David Kirby On The Autism Vaccine Debate: Why It Won't Go Away
David Kirby has a thought proviking post at HuffPO, Part 1 is up today, read and comment at HuffPo on The Autism-Vaccine Debate: Why It Won't Go Away.
...The temporal association might be coincidental, but for many autism parents, now tens of thousands in number (but certainly not all parents), there is nothing to dissuade them: they are certain that vaccines harmed their kids. I have spoken with thousands of them personally. Their stories of regression are hauntingly similar, describing a childhood catastrophe that was virtually unheard of when I was growing up.
These parents, and grandparents, naturally share their stories with brothers, sisters, friends, coworkers and the media, and before long half the population is questioning authorities who insist that there is zero chance of any association whatsoever.
Every year, thousands of new parents go through the same ordeal, which is why belief in a link is probably going up, not down. Sadly, this will continue for years to come as more and more parents join the ranks of the devastated but convinced. There is nothing that anyone can do or say -- not you, not me, not any scientist on earth -- until definitive proof of all the true causes of autism is found. But that appears to be years, or decades away.
Parents who say the vaccine-autism link has not been debunked are, like me, hardly "anti-vaccine." Why on earth would anyone not want to protect children from dangerous diseases? That is the epithet hurled upon most of them anyway. And it's what people will say about me as well, even though, as I said, I think parents should vaccinate their kids.
What's curious is the selective use of the "anti-vaccine" accusation. Few people call Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the NIH, "anti-vaccine" for not ruling out a possible link, and calling for the study of the children who actually got sick.
I have never heard it used against Temple Grandin, who said there should be "a closer evaluation" of vaccines and autism and echoed Dr. Healy by adding that, "These children should be carefully studied to determine when and why they lost language, and if factors such as vaccines and genetic predisposition may be causes."...
It is so hard to be strong, with a father with Aspergers, a child in the family with so called "regressive Autism" and a very strong family history of auto-immune disease and food intolerance/ashma etc etc etc... I was absolutely harassed about not giving my two children Heb B and Vitamin K etc at birth and every vaccine at every doctors consult there after...phew... I have a masters degree and still find it so hard to challenge the blind faith our doctors in Australia have about the safety of the full vaccination schedule for all children. I am pro "safe" vaccination! Bring on the research for children like mine that are perhaps vulnerable. I am so glad to have the support of this website - to educate parents and to talk sense.
Posted by: R Taylor | February 26, 2011 at 07:06 AM
Kirby has gone soft...what is all this bull about the extreme dangers of not vaccinating (for what? chicken pox? hep b at birth?) and then spouting off how kids can regress after getting a fever from one of the VPDs? Give me a break. If that were true, kids would have been autistic at even higher rates and we'd have more adults than kids with autism. Take a stand, Kirby. Stop trying to play both sides.
Posted by: sara | February 14, 2011 at 07:04 AM
Where are the studies that prove that vaccines prevent the diseases that they purport to prevent? I'm getting tired of reading about the notion that although vaccines may be a major contributor to the epidemic of autism and other childhood disorders, we should continue to vaccinate, but should look toward developing safe vaccines. The concept of "safe vaccines" may be an oxymoron and it may be impossible to develop safe vaccines. Personally, if I had to choose between the autism epidemic or the childhood diseases that are supposed to be prevented by the vaccines, I'd choose to go back to the childhood diseases. For information about professionals who question vaccines altogether, see: www.vaccinationcouncil.org. A document signed by almost 100 physicians and scientists who are much more concerned about the dangers of vaccines and question the benefits can be found at: http://naturalnews.com/Vaccines_Get_the_Full_Story.html where the document “Vaccines Get the Full Story “ can be downloaded at no charge. Let's stop assuming that vaccines are great and that we just need to find out how to make them safer.
Posted by: Michael B Schachter MD, CNS | February 12, 2011 at 04:38 PM
Don’t think that "eliminating any doubts" is some new agenda. It has always been the underlying motto of vaccine defenders, as was stated on Friday June 1st 1984, in the FDA’s Federal Register (justifying new laws legalising sloppy Polio vaccine manufacturing processes) on page 23607. The FDA said,
“...any possible doubts, whether or not well founded, about the safety of the vaccine cannot be allowed to exist in view of the need to assure that the vaccine will continue to be used to the maximum extent consistent with the nation's public health objectives.”
Posted by: Marc | February 12, 2011 at 09:30 AM
When worms start coming out of the wood, something's bound to be rotten.
"Don't answer me, don't break the silence, don't let me win....Don't answer me, stay on your island, don't let me in...run away and hide from everyone...can you change the things we've said and done"
Posted by: Kerbob1 | February 12, 2011 at 08:52 AM
Matthew Harper writes in Forbes:
"Over at Scientific American, Seth Mnookin ably points out the problems with Kirby’s argument, which uses the very reason the vaccine-autism connection can seem convincing even if it is not true — signs of autism often occur during a period when kids also get lots of shots — into a reason to believe the idea is true, despite data to the contrary"
The sentence "signs of autism often occur during a period when kids also get lots of shots" has some truth in it, though it is hardly accurate. Still, it casts doubts on the claim vaccines cause autism.
However, when we look specifically at the cases of clear and noticeable regression - the picture becomes much clearer:
Where are all those kids clearly regressing BEFORE (rather than after) their big round of vaccinations?
If u still haven't read my post on this - please do!
And pass the word!
Posted by: Vaccine.Explorer | February 12, 2011 at 08:51 AM
1. Eliminate vaccines with potential side effects that are
WORSE than the illnesses they are mean to prevent.
2. Identify the individuals at risk of experiencing adverse
effects.....BETTER START LOOKING, as nothing has been done
in this field. Current attitude which applies to kids and
adults: vaccinate first ...think later and too bad if
something goes wrong.
Posted by: Marie-Anne Denayer, M.D. | February 12, 2011 at 05:53 AM
When my daughter regressed into Autism in her 2nd year, back in 1988, due to the combined assault of the MMR and Lyme disease, the Hepatitis B vaccine among several others, was not yet on the schedule. We cured my daughter's Lyme disease, and the fevers, anemia, sores went away, however the global aphasia and the autism remained.
So many other vaccines have been added to the mix since 1988, starting at birth, (and now during gestation with the Flu Shot "recommended" to pregnant women)), that the age of onset of regressive autism will only occur earlier and earlier.
This month, the 2 most compelling pieces of evidence linking vaccination and autism, will hopefully get the medical establishment, the government and the pharmaceutical companies to pull their heads out of the sand.
1) THE VACCINE EPIDEMIC, book that reads like a thriller and leaves you appalled at the recklessness of the above parties.
2) in the JOURNAL OF IMMUNOTOXICOLOGY, Dr Ratajczak has written the best review article on the causes of autism and best explains what happened to my beautiful daughter-now 23- and our family that fateful day in June of 1988 when our lives were forever altered.
In reply to Jeff C:
Dr Ratajczak's paper convinces me that there has to be people in the medical and pharmaceutical world(s) who have to know what happened back in the mid 80s (MMR II vaccine and CONTAMINATION WITH HUMAN DNA!! )and still happens (Gulf War Syndrome to name just one other vaccine-linked catastrophic illness) , but have chosen to cover it up for reasons that are far too obvious. Like in the Musical "Cabaret": "Money-Money-Money makes the world go round..."
Posted by: Marie-Anne Denayer, M.D. | February 12, 2011 at 05:03 AM
DD K: "I am not anti-vaccine..just for informed choice...I would use some vaccines if I didn't breastfeed, and my kids ate horrible food and went to daycare...but they don't... but his statement seems to target people just like me."
My kids are the same - 7 and 2.5 y.o. girls, breastfed for a long, long time (3.5y, and 2.5y who still nurses). We eat as good a diet as we can, considering. They have never been chucked into day care or child minder. We do not vaccinate, not even vitamin K.
My two still have autism though. As does my husband. 3 high functioning autistics in my house. Seemingly unrelated to vaccines, -UNLESS- my vaccination status is the cause of the girls' autism, because i was entirely vaccinated as an american schoolchild...
As for Offit, he's just running off at the mouth, again. The Vaccine Epidemic and Callous Disregard will do for vaccination what The Politics of Breastfeeding and Milk, Money and Madness did for breastfeeding. Fabulous reads, all of them, and they show what this is all about - MONEY. The almighty buck. Some people like money so much they're willing to let children be damaged/die for it.
Its a shameful world we live in. I just hope i pass along to my girls enough info that if they should ever choose to reproduce, that they make sensible decisions for their children - no vaccines, and breastfeeding for an 'extended' (natural term) period.
Posted by: Jen | February 12, 2011 at 04:49 AM
I ran into someone I know casually - not well - today. He just had a baby - their first, and after we chatted for awhile, I asked about vaccinations (without even having a chance to caution him about overvaccinating), he answered back "Deny. Deny. Deny. Deny...." and then gave me a speech about how he didn't think his baby was going to be using drugs or having sex, so they also denied the Hep B. I felt relieved. People are waking up to the insanity.
Posted by: DAN fan | February 12, 2011 at 12:38 AM
Forbes and Scientific American blogs have already posted opinion pieces devoid of science, whining about David Kirby's column.
Posted by: nhokkanen | February 12, 2011 at 12:37 AM
DD K, Yes, how the heck can David Kirby state it's "dangerous" and/or "unwise" to not vaccinate!!??
Weighed against the carnage and permanent damage and SIDS deaths brought by virtually all injected vaccines, the risks pale of forsaking the poisons you wisely rejected. Take a breath, and pat yourself on the back.
Posted by: david burd | February 12, 2011 at 12:16 AM
This is such a well researched article which covers alot of bases, however I don't understand David's recommendations to continue vaccinating because the other evidence presented is contradictory to that conclusion.
Re:"The answer is not to stop vaccinating -- that would lead to widespread disease and suffering. The answer is to find out which children might be particularly susceptible to which vaccines, vaccine combinations or vaccine ingredients, and devise a schedule that is individually tuned to their specific conditions. This will build parental trust and strengthen, not weaken, the national vaccine program."
This may seem like the logical solution, but in reality this is an idealistic viewpoint that is next to impossible to implement. First, we have the problem of 40,000 new cases of autism per year (1% of 4 million births annually) so obviously we simply do not have time to wait around for a medical system which is covering up vaccine induced autism to finally get around to researching and then devising testing that requires a million different issues: toxic loads, insufficient detox pathways, liver insuficiency, tylenol, antibiotic and other drug exposures, heavy metal loads of parents, susceptible culteral DNA etc...an experienced vaccine research scientist in this field could make a testing list a mile long.
Vaccines have always been a "pick your poison game" of Russian Roulette. There are a myriad of toxins in all vaccines including the additional unknown virus and bacteria in the culture mediums of animal and human tissue (aborted). It has never been logical to directly inject any of these toxins into humans, much less the most vulnerable newborn infants and young children. However, injecting smaller amounts of poison into older babies can be survived by the majority, as is apparent by the fact that the autism epidemic did not appear until the vaccine schedule skyrocketed, with massive doses given to newborn babies for God's sake. (36 doses by age 18 months)
That is not to say there was "no harm done" even at the previous much smaller level, but at least we didn't have autism, ADD, asthma, allergies, cancer and other childhood diseases in greatly increased numbers of children back when I was a kid getting only 6 vaccines total. Gee whiz, there was no small pox or polio epidemics so they could have just stopped right there, but NOOOOOOOO, there is big $$$$$ to be made in vaccines so let's just jab all these little babies with all these toxins which overload their detoxification systems, and all these virus and bacteria which overload their immune systems, and mercury and aluminum, known and proven neurotoxins which also bio-accumulate, so that eventually some kind of serious damage occurs somewhere in the body including the brain, intestines, liver, kidneys, lungs, any and all organs.
Who cares if all these children and their families suffer throughout their entire lives....they will be paying customers of the medical system and the drug industry, so why change anything or remove any toxins or remove any vaccinations...it's alot easier and much more cost effective to just pay for manipulated "studies" to convince the public to follow the vaccine schedule like sheep to the slaughter....some of these children will even die of course, but we really don't want most of them to die, just to be sick and miserable so that they will keep coming to the doctor's offices desperately searching for help....which we will give them toxic drugs for very high prices that won't really help them, but that doesn't matter because we can laugh all the way to the bank. It is a nice big profit margin for the medical industries this way even though we have to spend some money to keep the propaganda rolling.
We have to look at all of these millions of sheep and baby lambs from the financial viewpoint of a cost to benefit ratio: the sheep pay the costs and the industry gets the benefits. We aren't even legally liable so it's a win win for us all the way around. There is always collateral damages in this kind of business, but the damage is to THEM NOT US, so we are not concerned about that.
So let's just continue to ignore all of these people screaming for reform and justice. We don't want reform much less justice. We don't want it so we are not going to change anything for as long as we can get away with murder. We are not going to make one tiny concession until we are forced to. So isn't this a great business plan for the future?
Our pharmaceutical business rakes in 650 billion worldwide so we have the money to keep this scam going and we intend to expand our business worldwide, with the help of powerful people in government. Yes, we are spending over 100 million to buy congressmen each year, but it's worth the expense because it's just a drop in the bucket compared to all the money we haul in. So invest your money and confidence in our industry. You won't be sorry [until your children are sick but then it's too late]
Posted by: AutismGrandma | February 12, 2011 at 12:02 AM
I have 2 completely unvaxed kids (4 yr & 18 mos)..I made that choice based on as much research I could get my hands on, with full support & input from family doc...I made those choices knowing they weren't going to go to daycare, and they would both be breastfed for years. They are both extremely healthy and so far, we've had no issues..no infections, no asthma, no allergies...mild colds etc..I read Evidence of Harm, and currently reading The Age of Autism. I try to keep up on all research, and read as much as I can.
I liked this piece today, but I can't get over this comment. "Although some Park Slope parents refuse to vaccinate their children at all - an unwise and dangerous choice in my opinion -- the vast majority makes sure their kids get immunized;
Really? Dangerous choice? After all I've read from him, and he thinks it's a dangerous choice not to vaccinate? That one statement has put me in a tailspin...very confused. What vaccine would I ever consider, after all of this research? What am I missing?
I am not anti-vaccine..just for informed choice...I would use some vaccines if I didn't breastfeed, and my kids ate horrible food and went to daycare...but they don't... but his statement seems to target people just like me.
Posted by: DD K. | February 11, 2011 at 08:50 PM
How many Thalidomide babies were there before they figured out what was happening ?? How long did it take to put those two items together ??
20+ years as with the present "well baby visit" medical intellects ??
Posted by: cmo | February 11, 2011 at 07:56 PM
David, ps to my earlier post. I must make another not-so-small point. Your comment "Every year, thousands of new parents go through the same ordeal"
I'm afraid (based on 4 million births in the U.S. each year now) the true number is at least 80,000 new parents find their child diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and with approximately 16% of American kids being permanently handicapped each year with all the other vaccine-caused carnage, the number of parents affected each year is one million three hundred thirty-three thousand (1,333,000).
And, this is for life, not a passing case of mumps, or an extremely rare case of harmful Hib, or passing measles, and certainly not Hepatitis B that is most always naturally cleared (and at any rate, unheard of if a mother is not a heroin addict). The Vaccine World is indeed medical insanity.
Posted by: david burd | February 11, 2011 at 04:11 PM
David, THanks for your good fight. But, I must take issue with your comment that autism (or its spectrum) only starts at 6 months, with your term "regression" at that time.
It's clear to me that the onslaught of toxic vaccine damage (and death via SIDS) can occur in the womb, or day 1 with the HepB shot, and at 1 or 2 months with the second HepB, at 2 months or at 4 months with the added Hib or Rotaviruu or DTaP or Pneumococal or Injected Polio doses.
My point being many newborns for the first months have not "progressed" far enough (either with shots or no shots) to then be at a point where regression with shots at 6+ months becomes suddenly apparent.
Hey, I'm 100% on your side - but it's not just the autism spectrum we are fighting; it's all the other permanently damaged infants, with their vaccine damage undoubtedly inflicted before 6 months.
Posted by: david burd | February 11, 2011 at 03:53 PM
David Kirby brings up a good point. The best way to restore confidence in the vaccination schedule is to find out what is causing autism. Show us it is not caused by vaccination but what does cause it. Remove that cause, autism disappears, and faith in the schedule is restored. Yet there is zero sense or urgency in finding the cause, instead we get “know the signs” propaganda and frothing-at-the-mouth denunciations from the medical establishment.
This is not unique thinking. If there are several airplane crashes, and the manufacturer is confident in their airplane design, putting out a press release absolving themselves of blame doesn’t cut it. They need to show what does cause it; poor maintenance, operator error, exceeding design limitations, etc. That is how the real word works. Boeing doesn’t put out “know the signs” of impending air disaster pamphlets. Why is this any different?
Their refusal to look for the cause leads me to believe they are afraid of what they will find. Other industries have learned this the hard way, once public confidence is lost, your company is finished. The mandates and legal indemnity have protected them to this point, but it won’t last.
Posted by: Jeff C. | February 11, 2011 at 03:50 PM
One argument Mr Kirby fails to make is this:
Where are all those kids clearly regressing BEFORE their big round of vaccinations?
Pls read my special blog post on this -
Pls pass this meme onward!
Posted by: Vaccine.Explorer | February 11, 2011 at 03:08 PM
Bernadine Healy is an insider with an impeccable reputation.
Therefore, SHE MUST BE IGNORED at all costs.
She most likely sleeps well at night, unlike other scientists I could mention.
Posted by: C. Hicks | February 11, 2011 at 02:51 PM