William Thompson is the CDC whistleblower who revealed that he had been involved in a cover-up of a key result in the vaccine-autism debate.
He was referring to the DeStefano 2004 study of MMR and autism, on which Thompson was a co-author, conducting the statistical analysis. Thompson claimed that an association between MMR and autism in African American boys was identified in the data, but that the finding was omitted from the final paper. He cited the pressure to show no association between MMR and autism, and explained how they tried various statistical techniques to try to hide the association.
The infographic above presents the data behind the debate. Brian Hooker’s 2014 re-analysis of the data shows there is indeed an association between MMR and autism in African American boys in the data.
Forget the politics; the science here is telling us there is an association between a vaccine and autism.
In 2012, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a comprehensive evidence review entitled “Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality”.
They looked at 8 different vaccines and 76 different adverse events. One of these adverse events was autism.
- For 1 vaccine (MMR), the IOM favored rejection of a causal relationship.
- For 1 vaccine (DTaP), the IOM declared the evidence inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship.
- For the other 6 vaccines in the review, the IOM did not look for any evidence regarding a causal relationship.
Clearly then, the correct conclusion of this evidence is NOT that “vaccines do not cause autism”. There is not enough evidence to make that conclusion.
Even if a causal relationship between MMR and autism is rejected, it does not follow that “vaccine do not cause autism” because MMR is only one of 8 or more vaccines, and the evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship for them. There have also been no studies looking for associations between cumulative vaccinations, or different timings, or different combinations of vaccines, and autism.
The CDC cites this IOM report for its claim that “vaccines do not cause autism” and yet this report does not support this claim.
The studies cited by the CDC on their “Vaccine Do Not Cause Autism” page cannot possibly support that claim. The CDC’s conclusion is invalid.
See the infographic above for details about why that is.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) systematic review entitled “The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies (2013)” confirmed there had been no studies of the vaccine schedule, and it called for such studies to be done.
It then tells us the most feasible way to carry out these urgently-needed studies:
The most feasible approach to studying the safety of the childhood immunization schedule is through analyses of data obtained by VSD. VSD is a collaborative effort between CDC and 9 managed care organizations that maintain a large database of linked data for monitoring immunization safety and studying potential rare and serious adverse events. VSD member sites include data for more than 9 million children and adults receiving vaccinations on a variety of immunization schedules.
The VSD (Vaccine Safety Datalink) is potentially a goldmine of data that could be decisive in the vaccine science debates, but the CDC keeps it locked up. It makes the data available only to select individuals; it is not publicly available for independent researchers to analyse.
Making anonymised VSD data available to everyone would be an easy and cheap way to enable epidemiological studies of all different vaccine schedules to be carried by anyone who has doubts about vaccine safety or efficacy and wants to verify the raw data.
Why doesn’t the CDC want independent researchers or parents to be able to compare health outcomes between populations vaccinated on different schedules or unvaccinated?
The vaccine schedule has not been tested.
This is according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) systematic review entitled “The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies (2013)”, a report which is cited by the CDC.
Here is the full quote:
In summary, few studies have comprehensively assessed the association between the entire immunization schedule or variations in the overall schedule and categories of health outcomes, and no study has directly examined health outcomes and stakeholder concerns in precisely the way that the committee was charged to address in its statement of task. No studies have compared the differences in health outcomes that some stakeholders questioned between entirely unimmunized populations of children and fully immunized children. Experts who addressed the committee pointed not to a body of evidence that had been overlooked but rather to the fact that existing research has not been designed to test the entire immunization schedule.
Vaccines have been tested, but the vaccine schedule has not been.
A test of the vaccine schedule would entail comparing health outcomes between populations given different combinations of vaccines, including fully unvaccinated, selectively vaccinated, and fully vaccinated according to the recommended schedule (which is different in different countries). As the IOM quote above makes clear, there are no such studies.
Retrospective cohort and case-control studies comparing health outcomes between populations vaccinated using different schedules are urgently needed.