January 6th, 2011
09:34 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Autism & Vaccines, Rising Uproar

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, you'll hear from the investigative reporter who has uncovered evidence he says proves that Dr. Andrew Wakefield deliberately faked his study on autism and vaccines. Brian Deer lays out his case in a series of articles that began appearing in the medical journal BMJ last night.

You may recall, Wakefield said last night on the program that he's the victim of a smear campaign. He claimed Deer is a "hit man" who has been brought in to take him down. Back in 1998, Wakefield was the lead author of a study that triggered a worldwide scare over childhood vaccines. It suggested vaccines may cause autism. That study, which involved just 12 children, has since been discredited. And last spring, Wakefield lost his medical license in the UK.

Deer responds to Wakefield's allegation and much more tonight.

We're also Keeping Them Honest at the Pentagon where for years they've had a list of 5,200 alleged child pornography customers who might work at the Department of Defense. So, why did they only check 3,500 names and prosecute only a handful?

And, we'll continue our special series on cold cases with a look at the unsolved murders of rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac. There is new developments in one of those cases. We'll have the latest.

Plus, see who we're adding to the 'Ridiculist.'

Join us for these stories and much more at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Monica

    I am firmly persuaded, amongst many other parents I've had the pleasure of knowing, that there is certainly a direct correlation between autism and vaccines.

    I don't remember A SINGLE child having autism 30 years ago when I was attending school. Not one child in the a whole school of over 900 children.

    However, statistics now indicate that there is 1 autistic child for every 150 children. Does that not raise a red flag? The fact that the number of children with autism has increased dramatically over the last 20 years along with the amount of required vaccines in the exactly same time frame should certainly provoke curiosity on a direct relation between the two facts.

    Furthermore, the United States has the HIGHEST percentage of Autism amongst developed countries and the United States also has the highest amount of vaccines required on the CDC schedule.

    It is however understandable, but not ethical, that pharmaceutical companies will fervently dispute any correlation between vaccines and autism. It is, indeed, more profitable for pharmaceutical companies and the government to deftly deny any indication that vaccines may cause autism, after all, if it was proved so what tremendous monetary loss would affect all pharmaceutical companies that provide these vaccines, but I wonder, do the CEO's and scientist of these pharmaceutical companies vaccinate their children, knowing fully well the "harmful ingredients" these vaccines contain.

    It is a violence against justice when further research is not done concerning vaccines and autism. At length, the malignant assertions which persecute Dr. Wakefield are unjust.

    January 7, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  2. BE Patienz

    Parents' fears were raised by groups supporting two failed hypotheses: (1) as Wakefield indicated, that "the widespread use of MMR immunization is a major determinant of the apparent (now substantiated) increase in rates of autism",and (2) that the apparent increase in the prevalence of ASD was associated with increased exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines.

    The first fear has been shown to be based on fraudulent research. The second hypothesis has been refuted by a large, careful-case control study and by clear epidemiological evidence from Canada, California, Denmark, Sweden, and – most recently [Can J Psychiatry. 2010 Nov;55(11):715-20]- again from Canada, as well as by an upcoming report from Finland thus far reported only as an abstract.

    Parents believed that vaccines caused autism for reasons that turned out to be untrue.

    Wakefield was a fraud. Thimerosal doesn't cause autism. It's time to move on.

    January 7, 2011 at 12:18 am |
  3. AutismParent

    Why is it so hard to consider being flexible with the vaccine schedule. No one has preached no vaccines, just changing the timing and implementation. The fact that this has become such a pissing match is ridiculous. My daughter has autism, she had some delays then a flu shot sent her into a high fever for 10 days straight. After that shot her development stopped and she developed many autistic tendencies. We have spent years hearing about the vaccine debate, no one ever says "never vaccinate". What has been said is take a look at the child and make a plan that works with the needs of that child. Everyone does not have the same immune system or ability to handle toxins. We are each individuals, lets vaccinate with that in mind. That is all this debate has been about for years now. Big pharma still gets their money, and kids still get vaccinated.

    Test immunity first, then vaccinate to the results. Is that really that much to ask for?

    January 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  4. Trish

    Several years ago in a Harvard Magazine article, Harvard autism researchers were interviewed for an article about autism and they discussed their current research. They would not comment on the vaccine connection, but they pushed the edge of the envelope by saying they know that autism is caused by oxidative stress. What causes oxidative stress? An aggressive vaccine schedule on a developing immune system maybe. You don't need a Phd – connect the dots. If the researchers report the connection, big pharma will see to it that the university/hospital lose its funding, the researcher will be black-balled and never work again in a career they love and have devoted their life to – just like Dr. Wakefield!!

    January 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  5. christine

    I no longer believe vaccinating is the right thing to do. There are too many children with autism to deny a the one common thread–vaccinations. Do you really think all of these parents are wrong about the behavior changes in their children after these vaccines?

    January 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  6. Perry

    I was actually very disappointed in Anderson's interview of Dr Wakefield. I found the Dr. more credible and Anderson's approach more of a witch hunt and sensational news rather than keeping them honest. I agree with Dr Wakefield, 'do the research Anderson' or at least show it on the show so you look credible. I am pleased this has come out as it has put forward the debate about vaccines and autism back in the news. I agree there is enough anedotal evidence to suggest a need for more studies by an independent researcher.

    January 6, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  7. Anna

    AC360 Thank you for covering the topic of Autism.I am a parent of a child with autism and I also work in public health. I understand the desperation parents feel in wanting to help their children when the medical community is unable, not unwilling to provide an explanation and cure for this neurological disorder. The Amish do vaccinate and children in their community do have autism but until an explanation of the cause of Autism is discovered, people will believe what they want to believe. People like Wakefield will always be able to preach to the converted. In light of the new articles in the BMJ, I hope that Autism research can garner more scrutiny and focus and be researched more extensively(i.e. when compared to many other diseases) and I am hopeful that this means the idiopathy of autism
    will be solved soon.

    January 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  8. Donna

    I'd like to point out that Anderson talked about the possibility of having three separate vaccines instead of the combo shot. That is no longer possible. Merck has stopped producing the separate shots. I wish they would make it again. I believe more people would consider vaccinating if there was a choice to spread it out over time. Or if there is fear over vaccinating against measles, you could still opt to vaccinate against mumps or rubella.

    January 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  9. Bob Butler

    Classic case of Big Money taking down a smaller budget. But where is the truth ?

    How about a real study ? If it proves there is no link...good, maybe at least it would help find the cause. But I am convinced by the stories of hundreds of parents I work with.

    There are too many instances of serious decline shortly after inoculation. An interesting fact:
    Hatter's Disease....a condition brought on by the use of mercury in the manufacture of felt....same symptoms.

    January 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  10. Marcia Borst, Bozeman, Br.

    The link between vaccines and autism is too real to be ignored, and it seems to hinge on the combination of vaccines, as well the fillers that have used. There seems to be something in the combining of these things that overwhelms the immune system in some kids. The real story is in the link between these two things, and I don't understand why more research isn't being done in this area.

    January 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  11. Michael Townsend

    As a parent of a wonderful 16 year old autistic boy, I must admit I once could not perceive him as wonderful. I might believe with the increase in numbers that we are evolving into a more civilized people who we label Autistic. In 1994 the numbers were 1 in 2500. Now, 1 in 110. Vaccine, do not be absurd. My son had shakes in the room after birth, he was covered in fatty acids,and his infant care specialist noticed an awkwardness to his physical activites at 13 months. The enormous increase and the fact that we noticed differences well before vaccines, leads me to believe there could be a relation to the mercury content, but it is unlikey the vaccines cause anything but a decrease in diseases. The bowel disorders seem to be quite widespread, as well, he had difficulty digesting. At about age 8 I took him to an acupuncturist, the heat release was his problem he claimed. The diareaha ceased after a few visits. There are physiological differences in our children.
    My greatest hope for others is they focus on the family and staying strong for your child. These wonderful children are just that if we open our eyes to support and embrace them.

    January 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  12. Keith in Canada

    Parents in the original study of 12 claimed they knew why their kids got sick, that it was vaccine.

    They claimed this even though most had sought treatment for their child's mental or intestinal problems before receiving the MMR vaccine.

    Parents today have no more insight into the actual causes of diseases than parents did 200 years ago.

    Vaccines have been investigated ad nausium and been exonerated.

    It is time to spend money and effort on finding the real cause of autism, rather than continuing to waste time, money and effort on this dead issue.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  13. Jerry Fisher

    As I sit and watched this episode, I was pushed to respond to the complete red herring being used to draw attention away from the vaccine debate. The report of Dr. Wakefield not withstanding, there are plenty of independent verifications as to the correlation between the time of the MMR and the subsequent social withdrawal and loss of communication skills. As the parent of an autistic son, I find it curious that the timeline for the onset of autistic symptoms that followed the MMR vaccination is so similar from one family to another. My son received his MMR at eighteen months of age, two weeks after his vaccination he experienced a regression of his communication skills, and complete social withdrawal from those around him. Within a month, he could no longer speak or show any affection or interest in his brother, his friends, or his parents. So independent of these studies or the debunking of such studies, how is the timeline for a vast majority of autism cases explained away? Why is not the case of the young girl in Atlanta and the mitochondrial dysfunction not explored more? That case was settled out of court and pushed back into the corners of this debate very quickly. Most of us common people, who live paycheck to paycheck, could never mount a serious attack against the pharmaceutical giants. The great number of research being done is being sponsored by these very same companies.
    I remember a time when tobacco was touted as a medicinal treatment. There was a time not so long ago that these very tobacco companies ran commercials displaying the cool of smoking. As time went on we find out that it is killing us by the millions and that the companies knew the affects and still sit out to make their product even more addicting. That those companies are now subjecting third world countries to the same atrocities to maintain their profit margins. So I wonder, would these large money making regimes mislead the general public to benefit stockholders? What would be the expense to these companies, that often times explains the results we common folks experience.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  14. Peggy Greenspan

    I am the mother of a 25 year old severely autistic young man. I have never blamed the vaccinations he had as an infant/toddler. I am glad it is coming out that the study was bogus.

    No offense to Jenny McCarthy, but she should not be the spokesperson for autism. I thought she had cured her son which of course is not possible. With a lot of intervention there can be improvement, but never a cure.

    It is a terrible shame that there are so many people who prey on the families of autistic individuals with costly cures. As you stated in your report tonight, it is very expense to educate and take care of individuals with autism.

    Research is indeed needed, but childhood immunizations are not the cause.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
  15. Birgit Calhoun

    I have followed the story about Andrew Wakefield for a number of years now. I have read the original (now retracted) case descritpion in the Lancet. The description does in no way resemble a study. I have also read his book. My interest in mercury from amalgams as well as Thimerosal started over ten years ago because I have two sons who have experienced mercury toxicity.

    I am very disappointed in the way you treated Dr. Wakefield on your show in view of the fact that you obviously had not read the Lancet paper nor the book that explains what I am inclined to believe is true. At times you did not let him speak. You interrupted him and seemed generally uninformed about the matter.

    Brian Deer says he has never been paid by any pharmaceutical company. However, we all know better than to expect that his having been paid directly would be easy to prove. The media (newspaper, TV etc.) are being paid through pharmaceutical advertising money that then is passed on to writers like Brian Deer.

    I do not know Andrew Wakefield, but I am confident that he would not jeopardize a great future in medicine for hypothesizing something about autism that might or might not be confirmed by other research.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  16. Manuel

    Great job Anderson. As usual, real journalism.
    Just one clarification: As a practicing child psychiatrist I have not seen the alleged increase in autism but I have witnessed the pressure put on parents by some school districts who want to have a greater number of children with developmental disorders. I am highly suspicious of those schools’ intentions if you consider that they get more Federal money for every child with one of these diagnoses.
    I have changed many false diagnoses of Asperger and Developmental Disorder NOS because the patients had severe obsessions, other anxieties, below average IQ, etc.
    From another angle, the connection between autism and vaccination is so unfounded that we just need to look at the statistics of poor countries, with low rate of immunizations and check if they have less prevalence of autism. I don’t know the answer but I suspect that the anti-vaccine supporters know it. Besides, how do they explain the fact that autism is more common in family with other neuropsychiatric conditions including OCD.
    I don't think that it is more than coincidence that repetitive behavior is a common feature of autism. In fact, experts in this area consider autism as the worst case scenario of OCD. But to be fair, there are many autistic children without relatives with OCD or any other mental problem.
    The possible cause that I like the most is the theory of a failure in the pruning of brain cells that occurs in every baby after birth. The idea goes to postulate that excessive brain tissue is responsible for the symptoms and signs of autism.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  17. Monique

    Despite the insistence of the opponents to Dr. Wakefield's study, I still as a parent, have a deep concern about the potential connection between vaccines and Austism. I am concerned about the number of vaccines given, the filler in the vaccines such as aluminum, mercury, concentration of active ingredients and the dosing and scheduling. Too much emphasis is being placed on just one vaccine, the MMR and not enough on the total number and types of vaccines given to children from the day they enter the world to age 5.

    I believe that a full scale independent study on vaccines is in order. I do not appreciate the vicious attack and strong words used to describe this physician. It masks what the real issues is, the mysterious and suggested connection of vaccines to autism. I am no expert, but it seems that Dr. Wakefields study good have been flawed, but to call him a fraud is a whole other matter. What about this investigator's ties to big business and a pharma company lurking somewhere in the boardroom?? Is there no independent scientific organization that has no ties to government, pharma or special interest groups that can develop a full scale study?

    January 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  18. Bob Butler

    Please don't stop. Denise Nason above is right.
    There was much evidence destroyed before this man could even defend himself. Remember Vaccines are big bucks.

    All the study set out to do was understand the presence of measles in children's guts after inoculation....years later. There wasn't an early attempt to prove a link between vac & autism....so ofcourse the study was flawed if looked at to prove autism was caused by vac.

    Anyway if you have the resources it would be an interesting ride I'm sure.


    January 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  19. Liz Searcy

    I am a devoted mother raising a son with autism who was diagnosed at three-years-old. My son was a healthy happy baby but after the MMR vaccine, James lost most of his language, had virtually no eye contact and he began hand stimulations, all of which were not present before the vaccine.

    Two years ago when my son was 16, Dr. Wakefield came to lecture at a conference in my town, Tomball Texas. I had known of his work and made a beeline to hear him.

    That day, Dr. Wakefeld's lecture about the connection between gastrointestinal problems and the brain affected by autism was extremely insightful and gave me answers to many questions about my son's digestive struggles.

    The controversy about Dr. Wakefield doesn't phase me one bit. Say what you want about Dr. Wakefield—he knows the truth about vaccines and he listens to the parents. The parents and our children live with autism every second. Let the world know—I'm glad Dr. Wakefeild takes a stand. Thanks for listening.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  20. JudiAnn Uchrinscko

    I wrote last night about the vaccine controversy. This problem goes back further than you think. My daughter was poisoned by the pertussis vaccine in January 1982. At that time many parents were coming forward with stories that mimic ours. We cannot all be wrong. We cannot all have the same horror story, unless there is a correlation to the vaccines and the damage to our children. It was blamed on mercury in the vaccines and other additives used. Please tell all of us why our small infants were given anything with the poison mercury. My child has autism and intestinal problems that occurs with autism. She has severe social skills problems. Her disabilities changed her life and the lives of our family. Her case is very well documented, we did not sit back and let the medical community try to sweep this under the rug. Unfortunately it is a David and Goliath battle.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  21. Allie

    The only person fueled by money are the pharmaceutical companies. They stand to make billions off of these vaccines! If more parents stop vaccinating they're kids that would put a dent in their pockets. This Mr. Deer is being paid to make these statements I'm sure! And when you ask about what parents he spoke too. All of a sudden he had to close his eyes to visualize who he spoke with. This is and important finding. Being a reporter you should know who you spoke to, when you spoke with them, what time it was even what they were wearing. I myself have spoken with several parents who believe that autism is definitely caused by vaccines. There has been countless programs that interviewed parents who feel this way and although 12 does not represent all of the parents who have gone through this the nightmare it is enough to raise an eyebrow and asked some questions. I would say too much of a coincidence that all the children's cases with autism have been vaccinated. Dr. Deer your case would be easy to prove as well. Produce parents that would not be compensated to say hey my child has autism and has not been vaccinated! I hope Mr. Cooper you really uncover the truth of this. And watch your back while doing so. Kudos to Mr. Wakefield for exposing this to parents. Thank you

    January 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  22. Marcia Borst, Bozeman, Mt.

    The link between autism and vaccines hinges on the combination of vaccines. It's in combining them that something is triggered in certain kids. There has to be a link there somewhere. Why isn't more research being done on this question? It's the combination of vaccines! It's giving several at once that overwhelms the immune system! Don't focus on Wakefield. Focus on this link between vaccines and autism. There's a truth in there somewhere.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  23. Mario carey

    The vaccine issue might never go away when talking about autism.but,the positive i see is awareness.with ac360 reporting on this issue and people are becoming more aware this process will open the minds and hearts of more people who aren't familiar with this fast growing condition.I'm the president of the autism foundation in the Bahamas and we too have lots of questions,lack of aid,funding,teachers and facilities and parents who struggle.hopefully CNN can keep the subject on the air as all mentions help.my phone has not stop ringing and the local media want more info.all this is very positive.thanks for bringing the subject of autism to the world which needs to be ready for a large population of affected persons

    January 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  24. Beth Robinson

    Anderson, I appreciate that something, anything is being televised about autism. I am the proud grandmother of a beautiful little boy who is on the autism spectrum. Frankly, I don't give a damn about Wakefield or all this hoorah ... what I care about is people waking up and seeing that something is happening to our children and all this controversy should be directed at working to find the reason why and then doing something about it!!! Way too much talk and absolutely very little action. I can tell you that my grandson was progressing normally with early speech. He had his MMR at 18 mos, had a terrible reaction and nothing was ever the same. We are most blessed that this child is on the good end, if one can say that, of this huge spectrum disorder. He is the light of all our lives and does well because his mother is absolutely diligent about his gluten free/casin free diet and understanding all his needs. I find it disgusting that this country cannot seem to produce enough green vaccine for our kids; if the shots are seperated they become more expensive and we just learned that our pediatrician can no longer get these "safe" vaccines due to the mfg company going out of business due to cost. I also wonder WHY must such small bodies with fragile immune systems be subjected to so many shots at one time. Is it for dr's convenience? Why are our children not important enough to keep their medical necessities free from poison? There are so many more shots given these days ... it is something like 10 yrs ago to 30 today. Overkill??? And I am sure that you will hear plenty of "smack" about Jenny McCarthy due to her forward in Wakefield's book ... for my money, she stood up and shouted and people actually listened. She's a mother on a mission and I applaud her for taking a stand. There is nothing more fierce than a mother protecting her child. This is a very real life changing epidemic that touches virtually everyone these days. Forget Wakefield and focus on the lack of attention that this disorder receives and push for this country to actually value and protect our children. They are precious and under attack.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  25. Tania Richard

    As I see all of this controversy going on, and as I watch over my sweet 4-year old boy who was diagnosed with autism last March, I am just filled with anger and frustration.

    There is a reason why so many children are being diagnosed with autism, and no doctor can say it is just because "the Term didn't exist before"!!

    I don't blame vaccines for the cause, however, I do feel they should be given at a slower pace and at a different rate in a child's life. My son received his MMR vaccination in 2007 and I was reluctant, but went ahead with it anyway – he was not the same afterward. I will never forget the beige coloured pamphlet which listed the benefits of multiple vaccines – the number one benefit was so that "parents don't need to take as much time off from work"! If a parent is not ready to take an hour off from work to get his or her child vaccinated, then maybe they should reconsider having children altogether!

    January 6, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
  26. dana

    After watching your interview with Deer this evening, I was dismayed by his words. When my son was immunized, he became very ill...I knew that there was something wrong...and things haven't been the same since...my son is 29 now...the details are my living nightmare and like everyone I was ready to live the dream with my son

    January 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  27. Dorothy Barnekow

    I would like to know why the themerasol (spelling?) was taken out of the MMR if the shots were perfectly OK. Why didn't they just leave that preservative in the MMR? I have 4 grandchildren affected by Autism. I sometimes think that something in the shots might trigger autism in some children, just like peanut butter (which is perfectly safe for most) triggers a horrific allergic reaction in some children. Maybe someday they can test babies to make sure the shots won't have any affect on them.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  28. M. Futrell

    This was an excellent report and I'm sorry that I didn't get in at the beginning.

    I have 2 suggestions for further investigation: the large pediatric medical associations and others refer to about 15 studies which allegedly find that there is no relationship between vaccines (particularly the MMR vaccine) and autism. However, in the autism community, these studies are largely discredited due to poor metholdology, poor sample size, poor science, as well as conflicts of interest. Please look into the validity of these studies. Keep the pediatric medical establishment honest.

    Also could you look into what is going on with the Vaccine Court? They have found in numerous cases that there was a link between vaccines and autism and have made payouts to families. However, in most (or all) cases, there have been extraordinary circumstances. Keep them honest!

    Thanks –

    January 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  29. Carla

    Personally, I think that there must be a link. In 1983 children recieve 10 vaccines and the rate of children diagnosed was 1 in 10,000. Now kids recieve 36 vaccines before the age 5 and the rate is 1 in 110. Of course every child that becomes vaccinated will not get autism and this is how every person may not have a reaction to the flu shot. A child must have a genetic predisposition that makes them more susceptable. I am a parent of a child with autsim and I saw his recression. It's so easy for people who are not parents of kids with regressive autism to dissagree with these findinds. I can assure you, if you were a parent of a child who developed autism after being born typical, you wont be so quick to agree with Brian Dere. Perhaps, Mr. Dere should use is energy and investigative journalism skills to help find a cure for autism or attemp to find what causes it or triggers it. To spend time and money trying to refute another persons research instead of attempted to assist is in fact the shameful. I live in the Bahamas and we are experiencing the same high levels of kids being diagnosed on the spectrum.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  30. Gina

    while i dont support a study that is fraudulent, i have to say as the parent of an 8 year old boy who showed absolutely NO signs of ASD until given 5 shots in one day (and almost immediately displayed ASD behaviors) i would love to see someone look in to how many children who were never given vaccinations have been diagnosed with ASD?

    January 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  31. christina

    Beware. Science is full of corruption and biases. This tricky case takes true discernment, specialised insight and experience in the medical arena. In general, there are many dangerous interests at play. And I personally will never judge a doctor who has been stripped of his license. My mother would not be alive today, if her present 'dethroned' medical practitioner (whose license was offered back, but refused), a victim of the early 80s witch hunt vs. all things holistic. Her conventional doctor had thrown up his arms, not knowing what to do...Ironic. Yes, please...you are a good soul Anderson, but I believe in this case you may be especially rigid and hard in the wrong camp...Beware, with all due respect.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  32. June M Rittenhouse

    Regarding vaccinating children: The Amish do not get their children vaccinated; what is their rate of autism? Why don't we hear anything about them? Also, it's only common sense that when it comes to vaccines, one size does not fit all. If you really want to cover both sides of this issue you need to invite Dr. Andrew Moulden, a brain specialist from Canada to be on your show. This man is brilliant, and he has done volumes of research on this issue.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  33. Liz

    Denise, you are the one that is misguided...

    1) Thimerisol (mercury) has been taken out of all vaccines except for a portion of flu shots (most don't have it). Have you had to change your entire mercury argument now that the mercury exposure has PLUMMETED but the incidence of autism continues to rise???
    2)I'm sure that the ONLY thing that is different between mainstream American children and the Amish are the vaccines! I mean, they eat the same food from the supermarket and fast food restaurants; they all have cell phones and electricity and gas stoves and cars and.... (the list goes on and on)
    3) There have been some vaccines that have causes real illness (previous pertussis and rotavirus) – and they've been removed. If there were a true link, they'd be removed too.

    The rates of autism continue to rise and we still have very few answers. In response to the concern over vaccines MILLIONS dollars and hours have been spent on researching this topic – we need to move on to focus on other things that might be causing autism,

    January 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  34. laurie

    Hello there,
    My son is 15 and has recoverred from autism. Yes that's right recoverred! He has been treated with the ONLY SCIENCE BASED treatment there is for autism and that is Lovaas Applied Behavior Analysis. I am so fed up with crap science that others want to believe including actors (of which I was one). It infuriates me when people want to give testimonials about their children without any science based, peer reviewed back up. Shame on them. They do more harm than good.

    Laurie Guerra, Director- Autism Society of British Columbia

    January 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  35. Matt

    Pharm. companies are too big and totally cloaked in secrecy despite what the CDC, FDA and any other 3, 4 or 5 lettered abbreviated government agency tells you. It's time we are told what is being pumped into our children.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  36. Stephen

    I am a father of a child with autism. My wife and I have believed for a long time that vaccines do not cause autism. I am glad this fraudulent information is exposed. I truly hope that one day we will know the true cause. It's hard when we so want to know what the cause is. However people need to deal with facts and set emotion aside. Thank you.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  37. Ben


    I want to thank you for tonights reprting on the supposed link between Autimsm and mmr vaccines.

    You had a piece at the end of your program on "Autism Spectrum" disorders. This is significant issue many parents in the world (not just in the US) are dealing with. It is also part of the lie regarding Autism.

    Austusm is heartbreaking, but the whole reason Autistic spectrum disgnoses are increasing in this country is due to the spectrum, something that has been invented to allow some parents to label their children, whose have slower developmental issues.

    This in turn allows these children t be diagnosed and eledgable for "therapy", s we are feeding the therapy monster in this country.

    Austism doesn't go away and it not a spectrum. It is a developmental problem and we do not know what causes it.

    I appreciate your courage in reporting on this issue!

    January 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  38. tgaspar

    Great investigative story on Austism!
    I would like to see this story expanded too third world nations and compare the Austism rising rate to the UK, USA and CANADA.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  39. Carole Eff

    Brian Deer has done some good work in the past but I find his Autism research may be a witch hunt. For more info on Dr Wakefield – google his interview with Dr Mercola.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  40. Keith

    It is the vehemence of the attacks on the vaccination possiblecause that makes me suspicious. I find it remarkable that the number of required vaccines keeps increasing and we overwhelm the immine sytems of children with vaccines for HPV, Rotovirus, and Chicken Pox as well as MMR, Polio, Tetnus, Putussis etc... Before we decide to add another maybe a bit of cost benefit analysis should be done. It is one thing, to vaccinate against Polio and another to use kids as pin cushions. Wakefield's research may be flawed, but I will hedge my bet and keep my autistic son far away from more vaccines

    January 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  41. Fred Hausman

    I am the parent of an eighteen year old girl with autism. It was 16 and half years ago that my daughters life and ours began to change. Right at 18 months my daughter stopped doing evrything a normal 18 month old child would do...soon after her MMR Vaccine!! Can't prove it, but certainly there must be a connection. She is doing well but after 16 years of therapy, she is non-verbal and needs care virtually 24 hours a day! This is a crime, and nobody wants to deal with the real epidemic of 1 out of 110 children are on the spectrum..

    January 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  42. James Currie

    Thanks Anderson. Mr Deer put his case clearly. It was up to Dr Wakefield to state a defence of his thesis by presenting valid evidence.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  43. Michelle Hess

    Their is clear evidence that vaccines are disruptive to development of nervous systems for infants and toddlers, us baby boomers were vaccinated at much later ages when we could handle the side affects

    January 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  44. Pat B

    Anderson, it looks like to me, the only question is should you let your child have the combined shot or is it "maybe" safer to have the shots spread out. And, if you have a choice, you can choose which route to take. What I can gather from your interview, no one has a definite answer and if I still had a small child, I believe that I would choose to have the shots spread out. That's it.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  45. John Bower

    I have worked extensively with the developmentally disabled people for years.
    This country needs to embrace this population to a greater degree.
    These folks are citizens.
    We are a long way from the days of "Willowbrook", and other institutions, but we still have a long way to go.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  46. Kelly

    I have 3 children born at 2months premature weighing 2lbs 12oz has had all vaccines 1child born 2 weeks late 7lbs13oz has had all vaccines and another child born 3 weeks early has had a vaccines and all three children are just fine. I think that parents that don't vaccinate their children is a type of neglect.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  47. carterzell

    Thank you, thank you thank you! Finally someone not needing a 'cause' can shed some actual light on this. Great job Mr. Cooper.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  48. Denise Nason

    Anderson the mercury isn't out of the vaccinations; just less. Added more aluminum. Do research and read his book. Amish children do not get autism. Pharma and government only do studies on genetics. I guarantee if you spend one day with Wakefield u will think different.
    Talk to Jenny McCarthy; there is so much to be told.
    U need to learn more.
    Gastreonial problems is a big thing.That's part of the autism.
    Dig deeper Anderson.
    There is more to this.
    Many Doctors believe vaccines are a problem but won't come forwaed because of being retailated against.
    I believe after9 years of following this story that vaccines are a problem.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  49. chava abbott

    Dear Mr. Cooper,
    I am certainly no medical doctor. However, do I believe that things can
    "cause" diseases for no reason? Yes. Ask yourself this Mr. Cooper: How big was the study "they" did? What was the sampling like? Those are the first questions I would ask, before deeming this study a success or failure.
    Sincerely yours,
    Ms. Chava Abbott

    January 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  50. Annie Kate

    A study that only uses 12 cases to build their findings should have been red-flagged from the start. 12 cases is not enough to be representative of the population of children for a finding to be anything but a tenuous theory that needs more testing to be proved.

    I'm concerned about the children that have not been vaccinated because of this fraudulent study and the number of parents who will still let this influence their decision on whether to have their children receive the vaccinations now.

    January 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • angela uren

      I agree since when does a study of twelve hold such significance when there are so many being diagnosed . Seems a little light if you ask me.

      January 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
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