The Instigator
devcoch
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
ajisthetruth
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Vaccines are needed and do not cause Autism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
devcoch
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2017 Category: Health
Updated: 12 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 827 times Debate No: 99151
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)

 

devcoch

Pro

I would like someone to debate with and attempt to defend vaccinations against those who believe they are bad despite overwhelming evidence contrary to this.

The continued spread of misinformation surrounding vaccines and them causing Autism or not being needed because some think they are harmful is actually harmful to our population. The argument that since the disease is not prevalent anymore should mean we don't need the vaccine is not correct and we have seen breakouts of diseases we had very much under control due to this new trend of anti-vaxxing.

State your full position first, then argument, and then your closing statement.
ajisthetruth

Con

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC, the World Health Organization, and the Institute of Medicine all agree that there's probably no relationship between autism and vaccines.

But if the case is that solid, why do so many people remain unconvinced, from actress Jenny McCarthy, who went on Oprah to say she believes that a vaccination caused her son's autism and wrote a book about it, to Sen. John McCain, who, at a campaign event earlier this year, said he thought there was "pretty strong evidence" that some vaccines cause autism.

Their beliefs may have been validated in March when federal officials said that a Georgia girl was entitled to compensation because vaccines may have aggravated an underlying condition, causing autism-like symptoms.

And researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) said in March that they are still taking a careful look into parent concerns that vaccines are tied to the disorder.

related content
SLIDESHOW
Top 10 Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
Start
"I think there's a lot of emotion around the issue of autism now. It engenders a lot of fear in parents and clinicians alike," Lee Sanders, MD, MPH, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, tells WebMD.

Sanders knows that emotion firsthand, as the father of two young girls. "Until they turned 2 or 3, that was probably the thing I feared most," Sanders says, referring to autism.

Sanders strongly supports vaccines, saying their benefits far outweigh their risks. But he understands where the concern about vaccines and autism comes from.

That concern is difficult to suppress for a number of reasons. Parents are bombarded with information that can take a life of its own online. The concepts around scientific testing are difficult to understand, making it tough to separate good science from bad. Until scientists can prove exactly what causes autism, it's difficult to definitively disprove anything.

"In the absence of any answers from the scientific community, any scintilla of suggestion is going to get magnified by the social process of talking it out," Sanders says. "All you need is one individual's story and it will expand."

And when something bad happens to a child, people demand to know what or whom is to blame. "Parents are clamoring for a cause," says David Tayloe, MD, a pediatrician in Greensboro, N.C., and president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

"It's a terrible condition. It upsets families, and it upsets me." But all the fear and anger about vaccines is misplaced, he says. "There's just nothing there."
http://www.webmd.com...
Debate Round No. 1
devcoch

Pro

Let's Start with how Jenny McCarthy is not a source for science. She's not a scientist, does not study these things, and continues to perpetuate this debunked myth. I would love to see a source where a Dr. said, and other doctors have backed them up, that vaccines caused her sons autism.

You admit that all of these medical scientific institutions agree that there is no correlation between autism and vaccines. All medical procedures and medicines have side effects. There will always be a tiny percentage that the vaccine or medicine or whatever may not work on everyone and may have adverse side effects. You are warned of the side effects before you are given whatever it is. That is the trade-off for not having smallpox anymore, almost getting rid of polio, and many other diseases. Autism is not one of those side effects (and autism-like symptoms is not autism...). Not to mention that vaccines are very important to keep diseases under control and not go backward to widespread disease and death.

"Myth #1: Vaccines cause autism.
The widespread fear that vaccines increase risk of autism originated with a 1997 study published by Andrew Wakefield, a British surgeon. The article was published in The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal, suggesting that the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine was increasing autism in British children.

The paper has since been completely discredited due to serious procedural errors, undisclosed financial conflicts of interest, and ethical violations. Andrew Wakefield lost his medical license and the paper was retracted from The Lancet.

Nonetheless, the hypothesis was taken seriously, and several other major studies were conducted. None of them found a link between any vaccine and the likelihood of developing autism.

Today, the true causes of autism remain a mystery, but to the discredit of the autism-vaccination link theory, several studies have now identified symptoms of autism in children well before they receive the MMR vaccine. And even more recent research provides evidence that autism develops in utero, well before a baby is born or receives vaccinations."
http://www.publichealth.org...

To ask why people still believe it may be true, to me is a silly question. Many people believe in many things that aren't true. There are people who think the world is flat. People remaining unconvinced does not equal something is true.
ajisthetruth

Con

Rates of autism have skyrocketed 1000% since 1990, yet defenders of vaccines and the pharmaceutical industry keep scratching their heads in confusion: What could be causing this? Lots of clues point to vaccines as one of the primary contributing factors to increased rates of autism.

In this article, we present supporting quotes from some of the industry's top authors who write about the possible links between autism and vaccines. Enjoy this collection of research.

Autism and vaccines There is also a strong connection between all forms of vaccinations and autism. A U.S. study found that children who received vaccines containing a preservative called thimerosal, which is almost 50 percent mercury, were more than twice as likely to develop autism than children who did not. Although mercury has been removed from regular childhood vaccines due to growing safety worries, it is still present in other vaccines children might get.

- Toxic Overload: A Doctor's Plan for Combating the Illnesses Caused by Chemicals in Our Foods, Our Homes, and Our Medicine Cabinets by Dr. Paula Baillie-Hamilton

Every year more and more children are being diagnosed with learning disabilities and autism. What is the cause? According to many experts, including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council and author of Deadly Immunity, our government is to blame. There's growing evidence that shows that a drug called thimerosal is to blame. This drug is found in vaccines. The fact is the more vaccines kids get, the more autism, learning disabilities, and lifelong illness develops. The drug thimerosal is a preservative that was put in vaccines back in the 1930s.

- More Natural Cures Revealed: Previously Censored Brand Name Products That Cure Disease by Kevin Trudeau

Autism is a catastrophic epidemic with an increase of 1,500% in the UK in the last decade. In California one in 150 children is autistic - a 54% increase in just 2001/2! The primary causes of autism known to come from vaccines, maternal overexposure to heavy metals and antibiotics, heavy metals from industry pollution of the air and water, and the chemicals used in the electronics industry. Significantly, the first cases of autism were described in the US shortly after the vaccines for whooping cough were introduced in the 1940s.

- Dispatches From the War Zone of Environmental Health by Helke Ferrie

Could the number of vaccines now recommended actually be contributing to the rise in children's chronic diseases like asthma, allergies, autism, autoimmune disease, diabetes, obesity, some cancers, and the growing epidemic of developmental disorders? Remember, in just twenty-four years, we've gone from fewer than ten vaccines to fifty vaccines, and there are more on the way. As the childhood health crisis worsens, more and more parents, and physicians, are starting to question the effect these vaccines might be having on our children's developing immune systems.

- Growing Up Green: Baby and Child Care: Volume 2 in the Bestselling Green This! Series (Green This!) by Deirdre Imus

Mercury toxicity is a suspected cause of a steep rise - a tenfold increase between 1984 and 1994 - in diagnosed cases of autism in children around the world, according to some scientists. Specifically, the culprit is thimerosal, a mercury-based compound used as a preservative in vaccines commonly administered to babies and infants. Thimerosal-free vaccines are available. If you have a child who will be receiving vaccinations, ask for and make sure thimerosal-free vaccines are used.
https://www.organicconsumers.org...
Debate Round No. 2
devcoch

Pro

Wow. I had hoped you would actually use an argument rather than post an article that cites books many of which are horribly rated, haven't been rated, or are written by authors who have been shown to be wrong here time and time again. It's actually disappointing you used such debunked and proven to be wrong sources. The ingredients in vaccines have not been show to be related to autism what so ever. Studies have shown this over and over again. All of those quotes from those books that you posted basically do not assert anything they just posit and wonder about if maybe vaccines could cause autism. They have no proof behind them and nothing to back them up.

"Myth: The measles vaccine causes autism.

Fact: "There's absolutely no scientific evidence to support this claim. There is, however, a slew of research that shows the complete opposite: that vaccines do not cause autism," says Richard Rupp, M.D., director of the office of vaccine clinical trials at the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. This myth persists because of a fraudulent study in which the lead researcher, a British doctor who has since lost his medical license, lied about finding a connection between the measles vaccine and autism. It doesn't help that the more noticeable signs of autism tend to appear around the 12-month mark, after a child gets a series of vaccines. "Often, signs of the disorder were present when the baby was younger. It's just that autism becomes easier to detect when a child starts missing milestones," says Dr. Rupp. Studies show that both vaccinated and unvaccinated children are equally at risk for autism."

"Myth: Vaccines contain mercury, and that's bad.

Fact: Vaccines used to contain thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative, but is a different compound than mercury. More important, it hasn't been used in childhood vaccines since 2001, when the FDA opted to remove it even though studies show it's safe. Thimerosal's purpose was to keep bacteria from growing in multidose vaccine solutions. Vaccines that were once preserved with thimerosal are now put into single-dose vials or syringes that aren't susceptible to bacterial contamination."
https://www.google.com...

"Vaccine ingredients do not cause autism.
One vaccine ingredient that has been studied specifically is thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used to prevent contamination of multidose vials of vaccines. Research shows that thimerosal does not cause ASD. In fact, a 2004 scientific review by the IOM concluded that "the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal""containing vaccines and autism." Since 2003, there have been nine CDC-funded or conducted studies[PDF - 357 KB] that have found no link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and ASD, as well as no link between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and ASD in children.

Between 1999 and 2001, thimerosal was removed or reduced to trace amounts in all childhood vaccines except for some flu vaccines. This was done as part of a broader national effort to reduce all types of mercury exposure in children before studies were conducted that determined that thimerosal was not harmful. It was done as a precaution. Currently, the only childhood vaccines that contain thimerosal are flu vaccines packaged in multidose vials. Thimerosal-free alternatives are also available for flu vaccine. For more information, see the Timeline for Thimerosal in Vaccines.

Besides thimerosal, some people have had concerns about other vaccine ingredients in relation to ASD as well. However, no links have been found between any vaccine ingredients and ASD."
https://www.cdc.gov...

These are facts. You have provided exactly what I said, overwhelming evidence contrary to vaccines being harmful or causing autism.

,
ajisthetruth

Con

Abstract

Although child vaccination rates remain high, some parental concern persists that vaccines might cause autism. Three specific hypotheses have been proposed: (1) the combination measles-mumps-rubella vaccine causes autism by damaging the intestinal lining, which allows the entrance of encephalopathic proteins; (2) thimerosal, an ethylmercury-containing preservative in some vaccines, is toxic to the central nervous system; and (3) the simultaneous administration of multiple vaccines overwhelms or weakens the immune system. We will discuss the genesis of each of these theories and review the relevant epidemiological evidence.

A worldwide increase in the rate of autism diagnoses"likely driven by broadened diagnostic criteria and increased awareness"has fueled concerns that an environmental exposure like vaccines might cause autism. Theories for this putative association have centered on the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, thimerosal, and the large number of vaccines currently administered. However, both epidemiological and biological studies fail to support these claims.

MMR

On 28 February 1998, Andrew Wakefield, a British gastroenterologist, and colleagues [1] published a paper in The Lancet that described 8 children whose first symptoms of autism appeared within 1 month after receiving an MMR vaccine. All 8 of these children had gastrointestinal symptoms and signs and lymphoid nodular hyperplasia revealed on endoscopy. From these observations, Wakefield postulated that MMR vaccine caused intestinal inflammation that led to translocation of usually nonpermeable peptides to the bloodstream and, subsequently, to the brain, where they affected development.

Several issues undermine the interpretation by Wakefield et al. [1] of this case series. First, the self-referred cohort did not include control subjects, which precluded the authors from determining whether the occurrence of autism following receipt of MMR vaccine was causal or coincidental. Because W64;50,000 British children per month received MMR vaccine between ages 1 and 2 years"at a time when autism typically presents"coincidental associations were inevitable. Indeed, given the prevalence of autism in England in 1998 of 1 in 2000 children [2], W64;25 children per month would receive a diagnosis of the disorder soon after receiving MMR vaccine by chance alone. Second, endoscopic or neuropsychological assessments were not blind, and data were not collected systematically or completely. Third, gastrointestinal symptoms did not predate autism in several children, which is inconsistent with the notion that intestinal inflammation facilitated bloodstream invasion of encephalopathic peptides. Fourth, measles, mumps, or rubella vaccine viruses have not been found to cause chronic intestinal inflammation or loss of intestinal barrier function. Indeed, a recent study by Hornig et al. [3] found that the measles vaccine virus genome was not detected more commonly in children with or without autism. Fifth, putative encephalopathic peptides traveling from the intestine to the brain have never been identified. In contrast, the genes that have been associated with autism spectrum disorder to date have been found to code for endogenous proteins that influence neuronal synapse function, neuronal cell adhesion, neuronal activity regulation, or endosomal trafficking [4].

Although no data supporting an association between MMR vaccine and autism existed and a plausible biological mechanism was lacking, several epidemiologic studies were performed to address parental fears created by the publication by Wakefield et al. [1] (table 1). Fortunately, several features of large-scale vaccination programs allowed for excellent descriptive and observational studies"specifically, large numbers of subjects, which generated substantial statistical power; high-quality vaccination records, which provided reliable historical data; multinational use of similar vaccine constituents and schedules; electronic medical records, which facilitated accurate analysis of outcome data; and the relatively recent introduction of MMR vaccine in some countries, which allowed for before and after comparisons.

Table 1
Studies that fail to support an association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autism.
View largeDownload slide
Studies that fail to support an association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autism.

Table 1
Studies that fail to support an association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autism.
View largeDownload slide
Studies that fail to support an association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autism.

Ecological studies.Researchers in several countries performed ecological studies that addressed the question of whether MMR vaccine causes autism. Such analyses employ large databases that compare vaccination rates with autism diagnoses at the population level.

In the United Kingdom, researchers evaluated 498 autistic children born from 1979 through 1992 who were identified by computerized health records from 8 health districts [5]. Although a trend toward increasing autism diagnoses by year of birth was confirmed, no change in the rates of autism diagnoses after the 1987 introduction of MMR vaccine was observed. Further, MMR vaccination rates of autistic children were similar to those of the entire study population. Also, investigators did not observe a clustering of autism diagnoses relative to the time that children received MMR vaccine, nor did they observe a difference in age at autism diagnosis between those vaccinated and not vaccinated or between those vaccinated before or after 18 months of age. These authors also found no differences in autism rates among vaccinated and unvaccinated children when they extended their analysis to include a longer time after MMR exposure or a second dose of MMR [6].

Also in the United Kingdom, researchers performed a time-trend analysis using the General Practice Research Database"a high-quality, extensively validated electronic medical record with virtually complete vaccination data [7]. More than 3 million person-years of observation during 1988"1999 confirmed an increase in autism diagnoses despite stable MMR vaccination rates.

In California, researchers compared year-specific MMR vaccination rates of kindergarten students with the yearly autism case load of the California Department of Developmental Services during 1980"1994 [8]. As was observed in the United Kingdom, the increase in the number of autism diagnoses did not correlate with MMR vaccination rates.

In Canada, researchers estimated the prevalence of pervasive developmental disorder with respect to MMR vaccination in 27,749 children from 55 schools in Quebec [9]. Autism rates increased coincident with a decrease in MMR vaccination rates. The results were unchanged when both exposure and outcome definitions varied, including a strict diagnosis of autism.

Additional population-based studies considered the relationship between MMR vaccine and the "new variant" form of autism proposed by Wakefield et al. [1]"specifically, developmental regression with gastrointestinal symptoms. Although it is difficult to analyze such a phenomenon when it is unclear that one exists (which complicates the formulation of a case definition), conclusions may be gleaned from the data with respect to developmental regression alone (i.e., autism irrespective of coincident bowel problems).

In England, researchers performed a cross-sectional study of 262 autistic children and demonstrated no difference in age of first parental concerns or rate of developmental regression by exposure to MMR vaccine [10]. No association between developmental regression and gastrointestinal symptoms was observed.

In London, an analysis of 473 autistic children used the 1987 introduction of MMR to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated cohorts [11]. The incidence of developmental regression did not differ between cohorts, and the authors observed no difference in the prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms between vaccinated and unvaccinated autistic children.

Two conclusions are evident from these data. First, the explicit consideration of developmental regression among autistic children does not alter the consistent independence of MMR vaccine and autism. Second, these data argue against the existence of a new variant form of autism.

Retrospective, observational studies.Four retrospective, observational studies addressed the relationship between MMR vaccine and autism.

In the United Kingdom, 71 MMR-vaccinated autistic children were compared with 284 MMR-vaccinated matched control children through use of the Doctor's Independent Network, a general practice database [12]. The authors observed no differences between case and control children in practitioner consultation rates"a surrogate for parental concerns about their child's development"within 6 months after MMR vaccination, which suggests that the diagnosis of autism was not temporally related to MMR vaccination.

In Finland, using national registers, researchers linked hospitalization records to vaccination records in 535,544 children vaccinated during 1982"1986 [13]. Of 309 children hospitalized for autistic disorders, no clustering occurred relative to the time of MMR vaccination.

In Denmark, again using a national registry, researchers determined vaccination status and autism diagnosis in 537,303 children born during 1991"1998 [14]. The authors observed no differences in the relative risk of autism between those who did and those who did not receive MMR vaccine. Among autistic children, no relationship between date of vaccination and development of autism was observed.

In metropolitan Atlanta, using a developmental surveillance program, researchers compared 624 autistic children with 1824 matched control children [15]. Vaccination records were obtained from state immunization forms. The authors observed no differences in age at vaccination between autistic and nonautistic children, which suggests that early age of MMR vaccine exposure was not a risk factor for autism.

Prospective observational studies.Capitalizing on a long-term vaccination project maintained by the National Board of Health, investigators in Finland performed 2 prospective cohort studies. Researchers prospectively recorded adverse events associated with MMR-vaccinated children during 1982"1996 and identified 31 with gastrointestinal symptoms; none of the children developed autism [16]. A further analysis of this cohort revealed no vaccine-associated cases of autism among 1.8 million children [17]. Although this cohort was analyzed using a passive surveillance system, the complete absence of an association between gastrointestinal disease and autism after MMR vaccination was compelling.

Thimerosal

Thimerosal"50% ethylmercury by weight"is an antibacterial compound that has been used effectively in multidose vaccine preparations for >50 years [18] (thimerosal is not contained in live-virus vaccines, such as MMR). In 1997, the US Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act mandated identification and quantification of mercury in all food and drugs; 2 years later, the US Food and Drug Administration found that children might be receiving as much as 187.5 "g of mercury within the first 6 months of life. Despite the absence of data suggesting harm from quantities of ethylmercury contained in vaccines, in 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Public Health Service recommended the immediate removal of mercury from all vaccines given to young infants [19]. Widespread and predictable misinterpretation of this conservative, precautionary directive, coupled with a public already concerned by a proposed but unsubstantiated link between vaccination and autism, understandably provoked concern among parents, which led to the birth of several antimercury advocacy groups. However, because the signs and symptoms of autism are clearly distinct from those of mercury poisoning, concerns about mercury as a cause of autism were"similar to those with MMR vaccine"biologically implausible [20]; children with mercury poisoning show characteristic motor, speech, sensory, psychiatric, visual, and head circumference changes that are either fundamentally different from those of or absent in children with autism. Consistent with this, a study performed by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention years later showed that mercury in vaccines did not cause even subtle signs or symptoms of mercury poisoning [21].

Despite the biological implausibility of the contention that thimerosal in vaccines caused autism, 7 studies"again descriptive or observational"were performed (table 2). Four other studies have been reviewed in detail elsewhere [28] but are not discussed here because their methodology is incomplete and unclear and, thus, cause difficulty in drawing meaningful conclusions.

Table 2
Studies that fail to support an association between thimerosal in vaccines and autism.
View largeDownload slide
Studies that fail to support an association between thimerosal in vaccines and autism.

Table 2
Studies that fail to support an association between thimerosal in vaccines and autism.
View largeDownload slide
Studies that fail to support an association between thimerosal in vaccines and autism.

Ecological studies.Three ecological studies performed in 3 different countries compared the incidence of autism with thimerosal exposure from vaccines. In each case, the nationwide removal of thimerosal"which occurred in 1992 in Europe and in 2001 in the United States"allowed robust comparisons of vaccination with thimerosal-containing and thimerosal-free products, as follows:

In Sweden and Denmark, researchers found a relatively stable incidence of autism when thimerosal-containing vaccines were in use (1980"1990), including years when children were exposed to as much as 200 "g of ethylmercury (concentrations similar to peak US exposures) [22]. However, in 1990, a steady increase in the incidence of autism began in both countries and continued through the end of the study period in 2000, despite the removal of thimerosal from vaccines in 1992.

In Denmark, researchers performed a study comparing the incidence of autism in children who had received 200 "g (1961"1970), 125 "g (1970"1992), or 0 "g of thimerosal (1992"2000) and again demonstrated no relationship between thimerosal exposure and autism [23].

In Quebec, researchers grouped 27,749 children from 55 schools by date of birth and estimated thimerosal exposure on the basis of the corresponding Ministry of Health vaccine schedules. School records were obtained to determine age-specific rates of pervasive developmental disorder [9]. Thimerosal exposure and pervasive developmental disorder diagnosis were found to be independent variables. Similar to previous analyses, the highest rates of pervasive developmental disorder were found in cohorts exposed to thimerosal-free vaccines. The results were unchanged when both exposure and outcome definitions varied.

Cohort studies.Four cohort studies that examined thimerosal exposure and autism have been performed, as follows:

In Denmark, researchers examined >1200 children with autism that was identified during 1990"1996, which comprised W64;3 million person-years. They found that the risk of autism did not differ between children vaccinated with thimerosal-containing vaccines and those vaccinated with thimerosal-free vaccines or between children who received greater or lower quantities of thimerosal [24]. They also found that the rates of autism increased after the removal of thimerosal from all vaccines.

In the United States, using the Vaccine Safety Data Link, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined 140,887 US children born during 1991"1999, including >200 children with autism [25]. The researchers found no relationship between receipt of thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.

In England, researchers prospectively followed 12,810 children for whom they had complete vaccination records who were born during 1991"1992, and they found no relationship between early thimerosal exposure and deleterious neurological or psychological outcomes [26].

In the United Kingdom, researchers evaluated the vaccination records of 100,572 children born during 1988"1997, using the General Practice Research Database, 104 of whom were affected with autism [27]. No relationship between thimerosal exposure and autism diagnosis was observed.

Too Many Vaccines

When studies of MMR vaccine and thimerosal-containing vaccines failed to show an association with autism, alternative theories emerged. The most prominent theory suggests that the simultaneous administration of multiple vaccines overwhelms or weakens the immune system and creates an interaction with the nervous system that triggers autism in a susceptible host. This theory was recently popularized in the wake of a concession by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program with regard to the case of a 9-year-old girl with a mitochondrial enzyme deficiency whose encephalopathy, which included features of autism spectrum disorder, was judged to have worsened following the receipt of multiple vaccines at age 19 months [29]. Despite reassurances by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program's action should not be interpreted as scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism, many in the lay press and the public have not been reassured.

The notion that children might be receiving too many vaccines too soon and that these vaccines either overwhelm an immature immune system or generate a pathologic, autism-inducing autoimmune response is flawed for several reasons:

Vaccines do not overwhelm the immune system. Although the infant immune system is relatively naive, it is immediately capable of generating a vast array of protective responses; even conservative estimates predict the capacity to respond to thousands of vaccines simultaneously [30]. Consistent with this theoretical exercise, combinations of vaccines induce immune responses comparable to those given individually [31]. Also, although the number of recommended childhood vaccines has increased during the past 30 years, with advances in protein chemistry and recombinant DNA technology, the immunologic load has actually decreased. The 14 vaccines given today contain <200 bacterial and viral proteins or polysaccharides, compared with >3000 of these immunological components in the 7 vaccines administered in 1980 [30]. Further, vaccines represent a minute fraction of what a child's immune system routinely navigates; the average child is infected with 4"6 viruses per year [32]. The immune response elicited from the vast antigen exposure of unattenuated viral replication supersedes that of even multiple, simultaneous vaccines.

multiple vaccinations do not weaken the immune system. Vaccinated and unvaccinated children do not differ in their susceptibility to infections not prevented by vaccines [33,",35]. In other words, vaccination does not suppress the immune system in a clinically relevant manner. However, infections with some vaccine-preventable diseases predispose children to severe, invasive infections with other pathogens [36, 37]. Therefore, the available data suggest that vaccines do not weaken the immune system.

Autism is not an immune-mediated disease. Unlike autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, there is no evidence of immune activation or inflammatory lesions in the CNS of people with autism [38]. In fact, current data suggest that genetic variation in neuronal circuitry that affects synaptic development might in part account for autistic behavior [39]. Thus, speculation that an exaggerated or inappropriate immune response to vaccina-tion precipitates autism is at variance with current scientific data that address the pathogenesis of autism.

No studies have compared the incidence of autism in vaccinated, unvaccinated, or alternatively vaccinated children (i.e., schedules that spread out vaccines, avoid combination vaccines, or include only select vaccines). These studies would be difficult to perform because of the likely differences among these 3 groups in health care seeking behavior and the ethics of experimentally studying children who have not received vaccines.

Conclusions

Twenty epidemiologic studies have shown that neither thimerosal nor MMR vaccine causes autism. These studies have been performed in several countries by many different investigators who have employed a multitude of epidemiologic and statistical methods. The large size of the studied populations has afforded a level of statistical power sufficient to detect even rare associations. These studies, in concert with the biological implausibility that vaccines overwhelm a child's immune system, have effectively dismissed the notion that vaccines cause autism. Further studies on the cause or causes of autism should focus on more-promising leads.

Acknowledgments

Potential conflicts of interest.P.A.O. is a coinventor and patent coholder of the rotavirus vaccine Rotateq and has served on a scientific advisory board to Merck. J.S.G.: no conflicts.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ajisthetruth 11 months ago
ajisthetruth
Bruh you can stfu too for real omg
Posted by devcoch 11 months ago
devcoch
Well, that is exactly what you did. Ha
Posted by ajisthetruth 11 months ago
ajisthetruth
bruh stfu casmojarvis
Posted by CosmoJarvis 11 months ago
CosmoJarvis
Classic AJ. Still plagiarizing articles.
Posted by devcoch 1 year ago
devcoch
my grandfather was also born with Aspergers, and he sure did not get it from a vaccination.
Posted by WE_ARE_NUMBER_ONE 1 year ago
WE_ARE_NUMBER_ONE
I have Aspergers (High Functioning Autism ) and I only got it when I was born not shots
Posted by devcoch 1 year ago
devcoch
Ha. There is none.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
CosmoJarvis
I'm eager to see the "endless stream of evidence" that "proves" vaccines cause autism.
Posted by devcoch 1 year ago
devcoch
To continue to keep diseases we have gotten under control and almost eradicated to stay that way. As I stated: "The argument that since the disease is not prevalent anymore should mean we don't need the vaccine is not correct"
Posted by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
Needed for what?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 11 months ago
dsjpk5
devcochajisthetruthTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: As Pro pointed out in round 3, Con plagiarized in round 2. This is a conduct violation. Not only that, but because of the plagiarism, Pro was the only one who offered original arguments throughout the entire debate. With this in mind, arguments go to Pro.
Vote Placed by nickrulercreator 11 months ago
nickrulercreator
devcochajisthetruthTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had much stronger arguments, and didn't have as many claims followed by little to no support.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 12 months ago
Ragnar
devcochajisthetruthTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con dropped every single argument pro made. ... Plus the extent of the plagiarism makes this in essence a FF. She literally copy/pasted her entire R1 from webMD, to include references to SLIDESHOW, not a single word of her own. R2 followed suit from another random website. Do I even need to mention that R3 was the same? Pro even commented on this without any response.