2011!

What were you expecting?

Do you really think that you will first read about a real study proving a link between vaccines and autism will be found on an anti-vaccine website or list?

What To Know About Research Papers Supporting the Vaccine/Autism Link

There is still no research supporting a link between vaccines and autism.

More About Research Papers Supporting the Vaccine/Autism Link

Updated on May 21, 2017

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