iReport, CNN’s user-generated news community, published a study this month that concluded African American boys are more at risk for autism if they are given the MMR vaccine before the age of two. The author stated that researchers at the CDC knew about the link in 2004 and covered it up. I was shocked to see that this controversy was again on the table. We know that many, many more children are experiencing serious childhood diseases because parents declined vaccinations due to the possible autism link. Rather than simply report this finding I decided to investigate the validity of this claim.
What did I find?
- The new study was funded by the Focus Autism Foundation, which is dedicated to exposing the causes of autism specifically on the role of vaccinations.
- The study originally published in the scientific journal Translational Neurodegeneration was removed from public domain pending further investigation “because of serious concerns on the validity of its conclusions”
- I learned from Snopes.com that the CNN iReport is a platform on which anyone can submit content. The story did not clearly designate the report’s crowd source nature and many readers, including myself, incorrectly believed CNN was doing the reporting as a news network.
- Never take a report at face value. Verify the source and do your own research into the validity of the story.
- Review well respected, scientifically based organizations to see their position on the issue.
- Determined who funded the research and if they have an agenda or if it is an independent study.
I continue to support the findings of the CDC 2004 study and will strongly encourage parents to have their child vaccinated for protection from serious diseases.
I actually posted an article about this when I saw it, but took it down quickly after when I realized it was a clear hoax. I have to admit, they got me. I’m just glad I found out before too many people had read it.
Thanks for following my blog, Kevin. That’s exactly why I wanted to do the blog on it. Too frequently one is too busy to ready between the lines to know if a statement is true or not.
To be clear, I don’t believe that vaccines cause autism (with the possibility some very rare exceptions.) However, I think labeling this study a “hoax” is far from the iron clad truth at this point. I don’t think it’s been sufficiently investigated to conclude this either way. From what I have found thus far, there is little doubt that the CDC did in fact intentionally omit some data concerning children who did not have a Georgian Birth certificate. There intentions and motivations for doing this are not clear at this point and there was at least one senior researcher that believed statistically significant data was omitted. Sure, there are reasons to doubt it, but I think we shouldn’t dismiss it entirely without further investigation. Pharmaceutical companies fund many studies showing vaccine safety too.
Thank you for following the blog. There is certainly much to consider. I would only encourage parents to consult with their physician before coming to any final conclusions on whether to vaccinate or not vaccinate.