This article, offered as indisputable proof that there are no connections between vaccines and autism, is compelling enough to make one sit up and take notice.
Clinical bottom line
Autism rates in Japan continued to rise after the withdrawal of MMR vaccine.
H Honda et al. No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 2005 doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01425.x
A link has been postulated between the specific use of the triple MMR vaccine and the rise of childhood autism. Though very considerable research has shown there to be no connection, some people continue to believe in such a link and they propose use of single vaccines instead. In Japan, MMR vaccine was introduced in 1989, but the programme was terminated in 1993 and only single vaccines used thereafter.
The experience of Japan therefore constitutes a real-world experiment of replacing triple MMR vaccine with single vaccines because of problems with production. If the proponents of a link between MMR and autism are correct, the result should be that cases of autism fall after withdrawal of MMR.
In the 1988 birth cohort, 70% of children had the MMR triple vaccine, falling to 1.8% in the 1992 birth cohort. Thereafter no children had the MMR triple vaccine (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Autistic conditions in birth cohorts to age seven years, and MMR vaccination rate in Japan: autism, all autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), and autism with regression
Final conclusion “Whatever causes autism, it is not the MMR vaccine. “
The complete article is linked here.
Should I, and all other vaccine questioners, pull in our heads and suddenly reverse all our hard-earned evidence and beliefs?
If this is taken at face value, it would seem so! It is difficult to find any relevant background information relating to the claim, “Whatever causes autism, it is not the MMR vaccine”, that would support a refutation, or for that matter offer support for the claim, even after hours of research.
There are indeed many instances of direct rebuttal to the conclusion, for example, as cited in the recent post “Credibility and Gullibility – the Vaccination Question“. But how to reconcile the paradox of a number of contrary conclusions with this seemingly irrefutable evidence and claim?
A number of questions are appropriate:
- Why does this chart not provide scales for the ASD graphs, for the per 10,000 incidents?
- Why does the conclusion conflict with so much other contradictory evidence?
- What are the ingredients of relevant individual vaccines that replaced the MMR vaccine.
- Are there any other variable factors, during the trials period? For instance, differences in recommended ages or gender for the vaccine applications?
- Why is it not possible that the continued rise in autism numbers are still vaccine related, but not specifically MMR?
- Why was there an initial downward trend in 1990 coincidental with the reduction in MMR use?
- Why was the upward trend from 1988 – 1990 not also associated with the application of MMR vaccines?
- Why not include the graph for the introduction of the individual vaccines in terms of population?
- What was the cause of a second downward trend of autism incidence, 1994 – 1995?
- What happened in 1995 to reverse that trend.
- Why do I wonder about “The quality and validity of the study is superlative, and the size good.“? Total population about 300,000, total ASD affected children over an 8 year period = 278, total number of children tested = not stated. Is this statistically meaningful? Is this science, or is it agenda biased?
- Why is the ASD data graph appear to be not to scale? Take the year 1994 for example – although there is no scale provided for number of ASD children per 10,000, surely it should make sense by correlating with the existing population scale. Number of regressed equiv to say 41, number of “Austism(sic)” 86, total should be 127. Graph shows total number 160.
Unless these questions have convincing answers, I will favour the majority of evidence that vaccine dangers are real and significant.
As an aside, there are other issues allegedly connecting MMR vaccines to dangerous outcomes –
“On the face of it, then, this seems a strong argument for sticking with MMR. But Dr Hiroki Nakatani, director of the Infectious Disease Division at Japan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare, has a very different story to tell.
He says that in 1989, when Japan first introduced MMR, there were 34 deaths from measles; in 1990, there were 53 deaths; in 1991, 39; and in 1992, 14.
Then, in 1993, the Japanese government moved from recommending MMR to single vaccines instead. The number of deaths from measles per year has since remained at between 14 and 25. So in fact, in the years Japan was using MMR there were on average rather more deaths from measles — quite apart from the deaths and serious damage done by the vaccine — than since single jabs were introduced.”– http://www.melaniephillips.com/
Further information relating to deaths allegedly connected to vaccines, including SIDS and “Shaken Baby Syndrome” deserves consideration. See http://www.whale.to/vaccines/scheibner1.html
It is far from easy to make decisions and choices about the issues. But surely it is important to consider all evidence very carefully.