Depends on how you view it but I say not one single one.
There is one vaccine that has been studied in relation to Autism, the MMR vaccine and the control group in these studies were vaccinated children.
Obviously that is not a good way to answer the question whether or not vaccines can cause autism.
You can’t make the claim vaccines don’t cause Autism when we have never investigated whether or not unvaccinated children develop autism at the same rate of vaccinated children or whether or not the old childhood vaccination schedule from the seventies or eighties leads to the same number of autism cases as the 2018 schedule.
There are a lot of media reports claiming rates of vaccinated children are the same as in unvaccinated children but buyer beware, a closer look reveals that all children in the studies they mention were vaccinated. Makes you wonder why they claim that vaccinated were compared to unvaccinated children.
Tobacco science comes to mind.
To make things even worse there are a few little secrets the media don’t talk about.
Many MMR studies show that MMR vaccinated children have a lower risk of developing autism compared to children that did not receive the MMR vaccine.
This is an image from Taylor et al 2014 a meta-analysis of Autism studies.
An odds ratio of 1 means the children vaccinated with MMR are as likely to develop autism as the children that are not vaccinated with MMR, a number above 1 means they are more likely and below 1 means they are less likely to develop autism.
That would indicate that the MMR vaccine might actually have a protective effect against autism.
Sounds too good to be true? It probably is.
Measles, Mumps and Rubella infections could in theory cause neurological problems and perhaps this could lead to neurodevelopmental problems but given the fact that they are really uncommon these days it seems really unlikely that the vaccine could prevent autism.
There could be some kind of bias in the studies and the children not vaccinated with MMR are more likely to develop Autism for reasons that are unrelated to the vaccine.
What is more likely is that children that already had a poor response to vaccinations or showed signs of neurodevelopmental problems or had some other health issues were not vaccinated with MMR because parents or doctors feared that it could make them worse.
The MMR vaccine is given the first time at 12 months, later than many other vaccines.
It’s not surprising that children that are already sick or that have had adverse reactions to vaccines are more likely to get diagnosed with autism than healthy and normally developing children that tolerated their vaccines well and receive the MMR for this reason.
This effect is called the healthy user bias which can distort study results and can make a harmful intervention look safe.
In addition one of the authors of one of the most important MMR studies became a whistleblower and admitted that they did repeatedly find vaccines being associated with neurological problems or Autism but they tried to hide or downplay their findings :
“Oh my God, I did not believe that we did what we did, but we did. It’s all there… This is the lowest point in my career, that I went along with that paper. I have great shame now when I meet families of kids with autism, because I have been part of the problem.”
Dr. William Thompson – CDC Whistleblower
Here are the MMR studies:
As one can see the whistleblower is one of the authors and the paper that was the lowest point in his career was the 2004 study, one of the studies the media relies on to reassure us that “vaccines don’t cause autism”.
“I have great shame now when I meet families of kids with autism, because I have been part of the problem.” Dr. Thompson
So it could be argued that even the MMR studies are questionable and possibly unreliable.
It is often claimed that we don’t need to study the vaccine autism connection because it was invented by Andrew Wakefield but the truth is that parents and doctors had described autistic regression following vaccination long before Dr. Wakefield had published his infamous paper.
Regardless of whether or not the MMR studies are reliable we have never studied if repeated vaccination in the first years of life can cause autism.
The only study that did attempt this was the Mawson study in 2017 that found an over 4 times greater risk of developing autism in vaccinated children. It did attract a lot of criticism and hatred but it certainly didn’t prove that vaccines don’t cause autism.
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