Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Someone asked for more information concerning my views on the link between autism and vaccines. I wrote one post shortly after the government conceded that vaccines caused Hannah Polling to become autistic. Clearly, I wrote it in the moment and was too optimistic.

There are at least three major theories regarding the link between autism and vaccines. I believe that it is generally accepted by the "vaccines as trigger" groups that there is a genetic component or predisposition to develop autism in a susceptible child after an environmental trigger.

1. Autism is caused by exposure to thimerosal. Evidence of Harm is a great book that clearly sums up a lot of the controversy and evidence supporting a link between thimerosal and autism.

2. Another theory is that the MMR shot causes autism. That is pretty controversial because it caused rates of vaccination with the MMR to plummet in England. Andrew Wakefield is currently in court over the issue. I follow the issue at The Age of Autism and I subscribe to the Schafer Autism Report.

3. Autism is caused by some combination of both thimerosal and the MMR.

The reason this issue has not died is that up to 2/3 of the parents of children with autism believe it was triggered by vaccines. Independent and honest studies have not yet been done. What has generally happened is that some research is thrown together, the media, the CDC, the NIH, et al. announce that yet another study definitively proves there is no link. Parents, doctors, researchers look at the studies and see lack of independence, faulty criteria, etc. and reject the study because of multiple flaws. It convinces no one who was not already convinced; yet, the average person, doctors, professionals, who don't even give it a cursory look, assume it was a well designed and valid study.

I'm going to have to break this down further because I didn't even touch on genetics and that's a huge issue. Nor did I get to which theory I believe triggered it in my kids.


Mazo said...

Thank you for this information - I am definitely interested in learning more. My sons' pedi told me that thimerosal is no longer used in vac for young children - what do you think about that? I'm trying to educate myself more about this, and find that researching online is completely daunting given the amount of information that's out there...Thanks again for sharing - I'm very interested in hearing more about your kids (or what you feel triggered the autism).

Life as the mother of 4 said...

Actually that is not true. Thimerosal is still used in most of the flu shots and Rhogam shot and is used in the manufacturing process of many of the "dead virus" shots. The pharmaceutical companies "take it out" at the end of the process, they take out about 99% of it. There is a lag time between the manufacturing process and when the vaccine is actually injected. Thus my kids received shots containing thimerosal years after it was officially removed.

Personally, I'd just ask for thimerosal free shots. Spread them out. Never, never get them when your child is sick or on antibiotics. Never, give Tylenol to your child. Rather give them children's Motrin or advil. Give your child extra multi-vitamins for a week before they get vaccinated.

If you have a bad feeling about giving it your child trust yourself.

Mazo said...

Sorry - I've been very busy lately and have not been keeping up. when you say to never give tylenol, do you mean ever or before/after the shot? why the multi-vitamin?

how do you spread the shot out? can they give 3 in small doses instead?

Life as the mother of 4 said...

The process your body uses to break down the vaccine is the same one it uses to break down Tylenol. So don't give it to them before or after they receive a vaccine. I'll look for a link when I'm back from my "vacation."

What I meant by spreading out shots is not to get as many at each visit. Maybe just get the DPaT or only two shots. Whatever you feel good about.

Mazo said...

Ahhh, I see. I didn't know if you meant that they could actually break up the MMR into 3 different shots. I'll have to see what he's scheduled for when he gets his MMR. I'll ask for one at a time. thanks for all of the info!

Life as the mother of 4 said...

You can actually break the MMR into three different shots. Call before if you want to do that because your doctor will probably have to special order it. It's more expensive.

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