CDC Vaccine & Autism Research: Explosive New Statement from a Lead Researcher

By Dr. Bob Sears, Pediatrician and TACA Physician Advisory Member

A senior researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “blew the whistle” on one of the studies that he and a team of colleagues published in 2004 in the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal (1). At the time, their study reported no significant link between the Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. According to a CNN report published on August 28, 2014 (2), CDC senior researcher Dr. William Thompson contacted Dr. Brian Hooker last November and informed him of foul play. Dr. Thompson told Brian Hooker that the data initially collected by CDC researchers actually showed that African-Americans who were given the MMR vaccine prior to 36 months of age were significantly more likely to develop autism. This team of CDC researchers then decided to remove the data collected on some of the children which supported this association (claiming they did so because they could not verify their birth certificates), resulting in the data no longer showing a significant connection between the MMR vaccine and autism.  Then they published their research, claiming that their data did not show a link between the MMR vaccine and the risk of autism. What is important about this paper is that it had an apparent large influence on the Omnibus Autism Proceedings.  For those of you who are not familiar with these Proceedings, parents who felt their children developed autism after vaccination (including with the MMR vaccine) had their cases dismissed in federal court because studies (including this one in question) showed no significant association between vaccinations and autism.  If further investigation of this study (and others) reveals that there truly is an association between autism and MMR (and possibly other vaccines), but this association was hidden by the CDC, this means that thousands of parents and their children were denied justice in their day in court.

Brian Hooker reviewed the study data and published his own analysis this week in the journal Translational Neurodegeneration. The study was viewable online until very recently, when it was removed from the journal’s website. The reason cited for removal: “This article has been removed from the public domain because of serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions. The journal and publisher believe that its continued availability may not be in the public interest. Definitive editorial action will be pending further investigation.” (3)  This re-analysis indicated a 340% increased risk of autism in African-American children who received the MMR vaccine before the age of three compared to those after the age of three  (4.)

When I first heard rumors of this story days ago, I didn’t believe it. But now, Dr. Thompson has released a public statement through legal counsel (5.) He has verified these facts. The research did initially show an increased risk of autism in African-American boys. Dr. Thompson has shared this statement: “I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information.”

So, what do we do with this information?  First, this information does not confirm that there is a link between MMR vaccine and autism IN THE POPULATION AS A WHOLE. It SHOWS that the vaccine may increase the risk for African-American boys AND FURTHER RESEARCH SHOULD BE DONE ON THIS RIGHT AWAY.  Secondly, since this finding was in a subgroup of the larger population studied, it is not clear if this is a statistical anomaly or A FINDING THAT SHOULD RAISE CONCERN. Thirdly, it is not clear what other confounding factors were associated with this subset of the study population that could also have resulted in this association. A more detailed study could have addressed these questions, but this was not done.

This does leave us with is a whole lot of distrust and uncertainty in an institution which is supposed to be the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  This isn’t the first instance of malfeasance in autism/vaccine research. Several years ago, Dr. Poul Thorsen was indicted for stealing $1 million of CDC research money during his autism/vaccine research work with the CDC. This called into question the validity of two of the largest studies he was involved in (which showed no vaccine/autism link): Thimerosal and the occurrence of autism: negative ecological evidence from Danish population-based data, Madsen K, Thorsen P, et al, Pediatrics 2003; and A population-based study of MMR vaccination and autism, Madsen K, Thorsen P, et al, New England Journal of Medicine 2002 (6.)

The issue of conflict of interest in CDC vaccine research is not new. In June 2000, the U.S. House of Representatives released results on an investigation revealing that the rules employed by the FDA and CDC were weak, enforcement was lax, and committee members with substantial ties to vaccine manufacturers had been allowed to participate in committee meetings. The report also found that:

  • The CDC routinely granted waivers from the conflict-of-interest rules to every member of the ACIP (the board that approves vaccines)
  • Members who were not allowed to vote on a vaccine due to financial conflicts were still allowed to deliberate and advocate for that vaccine during meetings from which they should have been banned
  • The chairman of the ACIP at that time owned 600 shares of stock in Merck (a maker of vaccines, including the MMR vaccine)
  • The ACIP members did not always provide accurate financial disclosure statements.

 

The full report is available here: http://www.nvic.org/nvic-archives/conflicts-of-interest.aspx

The icing on the cake is that Dr. Julie Gerberding was the head of the CDC from 2002 to 2009.  She now works for Merck and leads their vaccine division (7.) She’s one of the most respected experts in her field. But, the fact remains that she was in charge of vaccine/autism research during that eight year period at the CDC, and now she works for the maker of the very vaccine most of the research was about.

The bottom line on this issue is the same bottom line that I’ve been writing about for years. We need unbiased research done by people without any conflict of interest to study large groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated children in order to resolve the vaccine/autism debate. Because very little such research has been done and issues referenced in this blog, is it any wonder more and more people are beginning to doubt vaccine safety?

If anyone was expecting an apology from the CDC, you will be disappointed. They have already stepped up with a statement that basically rejects any and all wrongdoing in this matter. They criticize Dr. Thompson for speaking out against research that he himself was involved in. They go on to point out all the great research they have done that they say clearly demonstrates no relationship between MMR vaccine and autism. You can view their response (8.)

Some may be reading this article and think – what should happen next?  We should request a complete investigation of this new information and a congressional hearing immediately. When small pox was recently found in an FDA laboratory, a congressional hearing occurred within 3 weeks (9).  Isn’t the safety of our children and a possible link between autism and vaccination worthy of an immediate congressional investigation?

Here are some suggestions as to who to contact:

1)  Share the Thompson statement (5) with House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Congressman Bill Posey.  Request a complete investigation and congressional hearing.

Contact information for Congressman Issa:
2347 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-3906   Fax: 202-225-3303

Contact information for Congressman Posey:
120 Cannon HOB, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3671 Fax: (202) 225-3516

 

2)  Share the statement (5) with James M. Perrin, MD, FAAP, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Request a complete investigation and support for a congressional hearing.

 

Contact information for Dr. Perrin:

American Academy of Pediatrics, 141 Northwest Point Blvd Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

 

And whatever those answers are as a result from these important efforts, families need to hear them.

Dr. Bob Sears

Pediatrician and TACA Medical Advisory Board Member

Pediatrician and author of The Autism Book: What Every Parent Need to Know About Early Detection, Treatment, Recovery, and Prevention and The Vaccine Book.

 

References:

 

  1. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/113/2/259
  2. http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/27/health/irpt-cdc-autism-vaccine-study/
  3. http://www.translationalneurodegeneration.com/content/3/1/16/abstract
  4. http://www.globalresearch.ca/autism-links-to-vaccines-whistleblower-reveals-evidence-of-criminal-coverup-by-the-centers-for-disease-control-cdc/5397928
  5. http://www.morganverkamp.com/august-27-2014-press-release-statement-of-william-w-thompson-ph-d-regarding-the-2004-article-examining-the-possibility-of-a-relationship-between-mmr-vaccine-and-autism/
  6. http://www.infowars.com/just-another-day-at-the-office-scientific-fraud-scandal-at-the-cdc-is-simply-routine/ & https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/fugitives/profiles.asp
  7. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2009/12/merck_hires_gerberding_to_run.html
  8. http://sharylattkisson.com/cdc-responds-to-allegation-it-omitted-vaccine-autism-study-link-576
  9. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/16/congress-hearing-cdc-lab-safety-anthrax-incident/12721585/

 

Editors note:  It is not typical for TACA to change a blog once published. Typically questions are handled in comments.  It came to my attention to clarify a paragraph in the original submission. I have worked with the author and those clarification points are in ALL CAPITALS.   ~ Lisa Ackerman

33 Comments Add yours

  1. Diana Smith says:

    My daughter who is now 18, is a victim of the MMR vaccine which immediately caused her autism after the jab. It frustrates me that these greedy B#STARDS have destroyed hers and so many other lives out of pure GREED!!!!! No amount of denial of data will EVER change the truth~!

    1. Ken says:

      A question, Diana, am I correct in my interpretation of what you’re saying is that the INSTANT your daughter received her MMR vaccine, she IMMEDIATELY exhibited autism and had NO signs of this prior to that? I don’t quite understand how that is possible. I’m NOT doubting you believe this, but it completely puzzles me as to how this happened.

      1. Hi Ken,
        Sadly at TACA we have parents report this same story on a regular basis. Many families report healthy children, milestones met then a severe regression, loss of skills and health issues.
        There are studies in PUBMED that outline autism and regression. These may be a great place for you to look and see science published on this finding.
        Take care, Lisa

    2. Sandy Dimoska says:

      I’m sorry to hear your daughter was affected by this phenamonon. At what age did your daughter receive the MMR Vaccine? With your experience, at what age would you say it is safe to receive the vaccine?

      I would greatly approximate your feedback.

      1. Sandy – please chat with your doctor to discuss your child’s needs, health history and family history to guide your decision process.

  2. Christine says:

    The problems I see here: 1) There is no proof in the world that would convince any body if the US government to come out with a statement even slightly negative regarding vaccines. Even at 1:66 children (3% of all boys) diagnosed with autism, the government does not appear to be even slightly alarmed nor have they concluded that any caution is warranted (eg, removal of aluminum , spreading out the schedule, reducing schedule for targeted cohorts , etc). ;2) How would a vaccine study be designed that would take into consideration the many sub types of “autism”? How can we clearly establish a causal relationship between vaccines and autism (beyond the 100s of thousands of antidotal testimony from parents) when our kids are all so different in both their underlying pathology and manifestation of symptoms?

  3. Casey Best says:

    Dr Bob Sears . It is VERY BIG MIGHT-but you have not read all the material relating to the study. Firstly; I cannot find where you have worked full time as a scientist. You appear to be a trained medical doctor – that is a vastly different occupation from been a scientist. I do not have confidence in you to be able to understand the study methods and design as you do not have any training in that area (no medical school undergrads and grad dips in medical specialist areas do not teach those skills) – PARTICULARLY SINCE YOU (and most other people commenting on this) have NOT SEEN THE RAW DATA that was omitted or the methods by which that data was collected; or been given the reasons that data was omitted-CONFOUNDING VARIABLES against the original study. You are only adding to the panic and mania that is now happening.

    1. Joseph G. says:

      The credentials of Sears matters none for the purposes of this article, as one does not need to be a scientist in order to make the conclusions he made here. One also wouldn’t need to see the raw data to make these conclusions.

      Sears is calling for unbiased research and investigation, which any responsible individual should request when a CDC scientist releases a statement through a lawyer saying he regrets the fact that he and his colleagues omitted significant data. Once Thompson chose to express his regret publicly, there should be a line of people (elected officials, public health officials, politicians, and concerned citizens and parents) calling for some investigation.

      Thompson had the opportunity to address the reasons for the omission in his statement. He chose not to do so. Thompson has the ability to give his reasoning, and then the world can judge whether or not that reasoning is justified by science or something more dubious.

    2. Mike G. says:

      In the interest of full disclosure, please provide exact sum of the money you have collected for writing those pro big-pharma posts. Otherwise, go away and Troll somewhere else.

  4. Martin says:

    This is a terrible analysis of the story.

    The simple fact is Hooker got his maths wrong, and this has been demonstrated numerous times. That sears ignores the numerous counter claims is a testament to his own bias.

    See for instance

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/08/28/a-bad-day-for-antivaccinationists-a-retraction-and-the-cdc-whistleblower-issues-a-statement/

    1. A grandmom says:

      There is a lead CDC researcher who has come forward admitting wrong doing. That alone warrants and investigation into the matter.
      The comments diverting to other areas are missing the point.

    2. Jackie Moore says:

      This is not just Dr. Sears opinion…Dr. Thompson admitted to wrong doing. That alone should require some type of investigation. If the CDC did no wrong in the study, they should have nothing to worry about in regards to the study being investigated.

    3. Mike G. says:

      As with the previous post.
      In the interest of full disclosure, please provide exact sum of the money you have collected for writing those pro big-pharma posts. Otherwise, go away and Troll somewhere else.

  5. Thank-you Dr. Sears, for this well-written article, which lays out the important contextual and historical factors regarding the latest revelation of fraud at the CDC.
    Thank-you for including information regarding steps we can all take to urge our leaders to act morally and ethically on behalf of our children and families.
    Your work is much appreciated.

  6. Darlene Morris says:

    A person must be without conscience to do anything that would cause harm to a child. There is now rationale reason for doing such a thing.

    1. Angie says:

      That is exactly the thought I have about someone who does NOT vaccinate their children.

  7. Darlene Morris says:

    Oops, meant to say there is “no rational reason” for doing anything that would harm a child!

  8. mizricci says:

    Thank you, Dr. Sears, for taking the time to weigh in on this matter. I appreciate you offering reasonable suggestions for next steps, in light of Dr. Thompson’s claims. I hope that we will see a complete investigation and congressional hearing sooner than later, and this matter does not drag on for years.

  9. Lea Googe says:

    Thank you Dr. Sears for writing about this huge story. I hope everyone will request a congressional hearing to have this MMR safety issue be investigated. This is a huge story because a current CDC senior scientist and coauthor of vaccine safety study admitted through his lawyer that protocol was not followed and they omitted data. He should remove his name from the study. I thank Dr. Thompson for coming forward and hope investigations will continue on the safety of the current vaccine schedule.

  10. Alexia says:

    Is it me or do others feel that with all the controversy that has surrounded vaccines & autism for years…WHY ON EARTH there have not been a TON “credible” research to date? The CDC report is from 2004 REALLY?? 10 years ago and the numbers in autism have skyrocketed!!! Who needs a punch in the head to wake up and get to work!!! I am so perplexed and disappointed that people can be bought out by large corporations at the cost of so many innocent children and parents doing what our government wants us to do. I AM so TIRED of reading that the numbers are rising because of more awareness and better diagnosing…ummm so that still means these are kids with disabilities that will need supports and supports cost money….

    Did you know …

    Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys
    Autism prevalence figures are growing, when my son was born 13 years ago it was 1 in 200
    Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
    Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
    Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
    There is no medical detection or cure for autism

    SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE NEEDS to wake up and do unbiased research, but honestly I think there is so much corruption and greed that it may never happen….. In the meantime all us parents will continue to trudge forward, love our children and pray they can be independent when we are gone……..

    1. Amen, sing it sister friend! These drug companies are just like drug cartels. And I cannot believe what people will do for money!!?? Do they not have souls? You’d think some of them would have or at least know someone with autism and at least feel some guilt?? It is so discusting, heartbreaking, unthinkable…..keep swimming, love 🙂

  11. esther says:

    Mr. Best, People like you are the worst !!! My brother IS a scientist and has a genius IQ. His daughter, my niece is severely autistic due to the mercury in the immunizations. It has been PROVEN by doctors that my family does not release metals out of our bodies as they are suppose to and so my niece ended up with brain damage as well as autism. You
    . are like those who say the Holocost never happened. We could use alot less of people like you in this country

  12. April says:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for standing up for our children at your own personal snd professional risk against these mammoth money makers that do not value our children over their pocket book. I am lucky I have chosen to abstain thus far the first 3 years of my child’s life under all the uncertainty & general public & family & friend peer pressure. Thank you to all the parents that are publicly posting a vaccine harmed their child as you saved my boy from potential harm.

  13. kim says:

    The most recent link to autism is what is known as “pruning” in early brain development. Perhaps more research is needed along this avenue to find out why pruning doesn’t happen and what can be done about it….

  14. Trudy says:

    My son developed symptoms of autism after his MMR, prior to that he had developed normally.
    Other parents who have had the same experience have started a youtube channel in response to Ms.Cohen from CNN who covered this story and made ignorant comments about vaccines, she claimed they didn’t cause autism and people “don’t hear this well”. So the channel is #hearthiswell and it’s something everyone should check out. Here’s an example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T8ByMrUm6Q

    1. We also recommend the calls to action in Dr Bob’s post. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Sally Smith says:

    Thorson was actually involved in over 20 of the studies refuting the vaccine/autism issue.

    1. Sally. Please share a link with these studies. Thank you.

  16. It seems to me that the research with vaccines has mainly centered around whether the vaccine works to decrease the incidence and/or severity of the targeted disease and to see if that vaccine produces any signs of immediate side effects. Since most diseases are a result of inflammation, I think it would make sense to check inflammatory markers in children before and after vaccination, as well as a mitochondrial analysis and a gut bacteria analysis to note any changes. If these early markers of inflammation are seen in studies, then there is a real risk advisory that can be given to the parents, and if the decision is made to proceed with the vaccinations, the child can be treated to correct the mitochondrial or gut bacteria dysfunctions before symptoms of a disease such as autism set in.

    1. Samantha says:

      I have attended multiple vaccine conventions against and pro vaccines with significant points. Being in the pediatric field I have to say that I believe in vaccines benefits more than any evidence that has yet to come out against them. There is a ton of evidence that shows autism begins at birth and has to do with the growth of the brain again beginning at birth. Most facilities due to the Cdc guidelines give the first mmr at 15 myths or 2 years. Ironically near the time when children start to verbalize and their speech is able to be identified as behind. Which is a significant sign of autism. There is no evidence so far that autism Springs onto a child. So to say a vaccine is given and a day later the child’s speech is delayed and they have autism is difficult to comprehend. It’s easier to believe that the government harms our children. That way we have somewhere to point the finger and someone to blame. I understand it’s harder to have questions and believe that an unfortunate unreasonable disease can take over. If mmr gave children autism and according to this blog significantly African American children, why is the population of autistic children a majority white?

  17. Mark says:

    Don’t expect the Congress to stop being the Fox’x who have guarded this and many other secrets unless you place before them the 7 last plagues of God wrath , this will be their fate and that should be what you tell them . Satan knows his fate.

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