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17 Jul

Autism and Vaccines, a Continuing Debate

A new Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health study reports that the higher the proportion of infants and toddlers receiving recommended vaccines, the higher the state’s rate of children diagnosed with autism or speech-language problems just a few years later. This analysis is sure to rekindle the debate about vaccine safety.

*Note: See abstract below.

For that conversation to produce useful results, we must start by defining terms. A “dose of vaccine” refers to each vaccine or antigen given to increase immunity against one specific disease. For chicken pox, a child receives one dose of vaccine through one shot.

By contrast, an “immunization event” refers to each separate administration of a vaccine or bundle of vaccines — through a shot, orally, or nasally. The MMR shot for mumps, measles and rubella involves three doses of vaccine but is one immunization event.

The critical number is how many doses of vaccine a child receives. Why? If a vaccine is strong enough to confer immunity against a disease, it is important enough to count separately.

Clear definitions, analysis of CDC’s “General Recommendations on Immunization,” and confirmation by Dr. Andrew Kroger, lead author of the definitive report on these recommendations, produce the answer to the not-so-simple-after-all question posed above.

In all, the federal government recommends 36 doses of vaccine, addressing 14 different diseases, for every U.S. child under age 2. An on-schedule child will receive a dose of vaccine for hepatitis B at birth, eight doses of various vaccines at 2 months, seven additional doses at 4 months, and four to seven more doses at 6 months.

Infants and toddlers receive these vaccine doses through 26 separate immunization events — mostly shots. If a child misses vaccinations because of illness or scheduling problems, following CDC’s catch-up schedule usually results in extra doses at a later date.

The federally recommended doses of vaccine for every child during the first two years of life are: three doses each for hepatitis B, polio, flu, and HIB (12 doses in all); two doses each for hepatitis A and rotavirus; four doses for pneumococcal infections; one dose for chicken pox; three doses through the combination MMR vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella; and 12 doses through four separate administrations of the combination DTaP vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough).

Some infants and toddlers receive still more doses of vaccine — if they switch to pediatricians who use different “combined” vaccines, if they are at high risk for certain diseases, if lost or incomplete records lead to duplicate immunizations, and depending on the time of year they were born (for flu shots) or the brand of vaccine used.

While testing is routine for individual vaccines as they are licensed, research on the both short- and long-term effects of multiple doses of vaccine administered to very young children during the critical birth-to-2 developmental window is sparse to nonexistent.

In addition to the number of doses, vaccine ingredients can be problematic, especially for susceptible subgroups. First are adjuvants, substances added to boost effectiveness and allow smaller doses of vaccine antigen to be used. The most common adjuvant is aluminum, which is found in vaccines for hepatitis and diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus.

Second are preservatives — such as thimerosal, which is 49.6 percent mercury. Thimerosal is still contained in many flu shots, although it was, except for trace amounts, removed from other child vaccines a decade ago. Many child vaccines (including those for diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus, HIB, and hepatitis) contain formaldehyde, which was just added to the government’s list of known human carcinogens.

Third are ingredients to which some people have severe allergies: stabilizers such as gelatin, and eggs or other proteins that are used to prepare vaccines for flu, MMR, and other immunizations.

The ongoing debate about vaccines and their safety needs to incorporate these basic facts as our country seeks to answer the critical Goldilocks question: Too many? Too few? Or just right?

Margaret Dunkle is senior research scientist at the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University and director of the Early Identification and Intervention Collaborative for Los Angeles County. She also has a family member who is vaccine-injured. Her email is mdunkle@gwu.edu.

*A Positive Association found between Autism Prevalence and Childhood Vaccination uptake across the U.S. Population
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A: Current Issues
Volume 74, Issue 14, 2011, Pages 903 – 916
Author: Gayle DeLonga
DOI: 10.1080/15287394.2011.573736

Abstract
The reason for the rapid rise of autism in the United States that began in the 1990s is a mystery. Although individuals probably have a genetic predisposition to develop autism, researchers suspect that one or more environmental triggers are also needed. One of those triggers might be the battery of vaccinations that young children receive. Using regression analysis and controlling for family income and ethnicity, the relationship between the proportion of children who received the recommended vaccines by age 2 years and the prevalence of autism (AUT) or speech or language impairment (SLI) in each U.S. state from 2001 and 2007 was determined. A positive and statistically significant relationship was found: The higher the proportion of children receiving recommended vaccinations, the higher was the prevalence of AUT or SLI. A 1% increase in vaccination was associated with an additional 680 children having AUT or SLI. Neither parental behavior nor access to care affected the results, since vaccination proportions were not significantly related (statistically) to any other disability or to the number of pediatricians in a U.S. state. The results suggest that although mercury has been removed from many vaccines, other culprits may link vaccines to autism. Further study into the relationship between vaccines and autism is warranted.  To read the abstract click  HERE.

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groundhog

I am genetically not a fish so I am unable to breathe under the water. Is it a “genetic disorder” if I drown?

From our own personal experience, we know that vaccinations caused problems with our children. We just finally woke up after our last child had seizures after getting vaccinations. Everything just clicked and we can actually pull up pictures and videos of our kids slowly regressing after vaccinations, making progress and then regressing after the next round of vaccinations.

Mild to moderate brain injury symptoms are very close to the “normal” reactions to vaccinations. And that is not all, it is recorded that brain damage can cause diabetes, seizures, autoimmune disorders, behavior and mood disorders, tics, “ADHD and Autism” like behavior, memory and learning disorders, obesity (look in the psych books) and more. All these things may not be readily obvious if vaccinations really were the root of the problem. It is hard to “prove” since most reactions are not immediate and can be ignored, minimized, misdiagnosed or overlooked. How do you “prove” vaccination cause damage to a newborn/infant without death or immediate reaction? Vaccinations are “innocent until proven guilty.”

I would rather err on the side of caution and even if someone else believes I am wrong, I want the choice to say no for my children and myself. What happened to being able to live our lives without governmental and state interference? It’s my choice, my body. It’s my kids, my responsibility.

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