Studies of the Amish and Homefirst communities of children have proven very revealing: children who do not receive vaccines appear to have significantly lower rates of Autism. Of course, these observations remain anecdotal, so they have yet to enter into the mainstream debate about whether or not vaccines cause Autism.
Chances that someone is able to get an IRB to actually do a valid study of these populations? Remote.
The drumbeat by our community to have a real study done of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children makes all the sense in the world except for one problem: if the rate between the two groups is dramatically different, how do you respond to that information from a policy perspective? Stop giving all vaccines to all children? It’s a vexing issue for even the more moderate members of this debate: those who view vaccinations as important but also recognize they are a medical procedure that comes with risks.
Enter Dr. Paul Thomas, an outspoken pediatrician from Portland, OR who entered the national debate with his participation in the recent fight to keep vaccine exemptions in Oregon, a fight that Dr. Thomas and others recently won.
I was struck by this recent blog post that mentioned Dr. Thomas and his practice:
“Dr. Paul Thomas, a Portland-based pediatrician, claims that he has 1,500 children in his pediatric practice who never received the Hepatitis B shot and had the MMR shot delayed until they were older (age 3). Based on an Autism rate of 1 in 68, 22 children in this group should have Autism. He claims there are zero cases of Autism and he thinks a modified vaccination schedule is the reason. What an extraordinary claim! Shouldn’t Oregon investigate the veracity of his claim?”
Indeed, what if it really was this easy? Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely believe that vaccines do far more damage than just Autism. At the same time, vaccines have shown the ability to prevent deadly disease, and I think the only way to move towards a real solution is to find some middle ground on our national vaccine policy.
Let’s think for a second about what Dr. Thomas is doing in his practice:
- He’s not giving the Hepatitis B vaccine. As many AoA readers know, all that means is he’s mimicking the vaccination practices of the overwhelming majority of the first world. Most first-world countries ONLY give the Hepatitis B vaccine to children born to Hepatitis B-positive mothers. This is a fact, and it’s shameful that Dr. Thomas is sometimes portrayed as a radical for doing something commonplace most everywhere else on the planet.
- He’s delaying the MMR shot. For those of you who think, “isn’t this one of Dr. William Thompson’s—aka #CDCWhistleblower’s—biggest points?” You’re right: what Thompson alleges is that a signal was detected for MMR vaccination in African-American boys: those boys getting the shot EARLIER had higher rates of Autism.
Yes, Dr. Thomas still gives the MMR vaccine. In fact, Dr. Thomas has literally vaccinated thousands of children with the MMR, he believes in the shot and believes in the importance of protecting children against measles, mumps, and rubella. He just waits until the children are a bit older, which reminds me of something Dr. Donald Miller said a few years back:
“Finally, a user-friendly vaccination schedule requires that vaccinations, after the age of two, be given no more than once every six months, one at a time, in order to allow the immune system sufficient time to recover and stabilize between shots.”
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Of course, our health authorities have painted themselves into such a corner about vaccines and Autism that any policy that involves either removing or delaying shots will be met with fierce and reckless resistance, even for a shot that very few first world countries mandate for the general population.
Dr. Thomas claims he has shared his desire to publish data on this 1,500 children population and has been unable to receive IRB approval. How shameful! Of course, can any of us expect Autism Speaks to step up, now that they have firmly emblazoned themselves with the Vaccine Zealotry stamp?
Could it be this easy? Could the removal of Hepatitis B vaccine from the schedule and a delay of MMR reduce the Autism rate in America?
Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait decades to explore an idea that is staring us all in the face. And, don’t we all with Dr. Thomas had been our Doctor?
JB Handley is co-founder of Generation Rescue.