Hootenanny If you read the article I posted above, there are serious issues around the method of re analysis and the results but even so- ONE study in bucket loads where all other studies have shown no link between autism and MMR vax. It has been studied quite a bit. If there was actual evidence, peer reviewed, replicable and demonstrated, that showed vaccines to be dangerous and ineffective, I wouldn't vax. This isn't the case, though.
The antivax community refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of vaccine safety and efficacy studies but will accept the re analysis of one study despite questionable method (not to mention motivation) and questionable results? You can't have it both ways. Either peer reviewed scientific study is an acceptable method of showing whether vaccines are safe and effective or it is not. It can't only be acceptable when proving the antivax worldview. The Antivax movement: Cognitive dissonance at it's finest.
You call into question motivation, you cannot have it both ways either, who has the ultimate motivation, who makes money from it. It's hypocritical to say motivation is a reason to question the results of a study done by someone who believes vaccines may cause harm, and not when it is funded by vaccine manufacturers.
Thompson has done what very few scientists will do, and because of that he will very quickly go from being a reputable scientist who produced one of those 'studies' you rely on, to being discredited and untrustworthy. I imagine cognitive dissonance is what led to his sharing of his concerns.
I can certainly see the benefits of some vacines in some circumstances, but it needs to be a fully informed risk assessment.
I don't expect this to change vaxxers minds, they are too invested in it, I just hope this results in greater transparency so any concerning results are investigated further. Not finding proof doesn't mean it didn't happen, until they know exactly what causes Autism and a whole heap of autoimmune diseases this is not going away. Ignoring the bits you don't like is not going to make it go away. The research to date does not have all the answers.
For the non clickers:
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a war going on between those who believe in the health benefits of vaccines – that they can prevent deadly infectious diseases such as measles and polio – and those that believe that the immunizations do more harm than good. Now one of the authors of a 2004 government study that found similar vaccination rates among children with and without autism says the study omitted some important data.
The vaccine war is being fought on social media, in social circles and increasingly in doctor’s offices, as physicians are faced with doubts and questions from parents who find themselves being recruited onto the side of skepticism. Skepticism is healthy, and the sign of curious minds, but not when it flies in the face of evidence. Especially gold standard, rigorous scientific evidence that has been accumulating for decades and shows that vaccines are not linked with an increased risk of the developmental disorder.
William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and one of the authors of a 2004 study published in the journal Pediatrics, spoke with Brain Hooker, who serves on the board of Focus Autism (which was founded to “put an end to the needless harm of children by vaccination and other environmental factors”), about the data that was not included in the final report. The study looked at both healthy children and those with autism, to see if there were any differences in their rates of being vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), and found none. That suggested that childhood immunizations likely were not contributing to an increased risk of autism. Hooker and Thompson, however, discussed a subset of the 624 children with autism and 1824 without the condition who were studied and Thompson admitted that among African-American boys, the incidence of autism was higher among those who were vaccinated than among those who weren’t. But that information was not part of the paper. Thompson claims he was not aware that the discussion was being recorded, and his statements appeared in a video released on YouTube on August 22 entitled “CDC Whistleblower Revealed.”
Did the CDC cover up the data, as Hooker claims? A couple of things to keep in mind, both about the people behind the video and about how epidemiological studies like the one published in Pediatrics work (and explained in more detail in this article from Science-Based Medicine). For starters, the video was narrated by Andrew Wakefield, the British researcher responsible for seeding the questions about vaccines and autism in the first place. In 2010, the General Medical Council in the UK revoked his license to practice medicine and a year later, the journal that published his paper concluded that his findings were fraudulent.
Next, any time scientists take the original population of participants in a study, however large, and drill down to analyze trends in a subgroup – in this case the African-American boys – the power of the associations they find dwindles. That’s because the numbers get smaller, and in order to be statistically relevant – something known as statistical significance to statisticians – certain threshold numbers and confidence intervals for the connection have to be reached. In the 2004 study, the scientists looked at a smaller set of 355 children with autism and 1020 without for whom they had Georgia state birth certificates, which included additional information that might be relevant for any associations, such as birth weight, gestational age, and mother’s age, race and education. “This information was not available for the children without birth certificates; hence the CDC study did not present data by race on black, white or other race children form the whole study sample. It presented the results on black and white/other race children from the group with birth certificates,” the CDC notes in a statement responding to the video. Thompson claims that the findings were statistically significant, but results from smaller numbers of subjects still don’t hold as much weight as correlations found in the larger group.
In addition, it’s important to note that the study simply correlated age at vaccination and reports of autism, which says nothing about the direction of the connection. For example, the authors of the 2004 study note that “Case children, especially those 3 to 5 years of age, were more likely than control children to have been vaccinated before 36 months of age.” The association between vaccination and symptoms, however, was more likely due to the fact that the children had to be immunized in order to register in preschool, and doesn’t necessarily indicate that the shots contributed to the autism.
In a statement issued through his attorneys, Thompson says “Reasonable scientists can and do differ in their interpretation of information.” He calls for transparency in the data collecting and reporting process, but says that the way that the 2004 study was presented does not negate the importance of vaccination. “I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.”
This give a good, simple, plain English explanation, I thought.
Anti vax groups DO make money. The AVN is constantly sourcing donations and used to sell magazine subscriptions. Websites that preach anti vax crap sell advertising and products. For example, mercola flogs all kinds of supplements etc. Natural news too. So if money motivates scientific researchers it certainly motivates the anti vax brigade too.
In this case I didn't say money was the motivator. I believe the motivator here is confirmation of an idea that has been disproven over and over again.
No, this doesn't change my mind. Because it's not been proven to be significant enough. In thompson's own words, he is still recommending people vaccinate and acknowledges that data can be interpreted differently by different scientists. He is not calling for a mass recall of the vaccine. He is not saying the vaccine definitively causes autism. Yet the anti vax groups are in a lather, seeing this as a victory for their cause.
Also, he didn't share his concerns. He has said he did not know he was being recorded. He's not a whistleblower. He made comments in private that were aired publicly without his apparent consent. The whole thing is farcical.
I guess this comes down to looking at the bigger picture. We are basically talking about a study, where one scientist wasn't 100% with the way it was done.
Okay - so sure, further assessment needs to happen, another study perhaps to see if the data can be replicated - which it won't be.
The reason this won't happen - is because thousands and thousands of studies have already and still continue to be done that show no link. You cannot dismiss all those studies on the basis of this one study. To do so is being biased and blinded to your cause. You cannot cherry pick, refuse to see the mountains of evidence and only scoop up the one or two studies that come out ever decade or so that may raise questions relating to autism.
And we do know what causes autism, it is genetic, and it is something that starts in the fetus - well before vaccines even come into play.
Autoimmune diseases, genetic as well.
There is no conspiracy, there is no link. There is however around 3 million people walking around today at this very point in time - that would not be alive if it weren't for vaccines.
I am not a scientist, I find it absolutely mind boggling that google warriors think they know and can interpret science better than an entire group of experts.
We know that both autoimmune diseases and ASD are genetic - we should be starting there.
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