Measles, Vaccines and Rights Debated at Minnesota Somali Forum
VAERS, MMR and Megan

Offit and His Critics: Part 3

Offit_blogNOTE: We're bringing you this series, re-crafted for 2017,  by Richard P. Milner of Public Affairs Media. Dr. Paul Offit has led the charge against any and all in our community, doctors, scientists, parents, educators, film makers, who question vaccine safety.

By Richard P. Milner

OFFIT:  I think vaccines are very safe.  You know, ultimately use the sort of dichotomy of safe/unsafe.  I think more fairly one should say “very safe”.  Because vaccines, like anything that induces an effect in the body, can induce a side effect.  And certainly vaccines do have side effects.  But I think one can argue that their benefits clearly outweigh the risks, and unfortunately the risks are often misunderstood by the public where the public thinks that vac—some in the public thinks that vaccines can weaken or overwhelm the immune system or cause autism or other chronic diseases when that’s clearly not true.

HUMPHRIES:  How would anyone know if it is really true since no single ingredient let alone the entire vaccine schedule has been tested for long term or chronic illness. We have NO fully vaccinated vs. never vaccinated study.  And Offit doesn’t want one. He comes up with all sorts of reasons, “it is unethical.” “it is not necessary because vaccines are safe.”  But we have a group of never vaccinated children in USA and even some partially vaccinated children and a researcher who has IRB approval to do the study. The stopping block: no funds. Who will fund it? 

Offit also says we can’t do the study because the children would have to be the same in every other way except the vaccine. That is nonsense since it is a long tradition for all drugs, etc. to study people not only retrospectively, but that are different. That is what the statistician is for, to control for the differences. 

Why aren’t the pharmaceutical companies rushing to help with this study if vaccines are so safe? Wouldn’t you think they would be eager to prove the value of their golden calves? 

He also argues that aluminum is everywhere and babies ingest it and that therefore it is safe to inject in 1200 mcg doses at 2,4 and 6 months when there is a HUGE body of literature that shows aluminum is a neurotoxin, that it permeabilizes the Blood Brain Barrier, that it is NOT rapidly excreted in infants. The safety data on aluminum in vaccines is totally lacking--not just a little bit lacking.  It is an assumption that it is safe to inject because we eat it.  But when we eat it, it is usually bound to other elements, and is not taken up by macrophages and bypassing the liver as it is after an injection.  Total rubbish on the aluminum per Offit.

Also, where are the animal studies on the infant vaccine schedule?  I can show you some studies that exist that show that immune stimulation in a pregnant animal can lead to severe mental issues, and an inflammatory phenotype in the offspring. Vaccines have NEVER been tested on pregnant women, but they give flu vaccines during all trimesters, and whooping cough vaccines. AND per Mandal 2013, a previously immunized mother who gets a vaccine during pregnancy has an even higher inflammatory response and a worse outcome on the neonate. 

I have two other monkey studies by Hewitson et al. 2009 and 2010 that show brain changes and loss of rooting and sucking reflexes after hep B vaccines. 

Where are the studies that show how safe vaccines are, [in] the infant schedule, and vaccinating pregnant women?  Miscarriage is not the only adverse outcome after vaccination.

Vaccines in utero and immediately after birth, drive the developing immune system into a pro-inflammatory phenotype, by repeatedly provoking that arm of the immune system, which in the absence of vaccines, maintains a constant “anti-inflammatory” phenotype.  And because there are several substances in vaccines (aluminum and polysorbate), which both weaken the Blood Brain Barrier and thus facilitate transfer of chemicals into the brain, there is every theoretical reason to suspect that autism after vaccines is due to both creating an inflammatory phenotype, and epigenetically changing gene expression.

HALEY:  I don’t know what proof he is going to use to support this claim, but here is an example of how he changes the major argument.  We all know that vaccines can work, our argument is that vaccines today contain toxicants that are unnecessary and cause damage to some children.  We also know that vaccines protect many children from infectious diseases that is not our argument.  Our argument is that thimerosal-containing vaccines, while protecting from infectious diseases, greatly enhanced the development of neurological illnesses in this same group of children. 

TENPENNY:  There are more than 100,000 reports of vaccine injury in VAERS (the federal government’s database ‘Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.’) If that many “reports” of side effects were attached to a DRUG, the drug would have been off the market years ago.

MILNER:  Do vaccines cause autism?

OFFIT:  No.  Vaccines don’t cause autism.

MILNER:  Absolutely sure.

OFFIT:  Absolutely sure.

MILNER:  Okay.

HOOKER:  Offit has no basis for this comment and frankly doesn’t understand the epidemiological studies that he quotes.  In order to fully understand them, one needs to understand the portions of each study that were hidden from the general public.

OFFIT:  It doesn’t make sense that they would.  Biologically it never made sense that they would.  And now we have a wealth of epidemiological studies proving that they didn’t. 

TENPENNY:  Wow. Then I guess the Judges at the US Court of Claims were wrong. Just two weeks after the U.S. Vaccine Court haughtily dismissed claims that vaccines can trigger autism, another report of a quietly settled case that shows that the same court rendered the opposite ruling … and that the MMR DOES/CAN cause autism. Clearly, there's something wrong with this picture when the same court can't get its story straight while the fate of thousands of children and their families hang in the balance.  The truth is vaccines can and do cause autism, and even the federal government seems to know it, except when it comes to actually uttering the "A word."  The 2007 Banks v. HHS Vaccine Court ruling rode the back of the Hanna Poling case that is about “mitochondrial disorders” which, again, is hog wash. SOMETHING makes the mitochondria misfire. A virus, formaldehyde, mercury, aluminum. Something.

BLAYLOCK:  Here is a doctor who earlier admits that he knows essentially nothing about neuroscience, neurology or the immunology of the brain, yet he is “absolutely sure there is no link” between vaccinations and autism.  That is like saying that I know nothing about GI medicine or the function of the GI tract or the immunology of food intolerance, but I can say that there is no connection between gluten and celiac disease. It is always instructive to note that he always resorts to epidemiological studies as the gold standard to answer the question. Yet, it is axiomatic that such studies are the least reliable types of studies and cannot answer such questions as causation. They are highly flawed because even minor variation in data or ignored data can drastically affect the outcome. They know that and that is why, in my opinion, they use such studies. Every one of the epidemiological studies he quotes is badly flawed.


HUMPHRIES:  Paul Offit needs to be asked the question, “How many autistic children have you treated, and what were the most useful investigations you performed and the most useful treatments implemented?”

OFFIT:  it never made sense that mercury would have been a problem and now we have epidemiological studies to prove that mercury in vaccines wasn’t a problem. 

HALEY:  The epidemiological studies he is likely referring to are those used by the 2004 IOM Committee and these are of very poor quality, even to the point where they may be considered, in my opinion, scientific fraud.  None were done by an American academic research institute, all were done by non-Americans, most of whom worked for a vaccine manufacturing firm in Denmark.  All were funded by the CDC who was responsible for the injection of thimerosal into infants at early and high rates via the CDC mandated vaccine program that started in about 1988, just before the dramatic increase in the autism spectrum disorders rates.

HOOKER:  The CDC can be tied to each of the 5 studies that the 2004 IOM ISR Committee used to indemnify thimerosal.  The CDC is also tied directly to the IOM ISR [Immunization Safety Review] Committee and paid the IOM $750,000 for their final report “Vaccines and Autism.”  Since the IOM report was issued in 2004, there have been numerous studies done without the involvement of the CDC to show the biological plausibility and epidemiology supporting autism as a result of thimerosal exposure.

The CDC’s own study on thimerosal and autism (the only study done using case data from the United States) initially showed that children receiving the highest doses of thimerosal in their first month of life were 7.6 times more likely to be later diagnosed with autism that children that did not receive thimerosal containing vaccines in their first month of life.  This study was revised 5 times by CDC officials (including lead author Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, who was employed by Glaxo SmithKline, a manufacturer of thimerosal-containing vaccines, during the final 18 months of the study.  With each revision, different exclusion and inclusion criteria were applied, resulting in a lower “odds ration” (correlation value) between thimerosal and autism.  These versions of the study were never published, but were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by parents of vaccine-injured children.  In the final publication, the relationship between thimerosal was reported as not statistically significant.  The resulting study was first rejected by the journal Epidemiology prior to its publication in the journal Pediatrics.  The CDC has refused to release the correspondences that led to the refection of the publication.




US Congressional Record - Tuesday, May 20, 2003

“17. To date, studies conducted or funded by the CDC that purportedly dispute any correlation between autism and vaccine injury have been of poor design, under-powered, and fatally flawed. The CDC’s rush to support and promote such research is reflective of a philosophical conflict in looking fairly at emerging theories and clinical data related to adverse reactions from vaccinations.”




Offit says "I think" three times in the first paragraph. Anyone else catch that? I find it interesting.

Grace Green

Bill, I think one could argue with the first sentence. Millions of people swat at wasps and don't get stung. Some do, and no-one would say it wasn't the wasp who did the stinging.


It's in between, vaccines are one of the causes of autism.

It's hard to get at the breakdown by etiologic agent due to lack of rigorous research. Data mining studies on Optum data don't quite cut it.

Usually we establish drug safety through 2 pivotal studies. Randomized, prospective, blinded, placebo controlled. Until these are performed, Merck has a problem.


Because millions of vaccinated American children have not gotten Autism, we can't say "vaccines cause Autism". Because many thousands of vaccinated children have immediately developed regressive Autism, and other immuno-intestinal disorders and such, then we also can't say definitively that "vaccines don't cause Autism"....
Anybody gonna argue with that?

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