Autism Is Political: Bob Wright and a UK Perspective
Olmsted on Offit: In Newsweek!

Since When is US Medicine "Law?"

Crying_libertyManaging Editor's Note:  This is from the backyard of the CDC. Blaming unvaccinated children for the "alarming rise" in measles outbreaks.  Didn't Julie Gerberding say the AAP vaccination schedule is "flexible?"  When did that translate into "law?"

Autism Speaks ran this piece on their in the news page.(HERE) So, does AS have an opinion on this controversial topic or is vanilla still the flavor of the day over there?

Vaccinations' benefits proved; enforce the law
By Mike King [email protected]

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
(Link is here.)

Unfounded fears about vaccines are causing too many parents to forgo
getting the shots their children need to stay healthy and not spread
dangerous diseases among their playmates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month that
measles cases in the United States had reached the highest level in
more than a decade, an alarming rise in a disease thought to be
eliminated in the United States eight years ago. The spike is directly
linked to parents refusing to get their children inoculated against
the easily spread disease.

In the first six months of the year, measles outbreaks have sickened
131 children in 15 states, sending more than a dozen youngsters to the
hospital for treatment. Virtually all of the children were
home-schooled, the CDC said, and thus had no proof of their
immunization status as would be required in public schools.

Even in public schools, those requirements are too often ignored.
According to a Spotlight report in Sunday's Atlanta
Journal-Constitution, many metro Atlanta school districts and health
departments do not require immunization proof when children are
enrolled. Reporter Alison Young found that 99 elementary schools and
81 middle schools in metro Atlanta failed to meet the state's minimum
requirement that 90 percent of their students have vaccination records
showing they are up-to-date on the shots needed to prevent the spread
of communicable childhood diseases. Fewer than half of students in
some Atlanta and Fulton County schools have proof of proper

Parents fail to get their children inoculated for a variety of
reasons: ignorance of the requirement; concern over how much it will
cost; misunderstanding that for the vaccine to be effective against
some diseases, children must get follow-up shots. But public health
departments will provide information as well as the vaccines for any
child, regardless of ability to pay.

More problematic are the parents who willfully ignore the requirement,
substituting their judgment for that of experts who must guard the
public health. In New Jersey, the state Legislature is being asked to
approve a bill that would allow parents to opt out of mandatory
vaccine requirements. The measure was prompted by a new requirement in
New Jersey —- the first in the nation —- that pre-schoolers get annual
flu shots.

The parental blow-back on vaccines began a decade ago when a study
purportedly showed that a mercury-based preservative in the measles,
mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine was in some way linked to a group of
autistic children who had developed gastrointestinal problems. The
preservative was removed from the manufacturing process for vaccines,
and numerous, large and well-documented scientific studies since then
have failed to show any evidence of a link to autism. Earlier this
year, scientists also tried but failed to replicate the original 1998
study allegedly linking vaccines and autism.

Nevertheless, fears about tainted vaccines are still pervasive on the
Internet, where parents are subjected to heart-rendering anecdotal
stories about unexplained autism in children. A handful of celebrity
parents of autistic children have also raised the issue and garnered
disproportionate attention to the cause.

Unfortunately, there is no clear explanation why the rate of autism
has risen in recent years. Many scientists believe it is the result of
more vigilant observation among parents and pediatricians and earlier
testing among children. Others point out that the range of symptoms
defined as autism —- both behavioral and physical —- has greatly
expanded, which in turn has resulted in more children being diagnosed
with the condition or some variation of it.

However, the anti-vaccine crowd's call for "caution" in allowing
parents to decide for themselves whether their children should be
inoculated is risky business. Certainly, public health authorities
should have the ability to require vaccines for children attending
public schools, which serve as the primary vector for disease

The influenza vaccine debate in New Jersey offers an example. The CDC
and public health experts have recommended in recent years that yearly
flu shots be given to all children six months to 5 years of age. That
means that pre-schoolers and children in daycare should be getting it,
which is what prompted New Jersey's requirement.

Each year, some 20,000 children in that age group are stricken with
influenza; about 100 of them die. The flu generally strikes earlier
and harder in children, whose immune systems are weaker than those of
adults. Young children also are much more likely to spread the virus
to their family, teachers and caregivers. If the disease is suppressed
in children, it will not gain a foothold and likely decline among
adults as well.

New Jersey, like Georgia and most other states, already allows
children to be exempted from vaccine requirements if their parents
have religious objections or if there is a legitimate medical reason.
The bill in the New Jersey Legislature would allow parents a
"conscientious exemption" as long as they swear they have "sincerely
held" objections to immunizations.

No doubt many parents have sincerely held beliefs, but allowing them
to opt out of vaccination puts the lives of their children at risk as
well as the lives of others.

Vaccinations for infectious childhood diseases are one of the greatest
accomplishments of medical science, saving millions of lives annually.
But their effectiveness is directly linked to coverage that is as
universal as possible.

The vaccine-autism link has been thoroughly debunked. States should
not back off mandatory vaccination laws, and local school districts
and health departments should do a better job of enforcing compliance.

—- Mike King, for the editorial board ([email protected]).


Leanne Veitch

I don't know if vaccines, or the mercury in them, causes or triggers autism. No-one does.

But what I do know is that NOBODY has the right to enforce medical on a child against the will of a parent. No 'expert', no 'board', no medical business, nobody.

It is up to parents to decide what is best for our kids. And if we decide that we do not want to vaccinate, then that is our right.

As for vaccines being absolutely safe, that is rot. No medicine is completely safe for all consumers, and every medicine carries at least some risk. These are dangerous drugs, and we need to remember that.

The Hippocratic Oath says, Never do harm to anyone.

Isn't it about time physicians remembered these ancient words and abided by them?

Or has toeing the party line and making megabucks from dangerous drugs become more important, even when they may damage our children for life?


Dear Mike King,
Your arguments are pseudoscientific and ignorant of the data (mercury is not in the MMR). All data has strengths and weakness.

The CDC supported data can only state the following truthfully(sans spin and lies) "MMR is not THE only cause of Autism" & "Thimerosal is not The only cause of Autism." I wasn't even aware that anybody thought Autism had one cause or fit into a single variable statistical model--moron!!

Vaccines are the only medical product that allows this kind of half-truth sinful direct to consumer promotion.


Kelli Ann Davis

Okay, I’ve only reached the middle of the article and I see so many glaring faults with it I’m actually embarrassed for Mike:

“More problematic are the parents who willfully ignore the requirement, substituting their judgment for that of experts who must guard the public health.”

Of course, what good is an article without the “they-are-the-experts-cuz-they-have-a-whole-slew-of-letters-behind-their-names-and-you’re-just-the-stupid-uneducated-know-nothing-parent” argument?

Hey Mike, newsflash. My job as a parent is to make decisions that *guard* my own child’s health, first and foremost. Sorry that doesn’t jive with you or the expert’s “herd mentality” model.

Then, a mere three sentences later we get this:

“The parental blow-back on vaccines began a decade ago when a study purportedly showed that a mercury-based preservative in the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine was in some way linked to a group of autistic children who had developed gastrointestinal problems.”

So much for journalism 101 and getting the basic facts down before writing an editorial piece about a subject in which you cite parents as being the *non-expert* entities.

Ohh, but wait. We still have this gem:

“A handful of celebrity parents of autistic children have also raised the issue and garnered disproportionate attention to the cause.”

So let’s talk about *disproportionate* media coverage shall we Mike??

Essentially, what we’ve got are a handful of celebrities (representing hundreds of thousands of children with autism) who are FINALLY getting the attention of the media and *YOU* want to talk about how *unfair* and “disproportionate” that is NOW after the parents of these children have been ignored by the media for years?

Get real! The numbers have been exploding for almost two decades, without so much as a whimper from the media and I'd call *that* Exhibit One in the "disproportionate" department.

Yikes. I’m done. I don’t have time for this nonsense from an “editorial” journalist who can’t even get the basic facts right.


I think misinformation is OUR biggest hurdle. Look at these 2 untruths that he stated that many people in the general population believe:

1. "purportedly showed that a mercury-based preservative in the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine was in some way linked to a group of autistic children who had developed gastrointestinal problems."

Actually MMR never contained thimerosal, but as Lisa said, "It does contain three live viruses, which can be a tipping point for kids who have already been exposed to thimerosal in myriad of other vaccines they have received, including the hepatitis B given the the DAY OF BIRTH!!!"

I also want to add that Aluminum is also in many of these vaccines even though the FDA found that aluminum was causing neurological delays in preemies (who are BTW given the 250 mcg aluminum Hep B shot.) Do you know that "Low birth weight and preterm birth increase the risk of autism in infants by about twofold"? Currently, babies receive 13 doses of aluminum-containing vaccines by 6 months old. It was only 3 doses by 6 months back in 1983)

Also, aluminum damages the blood brain barrier which is supposed to protect the brain from dangerous viruses like measels. So they load kids up on aluminum, which, according to the study cited below, makes the BBB more permeable, and then they inject children with LIVE Measels virus. That certainly sounds dangerous to me. It makes me wonder if children could handle the measels virus better, if they had never been given any aluminum-containing vaccines. My mom said she had the measels and so did just about every one she knew and it wasn't considered to be a big deal back then. Here's the BBB study:

2. "The preservative was removed from the manufacturing process for vaccines,"

That is simply not true. It was not removed from the manufacturing process, instead they still use it to make the vaccines and now they filter the thimerosal out of the final product claiming that the process leaves only trace amounts.
Another AoA article featured a letter a concerned mom sent that asked if they tested the vaccines to ensure that enough thimerosal is removed, and the reply was no, they don't routinely test the vaccines' thimerosal content.

Also, even though congress ruled in 1999, that childhood vaccines should be made with little to no thimerosal, the thimerosal-containing prenatal flu vaccine was STILL recommended and always has been since 1997. (since then the CDC has found that in males, high levels of prenatal thimerosal exposure have been found to cause problems with attention and executive functioning. But they still maintain that it is safe?? )

Also, the flu shot recommended for children as young as 6 months does contain the full amount of thimerosal.

Here's the CDC's list of today's current vaccines' contents which, "Includes vaccine ingredients (e.g., adjuvants and preservatives) as well as substances used during the manufacturing process, including vaccine-production media, that are removed from the final product and present only in trace quantities." I think many people would be upset to know that vaccines also contain formaldehyde.


Autism Speaks posted THIS?
Clearly this group is out of touch with who they are speaking for and funded by.
There are a number of out right lies in this article.
This is a pharmaceutical advertisement basically.

If AS continues on this path they must change there name to something that more accurately portrays their mission. Maybe something like Vaccines Speak, Big Pharma Speaks, Raising Tons of Money Under False Pretense Speaks (RTMUFPS (o: ), or Every Child By Two...oops..I think that one is taken.

It was AS's responsibilty to tell the truth from the autism community perspective on this common Measles outbreak subject. Many parents fear:
- getting the shots on the current recommended schedule is dangerous and in fact unhealthy enough to outweigh any gain of getting the complete schedule.
- the vaccines at the current schedule over burdens our children's immune system rather than build it leaving our children weak vs. stronger.
-..after full vaccination our children are more susceptible to the spread of diseases as the schedule left them immuno-suppressed and neurologically challenged.

Regarding the Measles outbreak- we don't blame ourselves and our ignorance as this article portrays. Perhaps we think this outbreak took place because of the weakness of children's immune system and the failure of the MMR vaccine. Perhaps we are comforted that the home schooled kids that got the Measles had no serious side effects and gained life long immunity. We perhaps are more aware than most of the risks in getting vaccinated vs. the risks in refusing some vaccinations.

I also doubt we blame ourselves on the lack of trust parents are showing in the vaccine industry.

For AS to mount an attack on Parents of children that likely had serious vaccine injury and opted to not vaccinate their other children to the extent that they chose to home school is incredible. Specifically to attack these parents after their children got (an assummed vaccine preventable disease) Measles is outrageous.

Let me quote from the above article:
" Unfounded fears about vaccines are causing too many parents to forgo
getting the shots their children need to stay healthy and not spread
dangerous diseases among their playmates."

REALLY I don't think we view ourselves as parasites either.

It is not "unfounded fears" causing parents to forgo shots. It is founded fears that neurotoxins way above the limit of safe human consumption are stil contained in vaccines despite over 10 years of public demand for them to be removed. We see that vaccines given on this schedule have never been tested. We realize that we are testing it now and we feel the schedule failed and needs immediate change. Parents are repeatedly lied to about mercury particularly being contained in vaccines only to learn of other serious neuro toxins involved. Parents fears are because they see with their own eyes a neurological dysfunction epidemic going on and a complete denial by the medical community that neurotoxins contained in vaccines could have anything to do with it. The pharmaceutical company caused this Measles outbreak by neglect in providing safe vaccines.

I'm sorry if I missed our perspective being conveyed by Autism Speaks.


Newspapers that do not investigate vaccine safety concerns aren't only failing to do their job. Their imbalanced reporting perpetuates a lack of accountability, which allows pharmaceutical companies and the CDC to relax standards and betray consumers.

We all need to call the AJC on the carpet for this egregious failure of their fundamental mission as journalists.

Fielding J. Hurst

Is this still America?

This is the scariest phrase in that article ...

"substituting their judgment for that of experts who must guard the public health."

We are to put blind trust in a government so incompetent that they couldn't even drop water to people after a hurricane after watching them on tv for 5 days?

Look, my kid has had most vaccines, but doesn't it scare you a tad to think of giving the STATE total control over what you MUST put in your body or your kid's body? This is even more troubling when you consider the fact that our government is flat out OWNED by special interests in Washington.

If measles is such a crisis, can we get a measles only vaccine? How effective is the vaccine if such a small mutiny from the herd causes such an epidemic?

Robin Nemeth

Nope, it seems that this leopard is never, never, EVER, going to change it's spots.

Okay fine, maybe I’m a bit prejudiced still, given that the president of the local chapter of their organization did, after all and lest anyone forget try to have me arrested simply for standing on a public sidewalk politely asking people if they’d like information about vaccine safety. But I’m sorry, one offer to use a table at one walkathon is never going to make up for that—not when they keep on promoting this kind of hogwash day after day after day.

Autism Speaks has refused, over and over again, to touch this issue of vaccines with a thousand foot pole—until suddenly when somebody publishes something this biased and this full of, um, misinformation. Then they are all over it like flies on dog doo. THEN it's front and center news. It says here in this article that the mercury has been removed from all vaccines! The media and the public health officials and the vaccine manufacturers are STILL pushing this line on the public, and it is nothing short of genocide, and Autism Speaks is helping them to do it.

Why do they not think it is important that people be informed that there is STILL mercury in these shots? Why do they still help the people who are LYING when they say that it’s been removed? Why are they paying for a large ad that runs right there on the Atlanta Journal Constitution website right next to this story? What, do they WANT a few hundred thousand more children destroyed, is that the only thing that is going to make them feel better—knowing that the children with autism who are out there now will have lots more company??

Lisa Thompson

Why does the press continually get it so wrong? Isn't it true that the MMR NEVER contained thimerasol? It does contain three live viruses, which can be a tipping point for kids who have already been exposed to thimerasol in myriad other vaccines they have received, including the hepatitis given the the DAY OF BIRTH!!!

Why do they continue to spread such harmful untruths? Journalists, do your homework!

Tanners Dad

My letter to Mike yesterday on this piece...I guess we think a like Kim...

Why do reporters never answer parental concerns? We become autism and vaccine
advocates because of our own personal experience not because of some British Andrew
Wakefield study of 12 children. Do you think we are that stupid?
Why do 58% of the medical community, who are advised to get flu shots pass for
themselves and family? Now we are going to mandate Flu vaccines for the children. The
thimerosal (Mercury based preservative) is one of our major concerns. We have asked for
over a decade to have it removed from vaccines but it is still in the flu vaccine and
trace amounts in most others. It cannot be argued that this is the second most toxic
substance on earth.
If the mainstream medical community would step back, partner, and support parents of
special needs (children with Autism) maybe the dialog could move forward. Instead it
always becomes confrontational. We vaccinated our children. We are only asking that
safety concerns be addressed. We tell all parents to work with their doctors and make
sure that they have true informed consent. If the medical community addressed concerns
and educated the public without a "Thou shalt do this or else attitude" maybe we would
have a safer and more productive vaccination program.
Tanners Dad


I went to college with the AJC writer, Mike King. I've had drinks with Mike King when we were younger. Maybe I'll send him a copy of my blog and he can see the pain that my family has endured over the past year trying to heal my son from his vaccine injury. The video tape we have as a family that shows who he was before his MMR and Varicella and after is startling and not made up. My son is fully vaccinated, so he is not endangering anyone. It is my duty as a mother, however, to protect his younger brother, so I choose to delay vaccinations on him. How dare anyone think that they know what is best for my kids. Walk a day in my shoes, and then decide what is best. Mike, I don't think you have any children so you can't possibly know that parents would go to the end of the earth to protect them.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)