Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Risk of Autism Is Not Increased by "Too Many Vaccines Too Soon"

About a month ago, a new study was published which showed the risk of autism is not increased by a child receiving "too many vaccines too soon". The researchers examined children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those without ASD and they examined each child's cumulative exposure to antigens.

In the end, no relationship was found between the number of antigens or the number of vaccines with any increased risk of ASD. This isn't exactly new information and is more of a confirmation of what we already knew, but it is one more nail in the coffin of the antivaxxer belief that vaccines cause autism. For years these antivaxxers have been cheering the rallying cry of "too many, too soon", yet as the summary of the study explains, the true exposure of antigens (which are the substances in vaccines that cause the body’s immune system to produce antibodies to fight disease) has actually decreased in the past several decades:
"Although the current routine childhood vaccine schedule contains more vaccines than the schedule in the late 1990s, the maximum number of antigens that a child could be exposed to by 2 years of age in 2013 is 315, compared with several thousand in the late 1990s. Because different types of vaccines contain varying amounts of antigens, this research acknowledged that merely counting the number of vaccines received does not adequately account for how different vaccines and vaccine combinations stimulate the immune system."

This is an important point, because when antivaxxers complain about "too many vaccines" and the increased number of vaccines on the CDC recommended vaccine schedule, they are essentially focused on the packaging rather than the content.  This is like a woman going to the pizzeria and complaining that they sliced her pizza into eight pieces rather than six because she is on a diet.  In the end - it doesn't matter how many pieces we have, what matters is the CONTENT of each slice.  Same is true with vaccines - the sheer number of vaccines is meaningless, and what really matters is the CONTENT.  This is a very basic point that is often misunderstood by antivaxxers... but more often than not rather than misunderstanding it, they blatantly ignore it since it doesn't help their cause.

The fact is, the antigens are what we should be focused on here, because the antigens are what make up the body of the vaccine, and as the study explains the number of antigens have decreased as vaccines have improved.  Yet we have seen countless instances in which antivaxxers remind us that the rate of ASD is increasing as they attempt to link this to the growing number of vaccines on the CDC recommended vaccine schedule - even though they totally ignore the content of the vaccines, and even though they have no studies and no peer-reviewed science to support the link between vaccines and ASD.

This is partly why I've been holding off posting this study for a while, because I wanted to give antivaxxers an opportunity to review the data and perhaps even acknowledge that the science continues to lead us down a different path.  This particular study involved over 1,000 children which is slightly more than the 12 children that the now-entirely-discredited and no-medical-license-holding "Dr." Wakefield used in his study that attempted to link the MMR vaccine with ASD.  So if one was actually allowing the science to lead them to a conclusion, and if they were sincere in their desire to refrain from personal bias, and if they were actually interested in truth and fact... is there any possible way they could simply toss this study aside as they continue their unsupportable belief that vaccines cause autism?

Of course there is... because if we have learned anything about antivaxxers, it is that they couldn't possibly care less about real science or published studies.  For example if you were to visit the anti-vaccine website, you would find zero references to this study.  One might think a website devoted to sharing information about vaccines might actually wish to mention it, but because the science doesn't fit with their core message... they simply ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist.

So much for getting the whole story.

Then you have the ironically named "".  Again... not a single mention of the study.  What exactly are these groups trying to hide?  Shouldn't a website or organization focused upon vaccines actually bother to mention a major study that discusses vaccines?

Next you have Age of Autism which actually took the time to comment on the study the day it was released... which pretty much tells us they didn't even take the time to read the actual study (although I'm quite certain they wouldn't understand it if they did).  Either way Dan Olmsted wrote a short article complaining about it claiming the study "isn't really worth much comment".  Really Dan?  A study which examines over 1,000 children, studies the total number of antigens given to each of those children, and includes both children with and without ASD all in an effort to understand if there really is something to this "vaccines and autism" theory isn't worth much comment?

Sadly, Dan actually seems to believe that.  He didn't really say much about the study itself only quoting what others have said about it, and he doesn't even seem to brush the surface of any facts or data in the actual study.  It seems that Dan most likely didn't even read it - and instead he simply cut and pasted a few paragraphs from other known anti-vaxxers as he tried to minimize the importance of the study without actually taking the time to discuss the key points, any of the data, or the conclusions.  Classic.

Granted Age of Autism wasn't done, therefore the well-known spam-bot Anne Dachel decided to pipe in and actually discuss the study.  Of course when I say "actually discuss the study" what I mean is that she will complain about the timing of the study... because as we all know scientific information should be released on a schedule that appeals to antivaxxers.

Sadly, Anne doesn't actually spend even a single sentence discussing the study.  She doesn't discuss methodology, she doesn't mention the number of test subjects, she doesn't discuss background of the authors, and she doesn't discuss the actual findings of the study.  What does does is complain about the timing of the release, and immediately jumps to conclusions about whether the study will change the debate or if in the scope of things it even matters.  She then goes on to list the news websites that posted articles about the study and she bragged about how she posted her comments to each of them.

Anne then uses the rest of her post to include various links and unrelated statements about vaccines that she and her followers can cut and paste into the comments sections of the various articles even though none of them have anything to do with this actual study.  Once again it seems antivaxxers really don't seem to want to discuss this study... they would rather bury it and change the subject.  Shocker.

Dr. David Gorski over at Science-Based Medicine actually wrote about some of these same reactions from the anti-vaccine community in addition to several others.  He also covers the study in much more detail and explains how this particular study could very well be the final nail in the coffin for the "too many, too soon" nonsense that antivaxxers have been chanting for the past few years.  As with pretty much anything that comes from Dr. Gorski or SBM, that article is most certainly worth a read (although if you happen to be an antivaxxer you may need someone to help explain concepts like retrospective studies or confidence intervals).

This all reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."  
                                                            ~Neil deGrasse Tyson


  1. Lowell Hubbs "That Pediatrics based study is nothing but extreme junk science. Are antigens the only thing in vaccines, to be concerned about."

    You need to pick your argument and stick with it Mr. Hubbs. One day you claim it is "too many, too soon", the next day you are griping about "toxins", the next you complain about mercury or thimerosal, or formaldehyde... this is why people won't engage antivaxxers in serious debate, because antivaxxers are presented with real science and rather than reacting to it by debating the issue, they merely switch their position and move the goalpost yet again.

    Lowell Hubbs: "That study has nothing to do with human physiological science; nor does it have anything to do do with actual vaccine safety. The entire field of so called modern medicine should be ashamed of such a repeat attempt to mislead the public."

    Oh by all means Mr. Hubbs... please tell me more about your knowledge of "human physiological science".

    As to "vaccine safety" hopefully even you are intelligent enough to realize that wasn't the focus of the study. Are you now suggesting any published study dealing with the subject of vaccines needs to cover everything from the number of vaccines to the ingredients in those vaccines to the mythical "vax vs. unvax" comparison to the safety of those vaccines to the side effects and on and on?

    On a scale from one to full-Hubbs, how clueless are you really?

    Lowell Hubbs: "I created this website page, long before you created this blog page Mr Editor. I suggest that you review it."

    Sorry Mr. Hubbs - there is no scientific value in reading your opinions. I obtain my scientific information from trusted experts in their respective fields, from peer-reviewed research, and from universally accepted data. I do not need to read the ramblings of a known felon with a high school education who last I heard was working in a meat processing plant.

    Come back to me after you have had one single day of real post-secondary education in any of the sciences. Until then you're wasting your time if you think I'm even bothering to pay a visit to any of your blogs or websites.

    Lowell Hubbs: "but yet go on to repeatedly claim that no scientific studies prove any of the claims that the vaccine truth people put forward. I have put in front of you multiple times the long list of studies that prove in any honest and rational mind, that the claims of vaccine doing more harm than good, are indeed true."

    Sorry Mr. Hubbs, but clearly you don't understand what the term "scientific study" actually means. This means peer-reviewed and published research... and to date there hasn't been a single study which shows vaccines cause more harm than good. Not a one.

    There has never been a study linking vaccines to autism either, yet you continue to claim vaccines do cause autism. The simple truth is you aren't intelligent enough to discern actual scientific data and peer-reviewed research from opinion and blog posts. How do I know this? Because you have actually attempted to quote blog posts and non-published articles while claiming they are studies!

    I think we are done here. Please go away as you aren't contributing anything worthwhile to the conversation. Perhaps rather than attempting to post hundreds of comments on various blogs and websites, you could divert some of your energy into pursuing higher education where you might actually learn about *gasp* biology, chemistry, anatomy, or other sciences!

    Oh wait... I'm talking to a guy who thinks bragging about his "University of Google" education actually makes people respect him. Nevermind. You are clearly a lost cause.

  2. Oh and if you are curious Mr. Hubbs - I didn't publish your entire comment because as I've told you before, I don't make a habit of linking to personal blogs or websites that are designed to mislead and which are not based upon legitimate science. I'm sure you will have no problem linking to your blog from VacTruth or the dozen or so other anti-vaxxer websites... but we focus on real facts and real science here.

  3. What, numerous studies published as well and also in Pubmed are not good enough for you? What would be? You simply did not publish the reply, because that was the only way you could keep twisting and lying about it all and deceiving the public as to the facts, and as to the solid information that reply contained, and with more than enough supporting science to blow your misinformation in the dirt, and you know it. If you had published the whole reply as you received it you wouldn't be able to take anything out of contest, nor remove any information that proves your statements to be lies. How twisted and sick do you have to be to keep on entirely lying about the information in front of you like you do. It was no different 3 years ago on the Argus, same thing. How sick do you have to be to keep on fabricating the twisted and false claims and statements that you do. I have as well never quoted blog posts nor articles and claimed them as science. I would have no need to because there is plenty of science in my listings that are obviously studies published right in as well Pubmed.

    Why don't you and cant you just compare the science and data I have collected to what you have available? That in itself would shut this blog down, because you could never end up looking to be anything but a fool, and you know it. You can not and never could debate these subject matters in any honesty, not ever. Nothing could be more obvious. Face it. That reply is posted on blog just as it was sent to you, and anyone that goes there can see how twisted, fraudulent, and blatantly lying your statements are here.

    What a very sick, sick, sick, and extremely twisted man. How do you even live with yourself. You need some serious, serious psychological help, which obviously you will never get. All you have ever been and continue to be is a huge detriment to society and anything good happening or being done whatsoever. You are a danger to the public well being and common good, as a fact. As a fact you are nothing but a complete liar and a deceiver, and representation of as well nothing but purely sick evil. What an in denial, extremely SICK, and very twisted man you are, Mr.Editor!

    1. Mr. Hubbs - when you are incapable of posting a comment without a dozen or so direct insults at me, does it really surprise you that I don't post them? I'm merely shocked that you didn't have to resort to profanity this time... so maybe you are actually learning.

      Frankly Mr. Hubbs I'm doing you a favor by even allowing a fraction of your comments to appear here, so perhaps you would be so kind as to stick to the subject matter rather than going on daily rants about how you seem to feel I'm evil or sick or twisted or whatever else you wish to use to insult me. Commenting isn't a right Mr. Hubbs... it is a privledge, and that privledge needs to be earned. Continue posting insults, and I'll ensure you are banned from commenting permanently.

      Now as to your previous comment, the only reason it was not posted was because you attempted to link to your personal website/blog. That is not a credible source, and thus I didn't include that portion of your comment as it isn't legitimate evidence. However, since you are now claiming there are "numerous studies" in Pubmed that seem to support your view that vaccines cause more harm than good, that gives me an idea.

      So let's start there Mr. Hubbs. Please post a comment with ONE SINGLE peer-reviewed AND published study that shows vaccines cause more harm than good or that vaccines cause autism and we can discuss it.

      Do not attempt to link me to your personal website and call it "proof" as I won't publish it.

      Do not attempt to cut and paste a laundry list of dozens upon dozens of links to various articles, blog pages, or anti-vaxxer websites and claim they are scientific because I won't publish it.

      Do not attempt to change the subject and rant about me, this blog, or any other unrelated issues as I won't publish it.

      Do not attempt to post a link to an anti-vaxxer website and claim it is a published study.

      Do not attempt to link to a summary document or an abstract or a partial summary report because I won't publish it.

      Do not attempt to post a transcript of a speech or interview as you attempt to pass it off as a published study because I won't publish it.

      Do not attempt to link to a non-recognized 'journal' like Medical Hypotheses or Medical Veritas or anything which isn't listed in MEDLINE because I won't publish it.

      In short - stick to legitimate peer-reviewed studies rather than opinion pieces, blog posts, interviews, or unpublished nonsense.

      I'm giving you a chance here, but you need to be able to follow the rules. So post ONE study after which I will review the study and post what I have found. So you can post your study, explain what you feel the study suggests (for instance you believe it proves vaccines cause more harm than good or you believe it proves vaccines cause autism) and you can post the original source of this study (such as Pubmed or a legitimate scientific and/or medical journal).

      Are you capable of doing that Mr. Hubbs, or are you going to simply keep trying to get me to visit your anti-vaxxer 'tub-O-conspiracy" linkdump / blog / website that you like to think is credible?

      If you are capable of providing one study, I'll promise you that not only will I review it, but I'll even go so far as to write a specific blog page about the study and the findings of the study - regardless of what those findings may be. So here is your chance to (in theory) educate me and the public - but it requires you to refrain from the childish rants and insults and link-dumping.

      Seems fair to me - so go ahead and send me that study so we can get started.

  4. This reply will be in two parts.

    I am getting more than a little tired of that kind of persistent hypocrisy in your claims, in regard to your own personal attack on me throughout the pages of this blog, and as well in your allowing all the as a fact, slanderous reply comments to be published, that you have. Your continual and false self elevation to some sort of expert here and on these issues, is beyond laughable. A self proclaimed blogging expert with as well absolutely and intentionally, no personal identity. As far as statements of opinion; why is it that you claim to and believe that yours are the only ones that correct; no matter what the subject matter, and no matter how well founded your oppositions claims are.

    Look at what you are doing here. All you had to do was publish my original and first reply, and be done with it. But oh no, you refused to do that, and here you are weeks later still avoiding the content of that reply and its reference material. Here you are still making pathetic and repeat false excuses, one after another, for why you could not publish that reply as it was. Here you are as well making reply posting rule after rule, that actually has and had nothing to do with the dis-allowance of that said reply. You simply refuse to allow the truth information and all that unbiased science to be promoted; it is to much truth. Your agenda is NOT truth' and it all to clearly never has been nor ever will be. Your agenda is one of self selective denial.

    And don't even go there in any attempt to claim you have not been to my website, as you know exactly what is there, and that is why you refuse to link to any of its pages. You quite clearly used to as well scour the original site in an attempt to find some dirt, and you were never successful. You as well simply refuse to allow any readers know that I have a counter blog to this one, and/or to ever reference to it. What should that tell the readers, when you go on blogging and creating more and more titled blog pages, having never answered to the truth information that exists on that blog? A blog that contains many repeat copies of the rebuttal and correct information replies, you refused to publish on this blog.

    1. That's great Mr. Hubbs... but what about the ONE SINGLE peer-reviewed AND published study that shows vaccines cause more harm than good or that vaccines cause autism?

      Apparently following simple directions is a bit too hard for you, and instead of providing such a study all you can do is complain.

      Is it really any wonder why you get gain any traction and why people don't take you or your fellow antivaxxers seriously?

  5. Part 2 of your reply.

    You see what you are avoiding here again is any realization as well of the fact that it is not just one study that is the total of the evidence. It is multiple studies and data all showing the same or similar findings. It is when you put that all together, that you have the total package of realization and understanding. So, what are you doing? You are again censoring the reply information you have been given. I do not find it acceptable, nor do I have any desire whatsoever to play along with your twisted censorship games, Editor.

    However, even though I have explained to you the situation, and I could give you dozens of good vaccine harm and ASD related studies, I am going to give you a single study, to see what you come up with. Actually I am going to give you two studies, because they are somewhat interlinked as a basic info package. These studies are obviously quite self explanatory. The first one deals with the spectrum of ASIA: ‘Autoimmune (Auto-inflammatory) Syndrome.

    The spectrum of ASIA: ‘Autoimmune (Auto-inflammatory) Syndrome induced by Adjuvants

    PLoS One. 2009; 4(12): e8382. Published online 2009 December 31.
    Self-Organized Criticality Theory of Autoimmunity


    Systemic autoimmunity appears to be the inevitable consequence of over-stimulating the host's immune ‘system’ by repeated immunization with antigen, to the levels that surpass system's self-organized criticality. (Full study)

    By the way; when we get done with this, we can move on to the issue of aluminum vaccine adjuvants, combined with vaccine contamination. Be sure that you as well provide any counter studies in any arguments you make, and just your opinions, are of course, not acceptable. Claims as well from Paul Offit and the CDC, that dietary consumption of mercury and/or aluminum is the same thing as injected forms of it, and claimed to be handled by the human body and detoxed the same way, are as well and of course not acceptable, as it is not backed by any real physiological data nor science.

    1. Mr. Hubbs, aside from the fact you cannot follow simple directions, I'll actually humor you. I'll respond to your comment via a new post in the coming days as time allows. That way rather than discussing the finer points of your post here in the comments, I can actually elevate them to a specific post to specifically call out key points within your response.

      Stay tuned.

  6. We are waiting ..........................................

    1. What exactly are you waiting for? If you're waiting for the evidence to support the idea that vaccines cause autism you better get comfortable because you're never going to stop waiting.


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