I decided to share here my reply to someone promoting the movie Vaxxed in the comments section of my local paper’s opinion page where Jackson County Public Health Medical Director Dr. Jim Shames published a piece. [Read Dr. Jim Shames’ opinion piece.]
The Vaxxed defender posted:
“Regardless of what you believe about Andrew Wakefield, there are many studies suggesting a link between vaccines and autism. Here are 124 research papers: https://www.scribd.com/doc/220807175/124-Research-Papers-Supporting-the-Vaccine-Autism-Link“
“Sure, but one thing I learned is that anyone can cherry-pick study abstracts to make a list of those that appear to support their point of view. The key to getting close to the actual facts of a matter, whatever it is, is to look to those experts who know how to carefully review all the studies for their quality and strength and who then synthesize that info to come to a conclusion — whether it is that we need more studies on the matter or that the weight of the evidence is strong enough to come to a reasonable conclusion, etc.. And then they review their conclusions as further studies are conducted. Good science evolves and builds upon the past. The IOM, for one, does that kind of analysis and they found no link between vaccines and autism.
I know the very first study on the list you linked to was just a preliminary CDC study, a part 1 of a series of investigations, and their conclusion changed with stronger subsequent research. I think all research needs to be labeled for its strength. Thanks for reading.”
Now I’ll add some CREDIBLE sources here:
- Vaccines and Autism – A thorough Review of the Evidence, published on The Logic of Science blog. This PhD candidate (as of 4/2016), peer-review-published researcher, teacher (etc.) offers, among a lot of other critically analyzed information, a complete review of both studies often cited as evidence of a vaccine-autism link as well as those cited as showing no evidence of such a link.
- A list of strong studies on a MMR-autism link from the independent Institute of Vaccine Safety at at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health – now the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
- The IOM’s 2004 summary conclusion on this topic: “The committee concludes that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism. The committee also concludes that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.” See more at: http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2004/Immunization-Safety-Review-Vaccines-and-Autism.aspx#sthash.yaCHrR2T.dpuf
- The IOM’s 2011 conclusions: “…evidence favors rejection of five vaccine-adverse event relationships, including MMR vaccine and autism…” See more at: http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/reports/2011/adverse-effects-of-vaccines-evidence-and-causality.aspx#sthash.bourokm2.dpuf
- The IOM’s 2013 conclusions: “Upon reviewing stakeholder concerns and scientific literature regarding the entire childhood immunization schedule, the IOM committee finds no evidence that the schedule is unsafe. The committee’s review did not reveal an evidence base suggesting that the U.S. childhood immunization schedule is linked to autoimmune diseases, asthma, hypersensitivity, seizures, child developmental disorders, learning or developmental disorders, or attention deficit or disruptive disorders.” See more at: http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2013/Childhood-Immunization-Schedule/ChildhoodImmunizationScheduleandSafety_RB.pdf