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HuffPo: David Kirby's Seven Studies to Watch

Seven hearts By David Kirby

Yesterday, I wrote that US officials had approved or recommended seven new studies related to autism and vaccination. I have listed them all here on one page, for readers who might want to share it with medical personnel, family members, elected officials, members of the media and anyone else who tells them that the vaccine-autism debate is over and done with.

Anyone complaining about parents asking for more research should direct their ire at the following US Government agencies and affiliated groups, who concur that many gaps in vaccine-safety research remain:

US Department of Health and Human Services
US Environmental Protection Agency
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
National Institute of Mental Health
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Vaccine Advisory Committee


1) The National CADDRE Study -- This 5-year project of the CDC's Centers for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology (CADDRE) Network will "help identify what might put children at risk for autism," the CDC says. Among those risk factors: "specific mercury exposures, including any vaccine use by the mother during pregnancy and the child's vaccine exposures after birth." HERE

2) The National Children's Study – This HHS-EPA joint effort will investigate "the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 children across the United States," including autism. As part of their work researchers will track medical records, including vaccinations and their impact on neorodevelopment. HERE

3) The Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI) – This network of NIH agencies (NIEHS, NICHD, NIMH, NINDS) and affiliated sites will follow 1,200 pregnant women who already have a child with autism, to identify the “earliest possible environmental risk factors and their interplay with genetic susceptibility during the prenatal, neonatal and early postnatal periods.” Potential risk factors in the study include vaccines, thimerosal, and heavy metals. HERE.


On June 2, 2009, the Federal Government’s National Vaccine Advisory Committee voted unanimously to recommend a sweeping list of vaccine safety studies, including four related to vaccines and autism. The CDC had previously proposed studying autism as a “clinical outcome” of vaccination, and NVAC concurred. The document can be viewed at: HERE

4) Study the Feasibility of Comparing Vaccinated, Unvaccinated and Alternatively Vaccinated Children – NVAC recommended asking an expert panel, such at the Institute of Medicine, to weigh in on the strengths, weaknesses, ethical issues and costs of studying and comparing vaccinated, unvaccinated, and “alternatively vaccinated” groups of children for a number of disorders - including autism. Prospective clinical trials, where children would be randomized into vaccinated and placebo groups, would be unethical. But NVAC suggested one publicly submitted idea to conduct an “observational study” looking at, “natural variation in vaccination schedules, including some children where vaccination is declined through parental intent.”

5) Study Vaccine-Mitochondria-Autism Links - “Recent developments around mitochondrial dysfunction reinforce the importance of studies of vaccine adverse events in rigorously defined subsets of the ASD spectrum,” the NVAC wrote. The rate of mitochondrial dysfunction in autism has been estimated at somewhere between 7%-to-30% of all ASD children. “Mitochondrial dysfunction carries an established risk of brain damage subsequent to infectious disease,” the NVAC wrote. “Thus, a small and specific subset of the general population (such as those with mitochondrial dysfunction) may be at elevated risk of reduced neurological functioning, possibly including developing ASD, subsequent to live virus vaccination.”

6) Study Vaccines and Regressive Autism - “In the context of vaccination research, the ASD clinical subset of particular interest is regressive autism” the NVAC wrote. Estimates of ASD regression range from about 15 to 50% of all ASD cases, depending on the definition used. “Regressive autism does fit the recommendations of the IOM (immunization) committee for further research in rigorously defined subsets of ASD,” the NVAC said. Such studies might entail, “prospective vaccination response profiling in siblings of children with regressive ASD, a subpopulation who are at higher risk.”

7) Study Vaccine Injuries and the Risk of Autism - Another autism subpopulation that should be included in vaccine studies is what the NVAC called “the intersection of ASD cases with (clearly defined vaccine outcomes) such as fever, febrile seizure, or hypotonic-hypo-responsive episode (HHE).” Do these adverse effects correlate with ASD? “It would be worthwhile to assess,” the NVAC wrote.  “On a molecular level, it might be feasible to compare ASD cases with history of adverse events following immunization against cognitively normal controls with a similar history of adverse events, to assess whether there are significant differences in immune response profiles between groups.”

David Kirby is author of Evidence of Harm, a founding contributor to Huffington Post and a contributor to Age of Autism.  His next book, “ANIMAL FACTORY” – about the impact of industrial livestock production on our health and the environment – will be released within the year.




Dawn L,
I am the woman from Alaska with the vaccine injured child and would like to correct you...I am directly on the panel. In fact, I am one of three co-chairs of the Vaccine Safety Work Group that made these recommendations. I work closely with the autism community and work hard to represent their concerns. I am also affiliated with NVIC. That fact that I am from Alaska or that I do not have a child with autism is not a reason to question my effectiveness.

John Stone

Sorry, with corrections:

I predict another decade of fudge as the vaccine project spins ever further out of control. Have we ever been able to make use in a public forum - in more than a limited way - of the many studies which already substantiate our concerns? Of course, you have to lobby these concessions from officials, but in the end you know that that big things will made to look little, and little things big. If necessary outright lies will be told, the vaccine proramme will continue to expand at exponential rate, and real safety studies will decades limp behind.

John Stone

I predict another decade of fudge as vaccine project spins ever further out of control. Have we have ever been able to make use in a public forum in more than a limited way of the many studies which already substantiate our concerns? Of course, you have to lobby these concessions from officials, but in the end you know that that big things will made to look little, and little things big. If necessary outright lies will be told, the vaccine proramme will contine to expand at exponential rate, and real safety studies will decades limp behind.


Great post Dawn L. I agree 100 percent with you. Thanks for the comments.

Amanda Blinn

THANK YOU AGAIN Mr. Kirby for bringing the FACTS to light--whether scientific or political. Our family, and other families we know, appreciate your posts here and on Huffington so very much. I don't have much faith in the studies per se. But they are a step in the right direction. I just found out today that a classmate of our vaccine damaged son was also damaged by vaccines--the Pertussis. The mom found out years later that her son had some simple prenatal conditions that predisposed him to sensititives to that vaccine. He was meeting all his milestones but when he had the Pertussis--at age 4 months--he immediately was paralyzed. I've known this kid a long time but hadn't gotten around to hearing his story, because we "autism" moms are busy just meeting the most basic needs of our families. Our son also had been walking normally until he had the Pertussis at age 12 mos. He didn't walk across the room again unaided until his 4th year--after being gluten-free/caseine free for a year. I don't understand why, when a family says, "our child was fine until such and such a vaccine" they are not believed. Why is this? There are so many of us now...why would we lie? I just don't get it.


Lol, Nancy.

Thank you, David. You've really elevated the entire argument by carefully documenting and providing to the community this ever-growing list of unquestionably mainstream government and academic resources which take the questions over vaccine safety seriously. My voice literally shook for two years if I tried to talk about what happened to my children or warn anyone else about it. Back then, I barely understood myself what was going on and every bit of evidence explaining an environmental epidemic seemed totally embattled. Now I'm noticing that, by using any of these references in a discussion, it's less of an effort to be coherant. Kind of an info chill pill-- no side effects though.

Dawn L

I'm looking at who is on the panels for the studies and it reminds me of the studies done in the U.K. over a decade ago. I am discouraged. It just does not look like those of us who feel the vaccines caused the developmental delays will be represented well.

There is one parent with a child injured by vaccines who has developmental disorders and physical disorders... and she lives in Alaska and isn't even on the panel directly. The other parent resource represents children injured by infectious diseases and is very pro-vaccine and is on the panel as a public advocate. Everyone else is old school CDC, academia, and industry. Please correct me if I am wrong. I would love to know more about the people involved in the studies.

Such lack of representation for the Autism-Vaccine connection seems to have a certain probable outcome that will repeat what we have already heard...i.e., there is no connection.

Even if the topic is to research something new like the regressive Autism study, these views won't be substantially supported and instead will be made to be too complex to adequately conclude on the connection between vaccines and regressive autism. I am concerned that we will just hear more of the same. Rather than watch these studies, I think we have to speak up to these researchers. The U.K. studies which were inconclusive, are a prime example... they had no new outcome for Autism, regressive Autism, etc. Its history repeating itself because the panel is aligned with existing belief systems supporting a no cause vaccination-Autism connection. These seven studies will simply collect evidence for an already existing claim that the vaccines don't cause chronic diseases.

What about independent studies? Are there any proposed? I just keep thinking we are missing the boat arguing over these things while the pharmaceuticals continue to make more and more vaccines. I think its good to keep these studies moving forward and also think its important for us to look at protecting our rights to refuse vaccines. Our freedoms are really important. If we loose the right to choose I dread to think where that might lead. Check out www.nvic.org and look at their conference to support the right to informed consent and the right to choose. The studies may not declare a connection. The focus for advocacy should shift towards freedom of health choice... a civil liberty.



What are you saying? Complain to the source, instead of directing one's ire at the messenger?

But... but... how will a blogger boost his self-esteem without resorting to relentless demonizing and straw man fallacies that amuse one's Internet toadies?

Anti-vaccine... Anti-vaccine.... Anti-vaccine... repeat... repeat....

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