The new study that claims the number of "antigens" in vaccines has no bearing on the risk for autism isn't really worth much comment. It's just more messing around by the CDC with data they've already abused (Price, 2010) to obscure the link between thimerosal and autism. That study was described as "an interesting case of over-matching" in a published paper by DeSoto et al. It's a devastating critique of the BS the CDC piles higher and deeper all the time to avoid implicating itself in the autism epidemic.
And it's exactly why reasonable people have long wanted to wrest vaccine safety oversight from the conflicted hands of the CDC. Any report on immunization safety "from the Immunization Safety Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga.," is suspect.
As Dr. Bob Sears said, it's "another waste of money in another attempt to pretend to do research on vaccines and autism. ... You would probably find the exact same results no matter what group of kids you studied. Pretty much all children in any given span of years receive the exact same number of shot antigens. ... So, why would it even be useful to study this?
"All this study proved is that all the kids in that HMO got about the same vaccines over that 5 year time period. This doesn't give us any useful data on how vaccines would have or would not have influeced the rate of autism."
A reader named Ed Burke offered this analogy:
"I don't have a horse in this race, but I am surprised that no one is talking about what the study shows, which does little or nothing to inform the debate as to whether the current recommended vaccine schedule is safe.
"If you fire paint guns across a schoolyard all day and that night compare the kids with splattered clothes to the ones clean, they were all exposed to the same number of paintballs. The paintballs still caused the splattered clothes.
"If you expose a population of kids to a slew of vaccines and then compare those who develop autism to those who don't, and say, well, the autistic kids were not exposed to any more vaccines than the non-autistic kids, that does not prove the vaccines do not cause autism any more than our hypothetical proved paintballs do not cause splattered clothes.
"I have yet to see the CDC study that compares kids who get no vaccines to those that get the current schedule, stating what percentage in each group gets autism. I have heard rumors the CDC does not want the public to have this information. This is an obvious study for them to produce to make their case. Its absence is a strong indicator that vaccines cause many cases of autism."
Another commenter on AOA, "Taximom," made this interesting observation: "For starters, it looks like a significant percentage of their CONTROL group may have had symptoms of autism: 'Of the remaining 752 controls included in the analysis, 186 had an SCQ score <16 but had indications of speech delay or language delay, learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or attention deficit disorder, or tics, or had an individual education plans.'
"186 of the 752 controls had possible symptoms of autism. Those were the CONTROLS? Nearly 25% of the CONTROL group may have had possible symptoms of autism???? Wow, it's....almost like...they...picked a control group that had the same rate of autism as the test group. Gee. How on EARTH did that happen? (Oh, that's right. They didn't have an unvaccinated control group.)"
Given such fundamental weaknesses, it's noteworthy that Autism Speaks is nonetheless using this crappy study as a cudgel. Acting as an Amen Chorus rather than a check-and-balance to the thoroughly corrupt vaccine apparatus at the CDC, Autism Speaks' Chief Science Officer Geraldine Dawson says this study shows it's time to stop talking about vaccines. Listen to how NPR describes it:
"Autism Speaks, a major advocacy and research group, seems ready to move beyond the vaccine issue. Geraldine Dawson, the group's top scientist, praised the new study and says the result should clear the way for research on other potential causes of autism.
"These include factors like nutrition, which can affect a baby's brain development in the womb, Dawson says. Other factors could include medications and infections during pregnancy, she says, or an infant's exposure to pesticides or pollution.
"'As we home in on what is causing autism, I think we are going to have fewer and fewer questions about some of these things that don't appear to be causing autism,' Dawson says."
Dawson talks about autism as a genes-and-environment disorder. If that's true, a study like this would not account for genetic vulnerabilities that might make some kids more susceptible to antigens than other kids. As David Kirby presciently pointed out a couple of years ago, mitochondrial problems -- which led to the vaccine court award to Hannah Poling -- may affect about 1 in 50 children, exactly the most recently reported autism rate. If genetic mitochondrial variations are a risk for autism, this study would miss that factor completely.
The only good news is maybe we have reached the natural upward limit of autism.
The craziest part of Autism Speaks' endorsement of this goofy study as definitive is that Bob Wright, head of AS, began his testimony at a Congressional Hearing last fall by saying that his daughter, Katie, believed vaccines triggered her son Christian's autism. Obviously, he thought it was worth making that part of the discussion; perhaps he detected the intense skepticism among the Congress members toward the CDC's explanations, a skepticism triggered by the parents who pushed for the hearing and sat incredulous in the audience listening to the CDC'S Coleen Boyle.
So among the people Geri Dawson thinks should get with the "it's not vaccines" program are the founder of Autism Speaks, to whom she presumably reports, and his daughter, whose child's vaccine injury led to the creation of the organization for whom she speaks when she says yes, the CDC is right, vaccines don't cause autism.