Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Interested in the Autism Vaccine Controversy? New Report

The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies The National Academies Press,

Committee on the Assessment of Studies of Health Outcomes Related to the Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Institute of Medicine 

[Excerpt from 'Description'] The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies reviews scientific findings and stakeholders concerns related to the safety of the recommended childhood immunization schedule. This report also identifies potential research approaches, methodologies and study designs that could inform this question, considering strengths, weaknesses as well as ethical and financial feasibility of each approach.

This report draws on data from existing surveillance systems, such as the Vaccine Safety Datalink, could be used and offers the best means for ongoing research efforts regarding the safety of the schedule. In recognition of this, future federal research approaches should: collect and assess evidence regarding public confidence in and concerns about the entire childhood immunization schedule, with the goal to improve communication with health care professionals, and between health care professionals and the public regarding safety; standardize definitions of key elements of the schedule, and relevant health outcomes; establish research priorities on the basis of epidemiological evidence, biological plausibility, and feasibility; and continue to fund and support the Vaccine Safety Datalink project to study the safety of the recommended immunization schedule. [end]

Majia here: This is a REVIEW OF PUBLISHED SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE. It is not an actual research study. 

The report authors decide what scientific studies to review and explain they discarded others based on methodological issues. However, the reader is not given specific information on those discarded studies' methodological problems.

My main problem with the report is that it recommends against comparing the health outcomes in areas such as autism and PDD for 1) vaccinated children as compared to 2) children on alternative vaccination schedules and non-vaccinated children. 

The report argues that the studies would be costly and unnecessary. The current Vaccine Safety Datalink system and secondary studies of existing data are represented as adequate alternatives:

[excerpted] Recommendation 6-2: The Department of Health and Human Services should refrain from initiating randomized controlled trials of the childhood immunization schedule that compare safety outcomes in fully vaccinated children with those in unvaccinated children or those vaccinated by use of an alternative schedule. 

The committee concludes that secondary analyses of existing data are more promising approaches to examination of the research questions identified by the committee in future studies of the childhood immunization schedule. PAGE 13

Majia here: I think this is a mistake. People who suspect vaccines are not going to be satisfied with a failure to see if different outcomes occur when children are on alternative vaccine schedules or aren't vaccinated at all.

Why not encourage as much research as possible to really grapple fully with this issue of whether vaccines pose particular risks for some small segments of the population.  

I personally think vaccination is important - especially for some nasty diseases, such as Polio and smallpox, - but I want our vaccines to be as SAFE AS POSSIBLE.   

Scientists should examine ALL THE AVAILABLE DATA.


My Opinion on autism and vaccinations: 

I don't believe that vaccinations are the leading cause of autism. I believe, in some instances, vaccines may increase vulnerability or precipitate a cascading chain of adverse biological events. For example, in one case the US vaccine court concluded that vaccinations might have precipitated autism in a child who had an underlying mitochondrial disorder (see here).

That said, I don't believe vaccinations account for the majority of autism cases.

We live in a highly contaminated environment. Lead, mercury, arsenic, uranium, radiocesium, tritium, etc are in our air and our food. We have  been damaging our human genome by extracting and manufacturing these genotoxic elements in truly massive quantities for the last 150 years.

For me, "autism" can represent human diversity but, 

MOST OF ALL, autism, ADHD, Parkinsons, cancer name the human symptoms of our ongoing and wholescale environmental destruction.

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