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Did You See “Frontline” Last Night?

Did you see “Frontline” last night? Their special, The Vaccine War aired on PBS at 9 p.m. If you missed it, you can catch it online here, and join in the “Frontline” discussion here.

To learn more about Autism Speaks’ position on vaccines, please read our policy statement and an interview with our chief science officer, Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D.

Autism Speaks recently awarded 16 new autism research grants, totaling over five million dollars. You can learn more about them here.

  1. Catherine McKay
    April 28, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    It was a great show, but I would have liked to see more portrayal of the fact that there is no scientific data that supports the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, the case is quite the opposite. There are literally THOUSANDS of studies that show NO LINK between vaccines and autism. I wish we would stop wasting valuable research money on a fact that has already been proven and fund other projects to look into things that may actually have a causal link or may help therapeutically.

    As well, there was no mention of the fact that Dr. Wakefield recently lost his medical licence in the UK over that study; that he was being paid by the lawyer for the families who were suing the company who manufactures the MMR vaccine; that 8 of the 11 families in the study were suing the company who makes the MMR vaccine; that Dr. Wakefield paid children at his own son’s birthday party $10 of blood samples. He is unethical and unsafe in his practices and nothing the man says can be trusted. It is no wonder he was the only person to come to the conclusion that vaccines are linked to autism – in a study with no controls, that wasnt studying the variables of vaccines and autism – and has never been able to be replicated by any other researcher.

    • MC
      May 4, 2010 at 3:26 pm

      Well said.

      I saw the show. When people ask me about the vaccine question, I refer them to the show now.

      I think of all the wrongdoing of Dr. Wakefield, the blood draws play but a minor role.

      Katie Wright talks below about how it is unethical to scope children when it isn’t called for. And that is exactly what Dr. Wakefield’s team did. Many of the children did not have symptoms which made scoping clinically indicated.

      The vaccine debate has sucked a lot of life out of families and researchers.

  2. Sarah
    April 29, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Catherine – I suggest, when you get the chance, that you hear Dr. Poling (pediatric neurologist) speak – he is very interesting and knowledgeable.

    Or. Dr. Bob Sears

    Or Dr. Jay Gordon

    Not one of them are saying vaccines cause autism. In a nutshell – they are suggesting that the schedule is vastly different than it once was and there may be a subgroup of individuals that are susceptible to injury.

    For example, this little girl in Australia who died last week (and her sister, as well as 60 other babies and small children who “have suffered fits, fever and vomiting after receiving the new seasonal flu vaccine, prompting Australia’s chief medical officer last Friday to advise against its being given to under-fives.”):

    I would be horrified what the Guardsail mothers of damaged and dead teens would feel if your comment was directed at them. I suspect they are imagining that their children were damaged too:

    Here are a number of interesting medical articles that you may find interesting here as well:

    Or if you ever told my dear friend that her daughter’s sudden spiral into a diabetic coma within 24 hours of her 18m DPT/Hib/Polio – had nothing to do with that vaccination – she’d take your head off. For interest sake – look at the Type-1 diabetes rates:
    That’s Type-1 not Type-2.

    What’s the underlying similarity with all of these disease states? Mitochondria dysfunction (or at least, that is what many doctors suspect).

    Now, am I suggesting that it is that simple, that vaccines cause autism? NO, no, no – absolutely not! But it MAY be the case for SOME of our children. Or, like my child – it may be the case that vaccines were among the MANY, MANY environmental hits that a genetically susceptible child might be damaged by.

    Autism Speaks shared with us this video on this blog – I’ve been sending it out ever since (having NOTHING to do with ASD – just how the environment can interact with our genes), “The Epigentics of Identical Twins”:
    From this competition:

    Anyway, please don’t discount us (the persons that feel that vaccines may have played a role – at least partially), there are many of us.

  3. Nancy Reichenbach
    April 29, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I wonder if catherine mckay is a doctor? Because until I see how they do the research, I do believe that vaccine reactions in some human babies cause a child to display a pervasive development issue. Maybe a cover-up? So many kids have it, it could not be genetic first, while an interaction like toxic contact occurs and causes genes to stop doing there job. My son suffered extreme head injuries at birth with multiple bleeds from mis-use of the vaccum extractor not to mention hypoxic insult to his brain.
    His is 7 years old and has autism. He also was on so much meds during his 15 day hospital stay, how could he not be autistic!

  4. Katie Wright
    April 29, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Catherine don’t worry we are not wasting money! That is a total fallacy. The NIH decided to do no vaccine research and about 1% of AS’ research budget is spent on vaccine research.

    People do talk a lot about the issue precisely because they want to see some unbiased authoritative vaccine research not conducted by not by vaccine companies, vaccine patent holders, wanted criminal like Poul Thorsen or the CDC.

    You cannot have controls for Wakefield’s GI study. It is unethical to do GI scopes on healthy children! My son was in such GI agony I would have paid Wakefield $100,000 to scope my son. Only after we got the results did we understand what was wrong with him. Then he began appropriate treatment and vastly improved. Indeed, not one of Wakefield’s patients expressed anything but gratitude for his intervention because he helped make their children better.

    I think we all have a lot bigger tragedies in our lives than being paid to donate blood.

    BTW there are dozens of studies which found a link between vaccines and autism. I am happy for you that you son does not suffer from a myriad of medical problems. I also totally accept the fact your son was not vaccine injured but please don’t tell me you know why my son is autistic.

  5. Sarah
    April 29, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Blood samples at parties are just fine if it’s for anything other than autism.

    “I do – now time for a blood sample! On her big day at the altar, a journalist turns her nuptials into a scientific experiment”
    Globe and Mail, By Nicola Jones
    Update Published on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 7:04PM EST
    Last updated on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 7:19PM EST

  6. Chuck C
    April 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I think everyone is missing the point to the first posters thoughts. First, I am a father of an autistic 6 year old boy. I would love nothing better then to find the cause and hopefully a solution to this problem.

    What I think the first poster is saying. Do not put all your eggs in one basket! Keep testing to see if vaccines have anything to do with it. My personal belief and something I wish someone would look into is the over medication of people, particularly mothers. I belief that my wife, who was on cholesterol meds, anti depressants, anxiety meds, among other things.

    As a parent of an autistic child all I ask is to think outside the box. Do not assume that if someone has a different point of view about autism that they must be a Doctor or to criticize. I want an answer just as much as any other parent. I am just scared that most people are only pointing at one thing. That’s all.

    Thanks for reading,

  7. Sarah
    April 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    With you Chuck 100%. Nothing is that simple (either way). I really believe that a host of things can go wrong, every step of the way – that’s why I love the epigentics studies/the EARLI project so much.

    For our family – I see many, many things that happened (starting with the medication I was on his first trimester), we live in a VERY polluted city downstream from coal plant pollution, within near range of a golf course (pesticides), or all the antibiotics he was on the first two years of his life (starting with his c-section), oh – don’t forget 23 hours of pitocin and ramming his head against my non-effacing cervix and our 9 month course of thrush – until I stopped breastfeeding, etc, etc. But, all that doesn’t negate the fact that my son has a small pox looking scar from one of his vaccinations (he was sick when he received that one) and he literally fell off the face of the earth for his double whammy flu/mengigate.

    For my son, do I think this was the single smoking gun? No, of course not – but it certainly was the final bullet – even daycare was horrified (I had told them months earlier that I was scared he was on spectrum – he was – they scoffed – after the double whammy – they were terrified too). Imagine how we felt after seeing him spiral suddenly to hell? The words, “parents grasping at straws” came out of my very own mouth. It was unfathomable.

    Oh – and for interest sake – in my very industrial city – based on my very unscientific count – I swear the rate is 1:50, if not more. Also, there are four Type-1 diabetes kids in our elementary school of 400 kids (that I know of)?!?! I knew ONE Type-1 diabetes person my entire life until now.

    But still, that doesn’t negate the fact that I have friends that swear on their life that their child was perfect before a vaccination – I believe them. I also have friends that see no correlation with their child’s vaccinations – I believe them too. I believe everyone and get just as annoyed with anti-vaccination-parents who tell the non-vaccination-correlation parents that they are wrong.

    All of our children are very, very different – for the 85-90% that DO NOT have true genetic abnormalities/chromosome issues – all of our children’s paths to their ASD state where all very, very different. But, depending on our genome, my son just as easily could have spiraled into another autoimmune state – or he could have been just fine.

  8. April 29, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Please see my Interview with Lyn Redwood of SafeMinds and the article on autism, vaccines, and recovery at http://www.examiner.com/x-43538-DC-Autism-Examiner~y2010m4d26-Autism-advocate-Lyn-Redwood-discusses-mercury-vaccine-controversy-chelation-treatment-and-recovery.

    In researching this topic I’ve found that a lot of children had adverse, long-lasting effects directly after their vaccines — in some cases within hours or minutes.

  9. Karen Ricci
    April 30, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I have to agree with some of the other people, you don’t ever say in your post if you even have a child with Autism!!! If you don’t how can you speak with authority on this subject?!!! I personally HAD a daughter with Autism, who I KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT contracted Autism because of the MMR SHOT!! She was in the hospital within the WEEK OF BEING GIVEN THE MMR!!! So don’t you sit there and try to say there is no link between Autism and Vaccines!! My daughter began having SEVERE GRAND MAL SEIZURES and spun for 4 hrs without stopping in an Exersaucer during one of the first days she was in the hospital, the Dr wrote “AUTISM?” in her hospital file!! So how is that for correlation?!! My daughter also died as a result of Autism…she ran out into the middle of a rural hwy at 9:51pm and got killed by an oncoming truck at the tender age of 6 yrs old, an age that most children wouldn’t even go outside by themselves at that time of night because they would be to scared!!!! As a result of Autism my daughter, like many other children on the Autism Spectrum, had NO SENSE OF DANGER!! Which is ultimately what killed her! I agree with some of the others that we need to have some studies done that aren’t paid for by the drug companies, the CDC, or any other source that stands a chance of profitting from the results of the studies!! You can’t believe someone who has a vested interest in the outcome, other than the welfare of the children!! If you haven’t noticed Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability today, more prevalent than childhood cancer, diabeties, cerebral palsy and downs syndrome combined!! Yet less money is spent on Autism Research than any other medical research!! We need to do something to help these children and we need to do it YESTERDAY!! Most states don’t even have requirements that insurance companies pay for therapies related to Autism! Most insurances don’t even pay for Speech Therapy for these children!! I am sorry if I come across a little strong, but I am sure you can tell from my post this is something very dear to my heart! I am always trying to learn the latest things about Autism and the treatments for it. So I hope you will try to get with some SPECTRUM PARENTS in order to learn more about Autism.
    Many Blesings To You!

    • Doug Mayes
      May 2, 2010 at 9:57 pm

      Sorry for your loss Karen.

  10. Colleen
    May 1, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    I am convinced there is a connection between increased number of vaccinations, increased amount of mercury derivative preservative, and increased number of autistic children. Our genetics don’t allow a good number of us to properly process all this unnecessary crap injected into our bodies. Catherine: Do your homework, do your readings. Educate yourself on how studies are conducted and educate yourself on WHY it is difficult to prove the vaccine theory. Seriously. Think before you speak.

  11. Laura Nelson
    May 20, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I read an article online at BBC News about an increased number of children being diagnosed with autism who are from families who immigrate to the UK. Could this possibly be because they receive a large number of immunizations (all at once) when they immigrate either through school or just generally (public health)?

    I hope someone has considered this possibility. Maybe this situation doesn’t exist in the US because we don’t have public health.

  12. June 3, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Please read a book called “Sacred Spark” by Rev. Lisa K. Sykes whose son has autism and she went to every level of every organization that deals with autism connecting it to immunizations. What an eyeopener! She has lots of documentation regarding the record-keeping she did on her son and the treatments he received. But the doors kept closing in her face. They didn’t want to hear it. Pharmaceuticals make a great deal of money on the vaccines. How can they not be biased?

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