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12:17 PM on 06/17/2009
RaisingAwareness I'm a Fan of RaisingAwareness I'm a fan of this user permalink

Oh, come on. Do you really believe autism isn't more prevalant today than it was in say the 80's or earlier?

I wasn't presenting how I felt or think about incidence or prevalence of classic autism. I was explaining the differences in the numbers as related to the statements that are made about vaccines in relation to thimerosal and the question as to why the numbers keep rising even though thimerosal was largely removed from childhood vaccines in an abundance of caution in 2001.

But since you asked, I'm more inclined to the diagnostic substitution *theory* than an actual rise in ASD.
02:34 PM on 06/17/2009
"But since you asked, I'm more inclined to the diagnostic substitution *theory* than an actual rise in ASD." MNMommy

So if you believe this as do many if not most of the faithful pro-vaccine doctors and posters here, then where are all the autistic adults? This would mean that 1 out of every 150 adults should then be also diagnosed with ASD or say in New Jersey, 1 in 60 or 100, which is what the latest statistics say. If someone has the latest New Jersey stats and can post them that would be great.
02:40 PM on 06/17/2009
I linked to a few of them below.

Do you need repeat links or are you capable of scrolling?
10:14 AM on 06/17/2009
Thanks, Dr. Gordon. A simple statistic helps to clarify this issue. The numbers provided below are easily verifiable. If the following doesn't make you stop and think:
Current vaccine schedule recommended in the US for infants between 0 - 18 months of age: 36 individual vaccines administered at a rate between 3 and 6 vaccines per visit (adjusted for multivaccine shots and based on CDC and AAP data).
Autism rates in the US: 66 cases per 10,000 children (based on CDC data from 2002).
US infant mortality rate: 6.26 deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year (from CIA World Fact Book 2009)

Vaccine schedule recommended in Spain and most other Western European countries for infant children between 0 - 18 months of age: 19 total vaccines, administered at a rate of one single shot per visit.
Autism rates in Spain: 3 cases per 10,000 children (based on current data by Spanish autism experts).
Spain's infant mortality rate: 4.21 deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year (from CIA World Fact Book 2009)
01:20 PM on 06/17/2009
Well infant mortality rates are always much higher in nations without universal healthcare like America because of lack of access to pre natal care for the uninsured. SO I think that's a red herring right there.

However, I don't disagree with a slowed down schedule and with less shots per visit. These schedules have shown to be as adept at preventing diseases as the United States schedule. There is a bif difference between simply wanted a slowed down schedule as you suggest, which is perfectly reasonable, as opposed to the ones who say "vaccines don't actually cure diseases/infectious diseases aren't really dangerous/ all vaccines are inherently evil in any dosage at any schedule."
In the immortal words of Socrates, "I drank what?"
01:54 PM on 06/17/2009
"SO I think that's a red herring right there."


According to the CDC, the US has between 6 and 7 deaths per 10000 for infants. That's worse than some 3rd world countries.

I can't speak for everyone, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to go back to a schedule similar to Spain and France's. They also have a pretty good track record of prevention of infectious disease, far more so than the US. Now, whether this is also because of universal healthcare is a debate for another time.

Great post.
02:54 PM on 06/17/2009
The Hepatitis B vaccine drug, yes it is a drug, is injected directly into infants bloodstream at birth even though this historically was only given to prostitues and IV drugs users. You risk everything with even 1 shot. Here is 1 families story and images if you can handle it.
10:25 PM on 06/16/2009
Okay, I'm wondering about something.

Some of you say that the autism statistics stink and there hasn't really been an increase in the number of people with autism and there certainly isn't an epidemic. However, there is a simultaneous claim that the continuing rise in the number of cases proves that thimerosal isn't the culprit. So the cases are and are not rising at the same time...depending on whether it fits your argument?
06:22 AM on 06/17/2009
The debate whether autism numbers may not be rising as the statistics indicate stems from how it is measured or counted. Classic Autism diagnoses have not been rising in the way that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) numbers have been rising. Autism was not recognized by the DSM until 1980 in third edition, before that, Autism was a sub-category of schizophrenia, in 1980 a category was added in the DSM III and in 1994 it was greatly expanded in the DSM IV.

The argument is that many children who would never have been labeled "on the spectrum" or ASD are now being counted allowing for a sharp increase in the numbers, not that the number of children with issues has really risen, they have just been re-categorized.

11:11 AM on 06/17/2009
Oh, come on. Do you really believe autism isn't more prevalant today than it was in say the 80's or earlier? Go out and ask almost any adult if they've ever known a family who had an autistic child in the 80's or earlier. Then ask almost anyone if they know a family today who has an autistic child. It's that simple.
12:34 PM on 06/17/2009
"Classic Autism diagnoses have not been rising in the way that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) numbers have been rising." - I cannot find this in the article you cited. It has been a long time since 1994 .. even taking into account diagnostic "lag time"

Of course you are ignoring the UC DAVIS study published in Epidemiology this January:

" The methodology eliminated migration as a potential cause of the increase in the number of autism cases. It also revealed that no more than 56 percent of the estimated 600-to-700 percent increase, that is, less than one-tenth of the increased number of reported autism cases, could be attributed to the inclusion of milder cases of autism. Only 24 percent of the increase could be attributed to earlier age at diagnosis.

"These are fairly small percentages compared to the size of the increase that we've seen in the state," Hertz-Picciotto said. "
06:22 AM on 06/17/2009
The categories do get flipped around depending on one's position - but the general assertion is that classic autism numbers aren't rising at epidemic levels as being asserted - but the numbers of ASD identified children are (and GR and AoA use the total numbers), if GR and AoA insist upong using the total numbers then, YES, the numbers do continue to rise, even after Thimerosal has been largely eliminated from childhood vaccines.

I'm not sure if I made it any clearer. But understanding the changing diagnostic criteria in the DSM over it's history is helpful - good to look at how it's changed for other things like Schizophrenia, ADHD, Anxiety Disorders and Mental Retardation as well to gain better contextual understanding.

Here's an interesting study done in California, and it's notable the shift in levels of functioning to the upside of people diagnosed with ASD:
In the immortal words of Socrates, "I drank what?"
01:59 PM on 06/17/2009
An epidemic is a rapid spread, growth, or development of a condition, be it a disease or unemployment or whatever.

Considering that the prevalence of classic autism was only 2 in 10000 in 1985, and is now more akin to 16.8 children per 10000 for classic autism, with the rest of the spectrum being 2 to 3 times higher. That is almost an 800% increase in 20 years. That is, indeed, the very definition of an epidemic.

In case you're wondering where I got my numbers from, it was from Medscape.
10:21 PM on 06/16/2009
"I have no proof that vaccines cause autism..." Don't let that little fact hold you back. LOL
08:37 PM on 06/16/2009
Dr. Jay, I would like to hear your take on Generation Rescue's practice of comparing 1983 autism rates to today's rates for all PDDs. JB Handley, Jenny McCarthy, and others repeatedly tell parents that the autism rate was 1:10,000 in 1983, and that today it is 1:150. This increase is then characterized as an explosion of autism, and reason for widespread panic and alarm.

The alleged 1:10,000 rate seems to be based on Burd (1987) who found 3.3:10,000 using DSM-III criteria. In that study 1.2:10,000 had "typical autism" and 2.1:10,000 had "atypical autism" as defined by the authors.

As you are no doubt aware, DSM-III criteria were far more restrictive than DSM-IV. For example, whereas the 1980 DSM-III required satisfying six mandatory criteria, DSM-IV offers 16 optional criteria, only half of which need to be met. Moreover, the severe phrasing of the 1980 mandatory criteria contrasts with the more inclusive phrasing of the 1994 optional criteria.

Do you have a problem with comparing Burd's 1987 data with the current figure of 1:150 for DSM-IV, which includes Aspergers and PDD-NOS, categories that were not recognized in 1980 when DSM-III was published?

In the immortal words of Socrates, "I drank what?"
04:35 PM on 06/18/2009
Ken, you are incorrect about your diagnostic criteria. The DSM-IIIr had 16 optional criteria, and only 8 had to be met. The DSM-IV is more specific, requiring only 6 mandatory criteria. So, for classic autism, the diagnosis has actually grown more narrow, and yet the incidence of diagnosis for infantile autism continues to become more frequent. Care to explain?

This is the CDC's listing of Autistic Disorder diagnosis from the DSM-IV.

This is a list of diagnostic criteria from the DSM-I onward and includes both the DSM-IIIr and the DSM-IV for comparison.
07:17 PM on 06/16/2009
Raising Awareness ,I just love your response to Josephius and I think it bears repeating. Re. the double-blinded placebo trial: So aren't you basically saying that giving the entire population untested vaccine is more ethical than giving only a few ? Who are going to be the guinea pigs anyway ? Not my kids.
Josephius, you sound very defensive about a comparison study of vacc/unvacc. To refer to this idea as some kind of contest from t.v. is silly. We need to do this very basic research.
No, not microbio, molecular bio and biochemistry!
07:48 PM on 06/16/2009
Untested vaccine? Who's calling FDA-approved (and don't forget any and all regulatory agencies in all other countries) vaccines "untested"? Oh, that's right. You are. You are completely at odds with 1) these and other regulatory bodies 2) every medical association in existence 3) all public health agencies 4) the scientific community. They seem to believe that the system adequately address those issues (efficacy and safety)...but you do not. So, excuse me while I scoff at your interpretation, but you don't really have the same credence as they do.

By your description, in your own words...what is adequate to ascertain that 1) the concepts and principles in immunology and immunizations is acceptable and 2) what has to be done/shown to qualify a vaccine as "tested", to your standards?
08:48 PM on 06/16/2009
Josephius, I was quoting Raising Awareness and I might have said" Weakly tested" but I stand by that. Yeah, maybe we're out of line with all the above people, including the questionable FDA, but so be it. Alot of us including members of the above groups are questioning things. I can tell you that I , and many others am not impressed by most of the studies done to this date.
03:05 PM on 06/17/2009
Do you really believe that a 3-4 week trial can be called a test? Did it get tested with all the rest of the vaccines that will be injected? What happens in a few years while the toxins are brewing in the body and brain and just circulating over and over? These "tests" are not tests. They're a scam and a legal CYA.
08:25 PM on 06/16/2009
"We need to do this very basic research"

Do please elaborate on what has already been done.
05:06 PM on 06/16/2009
4. :“Certain childhood illnesses are far less common than before we had vaccines to decrease their numbers.” However, the moment we drop these vaccines, these diseases return. Just take a look at the UK right now, since the Wakefield (flawed study) made people stop getting the MMR vaccine. We now have deaths due to this of children. Its called public health and herd immunity for a reason.
5. “The risks of vaccinating the way we do now exceeds the benefits of this vaccine program.” Again, based on what evidence? Gut feelings are not science.

If you are indeed for “safer vaccinations” as opposed to “no vaccinations”, then do please cite some actual science or at least suggest what the problem actually is with the vaccines themselves.
05:52 PM on 06/16/2009
There has never been any long-term safety studies on vaccines or any large scale vaccinated vs. unvaccinated studies to prove that vaccines are either safe or effective. Doesn't this seem more than a bit incriminating that this hasn't been done yet?
No, not microbio, molecular bio and biochemistry!
06:06 PM on 06/16/2009
Then what are all these studies about?

And really, prove they are effective?! Are you kidding me?
07:28 PM on 06/16/2009
vaccines arent just thrown at people without trials, unlike chelation, homeopathy, supplements. these are extensively trialed before use in the population.

vaccines are effective. to claim otherwise is just nonsense
05:06 PM on 06/16/2009
Dr Gordon,
Whilst I respect your devotion and hard work with children, you are unfortunately biased in many ways that prevent you from being objectionable in this debate:
1. Conflict of interest – selling DVDs / books / lectures on vaccines being bad. Your reputation on depends on your anti-vaccine sentiment and therefore biases you from being a rational viewpoint in this.
2. Confirmation bias – any science that doesn’t fit your vaccines = autism hypothesis, you reject as being flawed. Yet, you do not cite any literature to support this to be the case, nor do you provide any scientific evidence to the contrary. If you believe that vaccines are a cause of autism, please either provide some evidence or publish studies yourself. The only flawed science out there regarding vaccines, is that of Dr Wakefield that yourself and others still cite as an example of a vaccine/autism link.
3. “Toxins” in the vaccines – previously you have been fixated on thimerosal as a cause for autism. This was removed in 2002 from childhood vaccines and the autism incidence did not go down (as you and David Kirby predicted). Further, the science you state as flawed, demonstrates no correlation between thimerosal and autism. As for the other ingredients of vaccines, please provide any evidence for any of these being harmful in the dose administered.
07:56 PM on 06/16/2009
I assume you would then conclude that Dr. Offit as also having a conflict of interest for blogging on huff po while out pimping his book on "Autism False Prophets" .. and that his reputation now depends on his sentiment as well ... and biases him from having "being a rational viewpoint"
No, not microbio, molecular bio and biochemistry!
08:44 PM on 06/16/2009
His book was never mentioned on his post or any adds placed in the paper. Your boy Kirby uses this blog to advertise and sell books. Also, the majority of what Offit has done was published through the peer-review process (while his book was written for the public) and shared with others in the scientific and medical community at conferences over the years. The distinction is obvious.
09:23 PM on 06/16/2009
Where do the profits from Dr. Offit's book go?

Where do the profits from Dr. Gordon's book go?

Thanks in advance for your honest and well-researched answer!
04:42 PM on 06/16/2009
Why, where autism is concerned, do we insist on doing the science backwards? Starting with conclusions..."I believe autims is cause by iPods and jelly donuts" and then start gathering evidence to shoehorn into the conclusion?
04:57 PM on 06/16/2009
I would ask, "Why do we rush to find a new vaccine (say Gardasil) , not study it much and then mass experiment on a generation of young women and wait to see what happens. THAT'S sick and backwards!
No, not microbio, molecular bio and biochemistry!
05:11 PM on 06/16/2009
What constitutes "not study it much"? What studies were actually done? Do you know? Tell us. I was unaware you were qualified to make such a judgement in this area of expertise.
10:04 PM on 06/16/2009
Not study it much!!!!! It took 15 years to develop and cost a billion dollars!!! Ever heard of clinical trials?? Phase 0 = pre-clinical and tox; Phase I = safety and dose escalation; Phase II, III and IV(sometimes) = increasing cohorts of recruited patients. I think the phase III Gargasil trial involved thousands of women.
05:22 PM on 06/16/2009
Good point VicDaring,

However, starting with conclusions and fitting data is not science. This is also how the real autism scientists are not doing this.
03:10 PM on 06/16/2009
And now we have this.
Due to the big horrible swine flu epidemic (which they already admit has not, so far, proven to be a very serious or deadly flu for most people) they have already decided to give this vaccine to school aged children before they know if it is even safe, or if it even works... and they still want these same children to have their "regular' flu shots, too (can't take away THAT form of revenue just because they are adding a new one) I dont understand-why don't they first give it to adults? Lets give mass vaccinations to any adult that will take them. Then wait a couple of months, THEN think about the possibility of giving them to school aged children? Why are the children the guinea pigs for all their new ideas? Allowing the pharmaceuticals to make this enormous windfall they will be getting for forcing an untried and potentially dangerous vaccine onto school age children is just nuts. I can't imagine the tragedy we are going to see when this all starts. But, the one thing we already know is... it wont be because of the vaccinations. They 'know' that already, even before they start using them.
No, not microbio, molecular bio and biochemistry!
04:40 PM on 06/16/2009
Any and all approved vaccines have to go through clinical trial for safety and efficacy, then be evaluated and approved by the FDA.

Can you please explain why you think this vaccine to the alpha H1N1 strain is any different than any other given for the last 50+ years?
04:54 PM on 06/16/2009
There has never been any long term safety studies done on vaccines and testing is typically a 3-4 week trial on average for vaccines. There is also no studies which show how the 36 different vaccines react in combination with one another and it's effect on the body and brain.

1 person died of the Swine Flu back in the 70's epidemic. 25 died from the vaccine shot itself. Millions were paid out to those harmed by the vaccine. With Big Pharma immune due to the unPatriot Act the tax payers will be paying the bill for all those harmed or killed this time around. Also, a vaccine typically takes about a year to create. So how the heck did the Swine Flu vaccine get created so quickly? Big Pharma must have a crystal ball or something.
04:42 PM on 06/16/2009
they'd have to shoot me first before they'll inject me or my kids with swine flu shots. In around /76 my nana was paralyzed with Guillaume Barre by that shot and our family doctor told us this was expressly a result of the vaccine. NO THANKS!!!!!!!!
No, not microbio, molecular bio and biochemistry!
05:00 PM on 06/16/2009
You do realize people get Guillain-Barré syndrome from the wild-type virus itself, don't you? What do you think is more likely to cause it, an attenuated virus delivered intramuscularly or a highly infectious, rapidly replicating wild-type virus that hijacks your cells, turning them into virus factories to further infect other cells in your body and others in the outside environment.

Hmmm. Tough one.
10:10 PM on 06/16/2009
The swine flue shots back then used live unattenuated virus, which is no longer used in any vaccine.
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02:36 PM on 06/16/2009
There seems to be something about the administration of small amounts of harmful substances, with the premises being that the doses are small enough that they won't likely cause harm and that the overall effect will hopefully induce a beneficial response from that individual's body, that seems to make us resist evidence that the deed already done did not turn out to be as justifiable as believed.

There also seems to be something about disease that intensifies this self-inflicted ignorance.

We have a generation of children that are sicker than ourselves with higher rates of immune dysfunction than we knew as children and higher rates of developmental delay and neurological damage than we have ever seen. These are conditions that are chronic (and often acute) in suffering and often life-long in duration and also life-shortening, and yet, nothing significantly material has been done in this country's health care system to eliminate or even reduce the exposure of neuro and immune damaging substances to our children and ourselves.

Health care officials and workers are reluctant or unable to call for restrictions in other industrial exposures because the same restrictions desperately need to be applied to our "health care" as well, but it seems to be more than many have the courage to publicly, and probably personally, acknowledge.

Dr. Gordon, your efforts and courage to voice the need for greater precaution and safety in vaccination are extremely appreciated.
No, not microbio, molecular bio and biochemistry!
04:38 PM on 06/16/2009
"We have a generation of children that are sicker than ourselves with higher rates of immune dysfunction than we knew as children and higher rates of developmental delay and neurological damage than we have ever seen. "

Back that up with data. We don't need to see actual numbers, because even an idiot should know that the population has increased. Show us the data that validates your claim. No? Just hysteria? What a surprise.

Tell us about the life expectancy of children at the beginning of the 20th century. How much of a factor did infectious diseases play in childhood mortality? And now, in the 21st century? Yes, your claims fall flat in light of evidence to the contrary.

Now go back....and stay there.
04:48 PM on 06/16/2009

Dirt is good for you.

Hormesis small amounts of poisons can be good for you:
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07:24 PM on 06/16/2009
You see it in everyday interaction with any group of children in public school, in church, shopping at the local supermarket, going to a birthday party. Children are dealing with more "issues" we have inflicted upon them than my generation did. The health demographics of any group of children has radically shifted.

Vaccination use hasn't been backed by double-blind placebo-controlled data of efficacy and yet we accept that it has probably had some effect on the course of disease to what appears to be beneficial (some times we talk like it is the only disease prevention advancement of the 20th century).

Now we are vaccinating, with multiple injections, for anything we manage to develop a vaccine for and seeing a simultaneous increase in immune dysfunction and other health problems, and we are institutionally dragging our feet on studying it, and refusing to acknowledge that we have been acting in essentially a state of experimentation with our children, and refusing to pull back to at least a more prudent schedule until we have a clearer understanding, refusing to consider individual needs, and giving preferential funding to genetic studies and costly life-time pharmaceutical "treatments."
02:23 PM on 06/16/2009
Dear Dr. Gordon - excellent article. Thank you for being one of few truthful physicians on the web, knowing the impact it may have on your career.

By actually taking a stance contrary to the medical community - and admitting what lay people already know - adds you to a short list of physicians/scientists who still have credibility. Most Americans know your profession has very little (credibility). And, we know why - profit motivated research (as you stated). Welcome to Capitalism-Gone-Wrong.

As with other industries today, this can be a chance for some honest reorganizing. Take back your profession, and as you say, listen to your patients. While I don't agree that vaccines cause autism (I agree with Dr. Karp), I really have no clue, since as you state, most studies are rife with bias. Time to do REAL research.
02:37 PM on 06/16/2009
Here is where the government could really help: by underwriting true, unbiased studies - performed by, say, military medical personnel (I know, but it's a thought). People don't know where to turn, but they know health care is in the toilet. What causes cancer? What causes autism? Why can’t we cure obesity/metabolic syndrome? $ Trillions spent with dismal results. They also feel that this pedantic/paternalistic mode of medicine we are in is embarrassingly out of touch. For example, the public is horrified that the pharmaceutical industry still expects us to just accept research that is obviously grossly biased.

No one is going to point fingers, they just want their babies better. I think the public is surprisingly supportive, so long as one stops bul.l.s.h_.t i.n. g them like it is the 1950s. Once there is open, honest dialog, the medical/pharma professions will stop flailing.

Thank you for taking the impressive step to just get on with it. Medicine, like life, has gotten messy these days. It is bold, capable people like you who will fix it.
05:46 PM on 06/16/2009
The thing is, you need to differentiate between medical doctors / scientists / pharma research. There is a big distinction and who is doing the research (hint, its not mainly the first or last). Scientists are on the whole performing unbiased studies and if you take a look through say pubmed, you'll see for yourself on many fields / diseases what is ongoing.

As for why the cure for cancer and other diseases havent been found? Where do I start. For one, biology and especially of humans is a very complex affair. Just take cancer. Its not one disease, but a collection of many different subtypes, all of which with their own clinical and developmental features. There will be not one treatment for all cancers.

Could the research money be spent better? I'm sure in some cases it could, but you have to realize firstly how expensive good science is to do and secondly, that magic cures (such as the discovery of penicillin) are few and far between.

However, posts such as this article do not help by claiming unproven treatments and unfairly raising expectations. Also, pointing the finger at a cause without any solid evidence is not science.
11:42 AM on 06/16/2009
Do the Amish communities vaccinate? What is the incidence of autism in their communities?
11:46 AM on 06/16/2009
Do Amish people vaccinate?
What is the incidence of autism in their communities
About the same as everywhere else.
12:32 PM on 06/16/2009
Statistics can be easily misrepresented. The incidence of autism in the Amish community is about the same as everywhere else BUT only for the vaccinated Amish. The unvaccinated Amish is a completely different story, hence the urge to get the study finally done.
No, not microbio, molecular bio and biochemistry!
In the immortal words of Socrates, "I drank what?"
02:02 PM on 06/16/2009
This is a blog, not a scientific, peer-reviewed journal.
02:42 PM on 06/16/2009
But, all the articles says is that a certain percentage of Amish DO vaccinate. It does NOT say what percentage of the vaccinated and unvaccinated populations are autistic. This is why the study will eventually be done and hopefully by an honest bunch with no stake in the study.
10:26 AM on 06/16/2009
Thank you so much for this well reasoned and thoughtful response to Dr. Karp.

Thousands of parentsshould not be ignored and it shocks me that so many pediatricians do just that...ignore what is right in front of them. Pediatricians must ask themselves why so many children are sick these days with allergies, asthma, diabetes, autism, ADhD and arthritis. Mommies in the "preschool" crowd are certainly asking each other this question.

I cannot believe pediatricians are not sounding the alarm on chronic disease amongst children. Are they afraid of what the answer might be? I do not think pediatricians are to blame. I do think they were initially victims of the medical establishments "spin" on the science. However, at this point I believe they are practicing willful ignorance on the role vaccines may play.

To answer a couple of your critics here;

1. Just recently the NIH contradicted Karp's point by funding major vaccine safety research. Here

2. Vaccines are a money maker for the pediatricians because the schedule of well visits is based on the vaccine schedule and they charge for the administration of the vaccine specifically.

3. To the folks who are claiming no real increase in the rise of autism just better diagnosis, have you asked yourself where all the non verbal, hand flapping, spinning, head banging adults are. Or have you asked yourself where they were when you were a child. T
10:57 AM on 06/16/2009
Oh dear, where to start?

1. The EARLI study is not a "vaccine" study, it is an Autism study.

2. Vaccines are not the money makers that you assert they are, initially, in 2007 many pediatricians considered not offering Gardasil because they were practically losing money with it.

3. Here's a few:
11:37 AM on 06/16/2009
Pediatricians actually make the least money of any professional MD. If a doctor wanted to make money they would go into plastic surgery or dermatology
02:49 PM on 06/16/2009
True, Commenter, but, not every medical student has the option to pursue surgery or derm. Let's just say, those specialties tend to select for the most successful medical students. Also, many simply prefer pediatrics, despite the pay differential. (At least, one would hope.)
09:37 AM on 06/16/2009
Growing up I received, eight shots, that's right, 8 IN TOTAL, they now recommend thirty six...36 for my child. I don't think it's so very wrong to question that. I also don't think it's wrong to be skeptical of the studies that are conducted by companies with an interest in the outcome. I've worked in finance, I've seen what they can do to numbers to make them more attractive... make it look good on paper. I never knew any autistic children growing up, I know far too many now.
My microbio: as empty as Michelle Bachman's noggin
11:33 AM on 06/16/2009
Growing up, my family was dirt poor and we only saw doctors when we were critically ill. The only time I received vaccinations were when my elementary school told my mother I had to get a shot or I couldn't come to school. I got maybe two or three vaccinations as a child. I did, however, get measles, mumps, chicken pox (which left a few unattractive pock marks behind) and a host of other childhood diseases. Every illness meant misery and a week or two of missing school and the risk of complications.

By the way, my brother got about as few vaccinations as I did, and he has suffered from ADHD and PDD his whole life.
11:43 AM on 06/16/2009
There is no other way to do it. Of course doctors and pharmaceutical companies want vaccines to work but there is no one else with the expertise and training to perform these studies who doesn't want them to work. Also, think of how much money a pharmaceutical company stands to lose if a medicine is proven unsafe. It can cost them billions of dollars. Look at what happened with Biox, Merck lost a ton of money. So even if you are just going to look at the dollars and sense, there is still plenty of reason for vaccine trials to be accurate.

It is the people who sell alternative medicine who do not have to go through the strict trials and face less to lose, for selling a dangerous or ineffective product.
10:51 PM on 06/16/2009
add that to the fact that vaccines don't even make pharma companies much money compared to their blockbusters (e.g. etanercept, avastin etc).