Risk Analysis Regarding Vaccines (Calculations that Refute Claim in NYT Review of "The Greater Good")
By Scott Laster
On the SmartVax website created by SafeMinds, the Weigh The Risks page includes quantitative analysis which indicates that for a child in the USA today that was not vaccinated until age 5, the risk from each vaccine-preventable disease would be far orders of magnitude lower than the risk of autism.
The disease-risk analysis was performed for this hypothetical child in a highly-vaccinated population (e.g. the USA today) and in a low-vaccinated population (e.g. if a substantial percentage of USA children were not vaccinated such that the population didn't benefit from herd immunity. You can see the results for each disease at the Weigh The Risks page or below (click photo to enlarge.)
Disease Risk age 0 - 4 in USA if not vaccinated:
In highly-vaccinated population, the highest incremental risk from a disease:
Injury: 1 in 483,000
Death: 1 in 108,000
In low-vaccinated population, the highest incremental risk from a disease:
Injury: 1 in 3,400
Death: 1 in 16,000
The analysis quantified as high as a 1 in 13 incremental risk of vaccine-induced asthma. The data was insufficient to define an incremental risk of vaccine-induced autism. However if it is demonstrated that a substantial percentage of regressive autism is vaccine-induced (say for example 20%), then the risk of vaccine-injury would be several times higher than the risk from the diseases in a low-vaccinated population (in a highly-vaccinated population would be hundreds of times higher).
This 'Weigh The Risks' analysis was undertaken not to encourage non-vaccination, as vaccination is an important aspect of public health. Instead it was intended to determine whether the vaccine-injury risk has risen to an unacceptably high level in comparison to disease-injury risk, which would indicate that smart action is needed to make the current USA vaccination safer to obtain the most optimal overall health outcomes. We don't have definitive proof that vaccines cause autism. But given the disease-risk numbers I think it is invalid for the NYT Reviewer Jeannette Catsoulis to claim that even if vaccines caused some autism cases that it would have to be acceptable because of the disease risks. If vaccines cause even a significant minority portion of autism cases, the calculations indicate that the USA childhood population would have lower risk by not vaccinating. That doesn't mean that we need to stop vaccinating -- it means we need research to find the vaccine-injury causal mechanism(s) so that vaccines can be designed to avoid vaccine-injury and the vaccination program can be modified to reduce vaccine-injuries.