Is it true that only one ingredient (thimerosal) and one vaccine (MMR) has ever been looked at for its relationship to autism?
No, as you can probably guess, it is not.
“This meta-analysis of five case-control and five cohort studies has found no evidence for the link between vaccination and the subsequent risk of developing autism or autistic spectrum disorder. Subgroup analyses looking specifically at MMR vaccinations, cumulative mercury dosage, and thimerosal exposure individually were similarly negative, as were subgroup analyses looking specifically at development of autistic disorder versus other autistic spectrum disorder.”
Taylor et al on Vaccines are not associated with autism: An evidence-based meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies
Since much of the original focus about vaccines and autism was on the MMR vaccine and thimerosal, that’s where a lot of the research to reassure parents went first.
“To try to isolate the effects of thimerosal from other vaccine constituents, we performed a subanalysis comparing risks associated with diphtheria-tetanus-whole cell pertussis vaccine or diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine given separately or combined.”
Verstraeten et al on Safety of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines: A Two-Phased Study of Computerized Health Maintenance Organization Databases
The great majority of parents know that:
- it is not the MMR vaccine
- it is not thimerosal or thimerosal containing vaccines
- it is not the overall number of vaccines that are given to a child
- it is not the timing of when the vaccines are given to children
And it hasn’t been just one or two studies that have shown that there is no association between vaccines and autism. There are dozens. There is also a comprehensive review by the Institute of Medicine and a very large meta-analysis that have come to the same conclusion.
Vaccines are not associated with autism.
Vaccines and Autism Redux
Could it be aluminum though?
Why aluminum? Because anti-vaccine experts cite some poorly done studies that try to say it is.
Aluminum has become the new formaldehyde, which used to be the new thimerosal. It is apparently where the goalposts have shifted when some folks talk about vaccines and autism now that every knows it is not the MMR vaccine, thimerosal, vaccine overload, or the timing of vaccines.
But if studies have shown that it is neither the number of vaccines nor the timing of vaccines, then how could it be aluminum, an adjuvant in many vaccines?
What other myths about vaccines and autism have been coming up lately?
Have you heard the one about the court ruling confirming a vaccine autism link? It didn’t.
Did you know that the FDA officially announced that vaccines are causing autism? They didn’t, but do you know why some folks are now saying they did? Because of the old package insert for the Tripedia vaccine, which lists autism as a possible adverse event (without evidence of causation). The vaccine was discontinued years ago, but it continues to pop up as ‘new’ evidence for some as an association between vaccines and autism.
Or maybe you have heard these other new theories from the anti-vaccine movement as they desperately try to prove an association between vaccines and autism:
- vaccines block folate uptake
- MTHFR gene mutations
- maternal immune activation
- cytokine storms
- glutathione depletion
- DNA fragments
- microbiota alterations
- GI barrier defects
- blood brain barrier permeability problems
You don’t even have to pick just one theory anymore (the fact that the MMR vaccine doesn’t contain thimerosal or aluminum kind of puts these theories into opposition with each other, doesn’t it?). You can choose for any or all of them to be true if you want. Using synergistic toxicity, you pick a few of your favorite theories and make them 100 times more likely to damage your child! Not really, but that’s how some anti-vaccine folks think.
“Autism is not an immune-mediated disease. Unlike autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, there is no evidence of immune activation or inflammatory lesions in the CNS of people with autism. In fact, current data suggest that genetic variation in neuronal circuitry that affects synaptic development might in part account for autistic behavior. Thus, speculation that an exaggerated or inappropriate immune response to vaccination precipitates autism is at variance with current scientific data that address the pathogenesis of autism.”
Gerber et al on Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses
Of course, none of them are true.
Vaccines are still not associated with autism.
What to Know About Vaccines and Autism
Vaccines are still not associated with autism, even though anti-vaccine folks continue to come up with new ideas for how it might be, from glyphosate and DNA fragments in vaccines to MTHFR mutations and maternal immune activation.
More on Vaccines and Autism
- Vaccines and autism: A thorough review of the evidence
- What REALLY Causes Autism?
- CDC – Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism
- CDC Studies on Thimerosal in Vaccines
- Why won’t the government fund vaccine/autism research?
- More of that vaccine/autism research that doesn’t exist
- John’s Hopkins FAQs: The meaning of neuroinflammatory findings in autism
- Study – Safety of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines: A Two-Phased Study of Computerized Health Maintenance Organization Databases
- Study – A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism
- Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism (2004)
- Study – Prenatal and infant exposure to thimerosal from vaccines and immunoglobulins and risk of autism.
- Study – Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism
- Study – On-time Vaccine Receipt in the First Year Does Not Adversely Affect Neuropsychological Outcomes
- Study – Vaccines are not associated with autism: an evidence-based meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies.
- Study – Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses
- Has the Government Conceded Vaccines Cause Autism?
- Do Vaccines Cause Autism?
- WHO – Aluminum adjuvants
- Comment on “Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism?”
- Torturing more mice in the name of antivaccine pseudoscience, 2017 aluminum edition
- Debunking False Vaccine Claim
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