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Study: No Link Between Vaccine Schedule, Autism


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Despite concerns from some parents that the number of vaccines and the timing with which they are given to young children may contribute to autism risk, a new study backed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds otherwise.

Researchers looked at the number of antigens — the part of each vaccine that tells the immune system to create antibodies to fight disease — that children with and without autism received on any single day and over the course of their first two years of life. They found no difference between the volume of antigens given to kids with and without autism.

The study, published Friday in the Journal of Pediatrics, looked at 256 kids with autism and 752 without the developmental disorder born between 1994 and 1999.

“These results indicate that parental concerns that their children are receiving too many vaccines in the first two years of life or too many vaccines at a single doctor visit are not supported in terms of an increased risk of autism,” wrote Frank DeStefano of the CDC and his colleagues in the report.

Scientists have previously debunked any link between vaccines and autism and the original study that sparked fears was retracted in 2010. Nonetheless, surveys continue to find that many parents are concerned, with about 1 in 10 refusing or delaying vaccination.

Most recently, many parents have turned their attention to the rigor of today’s recommended immunization schedule for children, arguing that young kids get too many vaccines too quickly.

Researchers in the latest study acknowledge that children today receive more vaccines than kids did even in the late 1990s. But, due to advances in immunology, kids actually receive far fewer antigens, they said. Children currently may be exposed to as many as 315 antigens by age 2 from vaccines, a figure that reached several thousand just two decades ago.

“This study adds to the existing epidemiological studies showing no link between vaccines and autism,” said Geri Dawson, chief science officer at Autism Speaks, who was not involved in study. “This research is very important for addressing the concerns of families.”

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Comments (39 Responses)

  1. BG says:

    Ridiculous… not everyone that drinks is an alcoholic… some are predisposed to have that gene that leads to being alcoholic. Some kids are predisposed to those shots…some do fine with. I rather be safe than sorry.

  2. Noreen says:

    I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS FOR ONE SECOND. After my daughter was discharged from the hospital from having a terrible reaction to the immunizations, the light was gone from her eyes. Everything about her changed. She was hospitalized for 16 days and we found out that her immune system could not tolerate the vaccinations. It WAS the shots. If it not immunizations what is it? Now it’s 1 in 50 that are on the spectrum.

  3. Therese says:

    If the study is done by the CDC then the study is automatically bias.

  4. JG says:

    This study does not show there is no link. What it shows is that both children with autism and those without get roughly the same amount of vaccinations. What it does not address are the potential biological differences or markers that may make one child (the one who gets autism) adversely react to the vaccines (an environmental toxin we impose).

  5. katie kelley says:

    another waste of money by the cdc. Dumbest study ever! NO ONE ever said children with autism received MORE antigens…they said they react differently to antigens! Frustrates me to hear a blurb on national tv stating vaccines don’t cause autism and that’s all. If anyone reads this they will know this is a sham study!

  6. Michele says:

    I’m not really convinced that vaccines cause autism, but I am certainly not convinced that they don’t from the research results being published. If I read this report correctly, this study indicates that the number of antigens given “on any one day” do not cause autism. I’m not sure that I can make that leap from the limited information provided here. We’re not considering other contributing triggers or how the frequency and cummulative antigens affect the disability.

  7. John Best says:

    LOL, sure, if they measure something that they know has absolutely nothing to do with the mercury poisoning that causes autism, they will provoke the result that they want. These liars have known for a long time that the mercury in vaccines caused the brain damage so they studied something else. I’d like to invite Geraldine Dawson to discuss this with me. Who thinks she’ll accept my offer to show off her dishonesty?

  8. AppleJ says:

    And who is to profit from this study? Ask yourselves that and the answer is…….drum roll….the VACCINATION INDUSTRY.
    I also saw the light go out of my sons eyes. He is 21 years old and almost everyday I think about that light. The brightness he had at 12 months and then somewhere between DPT and MMR & God knows whatever else he was being shot up with he lost it. He stopped crawling, babbling, laughing. He just stared into space. Its sickening to read these studies. It’s total denial.

  9. Helen M says:

    One should never trust ANY research on immunizations from the CDC. The CDC has a vested interest in seeing that children are immunized because the people who create the immunization schedule have ties to the pharmaceutical companies.

    As was already pointed out, it’s not necessarily the antigens. It’s all the OTHER stuff in the vaccines–mercury, antifreeze, aluminum, human fetal cells, pig fetal cells. Vaccines have KNOWN neurotoxic agents in them. They should never be foisted on children (especially the Hepatitis B one that’s given before they are even a day old!). Children are not born with completely developed immune systems or neurological systems. Vaccines can harm both.

    This is not “important” research. It is junk research designed to confuse parents and promulgate the lie.

  10. carly says:

    As an example, remember how smoking cigarettes did not cause cancer and there were a million studies that proved it?

    Now it has been proven that cigarette smoking does cause cancer. This was a complete reversal of prior studies which I am sure was not a surprise to the smokers who developed cancer. What about the
    second hand smoke?

    In twenty years we will see confirmation that the vaccines in some way played a big role with our kids getting this illness. For goodness sake, we as parents are not stupid.

    However based on all the laws that have been passed our children will not be able to sue the pharmaceutical companies or the government when this is proven.

    In my opinion, this is all a conspiracy by the drug companies and the government.

  11. PBMom says:

    I don’t believe the CDC on anything regarding vaccines, whether they performed the study or financially backed it. Parents want: 1) An INDEPENDENT study; 2) the accumulative effect of vaccines, a study which has not been done yet. As far as Autism Speaks, they are lobbyists and not good stewards of the money people trust to them. It is speculated that two-thirds of these children with autism have mitochondrial disorders which IS contraindicated for vaccines. Indeed Vaccine Court has already paid for many of these claims, not for “autism” but for “encephalopathy.” Vaccine Court will never pay for autism because the government could not pay for all the claims of harm. But they are paying for these quietly and by code word use.

  12. Tacitus says:

    I can’t believe there isn’t a single comment accepting the results of this study. Who needs science when you have paranoia? The same people who claim to be mistrustful of the “big money” pharmaceutical companies are happy to shell out hundred, even thousands of dollars to snake-oil vendors whose products have clear, demonstrated risks, but preventive medicine to stop the spread of infectious illness is too much of a risky proposition. There is a great quote from Isaac Asimov. “[Americans have] the mistaken idea that democracy means that my ignorance is as good as your knowledge.” If you don’t trust scientists, then you don’t live in reality and there’s just no talking to you.

  13. Yankeegirl says:

    In a January 2013 press release, the IOM made this statement about the CDC’s vaccination schedule: “However, the elements of the schedule — the number, frequency, timing, order, and age at which vaccines are given — are not well-defined in existing research and should be improved.” these elements are at the very heart of parents concerns about vaccines and autism – so how can any group say CDC vaccine schedule is safe if, as the IOM said, the core elements have not been studied? Having the CDC study it’s own vaccination schedule is like the fox guarding the chicken coop and saying that all the chickens are safe and sound– ya, right, sure they are…I do no feel the least bit reassured by this so called “study” . If anything it was designed to miss the mark. This charade is getting very tiresome CDC

  14. violetred67 says:

    Agree with Tacitus. But feel sorry for parents who saw light go out of their kids eyes around the time of the vaccines. My kids were born on the spectrum, as was my nephew. The light didn’t go out; it never quite turned on. Studies are now being done to track children’s development from birth. This should help shed some light on why some kids seem to develop normally until age 1 or 2 and then the autism appears…while others present with symptoms all along. I doubt there will be a vaccine link but I would be curious to see what the difference is.

  15. Debi says:

    This study by the CDC does not prove anything! DO NOT BELEIVE IT!!!!!!!!

  16. Yankeegirl says:

    CDC and Autism Speaks says no link between autism and the CDC vaccination schedule….rah, rah Team Pharma!!!!

  17. Pablo Beelen says:

    Listen one may say what ever, but in long practice in Pediatric rehabilitation i may say that I did Collected date of all the patients, that got meningitis, or fever, or all at a sudden were delay, its now a book of one 1000pages. Clinical pictures and issues after vaccination, are complexed, and can got from behavioral problems (autistic behavior, psychotics, quadriplegia, diplegia, hemiplegia etc… did you every investigate on internet about the scientific evidence of vaccination? you will find very little evidence. Did Pasteur also got corrupt for his research? most probably. The pharmacological mafia is tremendous, and have interest of perpetuation a lucrative business, same with Aids it is an evidence for me that cure exist and is very cheap, but all the business around give than much more profits. So do not believe any of those pseudo research… they are not neutral. I can shaw you pictures of children damaged by vaccination. I never did for my own children.

  18. LA says:

    Tacitus, it’s not that we don’t accept the results of this study; it’s that the results prove absolutely nothing– the claims are scandelous. As I read it, the study reveals only that 250 kids may have reacted differently than the other 750 to the same stimuli. Listen, this would be like saying, give a 1000 kids a peanut; 250 have a reaction, 750 don’t; conclusion: the peanut couldn’t have caused the reaction because all 1000 kids did not react. No.

  19. Monique says:

    This study is similar to saying peanut butter doesn’t kill ANYBODY because a child that dies from eating it ate the same amount as a child that didn’t.

    Having the same amount of antigens does NOT disprove the link between vaccines and autism. It only shows they have the same number of antigens as normal children. This study presumes that ALL childen have the same immune systems which is not true and not a scientificallyicnetifically verified claim so the conclusion is fased on a faulty premise. If it were true allergies would not exist.
    It is the vaccines that have been tested here NOT the children’s reaction to it. It would have made more sense to test and compare the actual antibodies of the autistic children verses the normal children. This “study”, in which the conclusion makes NO scientific sense sidesteps the allergy issue. Do a study on how many children who have had to go to hospital for actual vaccine injury, you know.. the ones that have seizures, scream for hours and have their brains cook.

    Better still, do a study on those babies who contract post vaccine encephalitis and see how many of them develop autism aftewards.

    This study is propoganda.. and it seems to be another attempt by the CDC to avoid accountability for a problem it created. I believe this study was created to replace the one they commissioned Poul Thorsen. People kept using his “danish study” to claim the link was disproved however he stole alot of money from the CDC so now that study has NO credibility. Try again CDC eventually you will have to say “a small percentage of people are prone to having an auto immune reaction to vaccines which can cause autism”. While you try sweep this under the carpet someone else WILL eventually prove the link irrefutably and the last shred of your global credibilty will be gone, along with all your global programs which already exploit poorer nations on behalf of corrupt drug companies.

  20. Monique says:

    apologies for typos

  21. Phillip says:

    Sorry this is a little long, bear with me.

    What a sticky topic. It has divided the autism community. I have really never seen anything like it. I was working back in the day where it was 1 in 15,000, or there about. I do believe that something that we are putting into our bodies (a man-made) substance has altered our make up, something has definitely been changed. I believe it has morphed over a period of at least 3 generations, back to when we started putting preservatives into our food. Stomach issues anyone? I am not convinced that the issue is vaccines, and I will explain.

    Typically autism rears its ugly head around the age of 18 months up to around 3 yrs. of age. I have personally witnessed a number of individuals diagnosed up to 14 yrs of age. The most typical is of course in their incoming toddler years.

    From the moment a baby is born, their brain is growing, and will continue to grow up to the age of 12 years old. We are all born with two hemispheres in our brain, a left and a right, with each being responsible for different functions. The first of the hemispheres to develop is the right hemisphere. The right brain is responsible for things like music, understanding of the spoken word, visual thinking, visual spatial activities (understanding through movement). When you talk to a baby, you speak in a beat(or a pentameter), babies react to this because it is all right brain function. Crawling, exploring are a part of visual spatial dominance, also a right brain strength.

    Around the age of 18 months the left brain begins to take over its responsibilities, perception of self (understanding that you are, and they are), the spoken word (verbal), the written word (how many individuals do you know on the autism spectrum who have difficulty with writing?). The left brain is also responsible for the outer senses of touch, taste, sight, sound and smell.

    There is period around the same time that the vaccines are given, that the left brain is supposed to kick in with the spoken word, along with the outer senses (development of sensory issues), and perception of self (regression of I am, and you are). The change in the child is not seen, until the left is supposed to start communicating, and then it doesn’t. It does not mean that it is not working, it means that the mechanism that controls this transition is different for individuals on the spectrum.

    I believe that there is an issue with the corpus callosum (the nerve center that allows left and right to communicate. Recent studies have shown a malformation of the corpus callosum for those on the spectrum. The most interesting is the brain of Kim Peek, the original Rain Main, shown to have no corpus callosum. Our brain has plasticity, which means the hemispheres of our brains can be taught to do all the functions of another; you see this type of intervention for stroke victims. The corpus callosum is not the only difference there are others, but this correlates to what we see in the symptoms and unusual behaviors. The corpus callosum begins to develop at 5 months of the pregnancy. So its initial development would not be directly affected by the vaccine.

    I believe that individuals on the autism spectrum are superior right brain individuals. They excel in memory, love of music, navigating toward definitions of shape, like to climb, visual thinking, and have deficits in writing their name, perception of self (social key), and sensory issues with one or more of the five listed earlier (all left brain functions). There has also been research to show that the amygdala to be oversize for individuals on the spectrum, the amygdala is responsible for the emotions.

    I teach a workshop called This is your Brain on Autism, where I explain it a lot further, and why different therapies work and others don’t. Yeah it is a shameless plug, but it is not just a long post on a vaccine issue, it is how I approach everything I do for these amazing individuals.

    The research that got me on this theory is function brain scans (fMRI) of folks on the spectrum. Google: corpus callosum, amygdala for more info.

  22. Dawn says:

    Oh please!! Where are the honest experts and the studies on aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, and all of the other toxins in the vaccine? Why is there so much proof on several different levels, produced by honest, ethical experts who are not a part of the CDC, FDA, Big Pharma, American Psychiatric Association, American Pediatric Association, etc…. Obviously, with the fear of the pro-vaccine leaders validated in the FOI documents, and all of the researchers and physicians who are pursuing the science and not the power and money, we have overwhelming evidence of the corrupt vaccine agenda. There is already admonition that vaccines do cause substancial death and injuries to thousands. The fact that they use a “one size fits all” and it “Is safe for all” and ESPECIALLY the fact that they do not screen for the fragile individuals who are extremely vulnerable and should never get vaccines is such mad science. What about the cervical cancer vaccine? What about the paralyzed children in Chad, Africa? What about all of the immuneocompromised children, adhd, and autism that is a pandemic? Why did “they” construe a way to help manipulate autism rate statistics, in “their” favor, by re-writing the DSMV-V, (Asperger’s Disorder)? Why such a madness to create vaccines on a fast and furious frenzy? Where are the studies which posed safety studies? I mean are not drugs to pass rigorous testing for years before approved by FDA? Evil and sick! It is a complete disregard for human life. Every single money-hungry vaccine making supporter has the same fate.

  23. Julie says:

    The findings are rubbish as they have not compared the vaccinated children to UNVACCINATED children (including not being given any so-called ‘placebo’). There has NEVER been a study done that compares the health of vaccinated children to unvaccinated children.

  24. Steve Michaels says:

    A REAL study would compare outcomes based on the VARIABLE of number of vaccines received. Since 90% plus receive the same vaccines in the same order at the same ages, all this study does is confirm that while many children seem to escape vaccine damage, not all do. This is not news. Compare fully vaccinated children to partially vaccinated children to delayed vaccinated children to NON vaccinated children and compare the results of each of those groups to each other… Claiming that the “variable” of vaccines is not a factor when the “variable” is not being varied is not science, it is propaganda.

  25. Yankeegirl says:

    All this study did was say the kids both with autism and without got the same number of antigens. It did not examine the effect of the total load on each child’s immune system. Individual immune response varies. The CDC even ackowledges that.

    From the CDC web site, in their own words:

    “Vaccines are developed with the highest standards of safety. However, as with any medical procedure, vaccination has some risks. Individuals react differently to vaccines, and there is no way to predict how individuals will react to a particular vaccine.”

    Source: CDC web site, Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)

  26. mainer says:

    I don’t even know why this study was necessary. It has been repeatedly shown that vaccines do not cause autism, and all the commenters who continue to assert that they do, despite the extensive evidence to the contrary are, quite frankly, delusional.

  27. WarriorMom says:

    Righhtttttttttttttttt. Like this article is believable. Pfffftttt. The CDC promotes articles like this one very often. But, we PARENTS who watched our healthy, typical children spiral into fevers, seizures and autism THE EVENING after the SHOTS, say otherwise. Beware parents. Research, research, research. The TRUTH is out there. This article isn’t it.

  28. Sarah says:

    Our kids were vaccinated- we saw our kids development deteriorate after receviing multiple vaccines. The CDC even admits that VACCINES CARRY RISK AND INDIVIDUAL IMMUNE RESPONSE VARIES! Sorry if our experience doesn’t fit in with your pro-vax stance. A vaccine injured child is an inconvenient truth

  29. KA101 says:

    To the anti-vax posters: OK, so the fact that the study was government-sponsored means that it’s flawed.

    (I’m not sure who/what would both have the data/financial resources to conduct a rigorous study, and not be close enough to the medical industry for you to disqualify. Any ideas?)

    Which vaccine was it? I’d very much like to know what injection it was that took a perfectly good NT child and turned her or him autistic.

  30. Steve Michaels says:

    mainer, the problem is that ALL of those studies that you claim to “prove” there is no link are essentially like this one. There has NEVER been ANY studies of vaccinated versus unvaccinated nor have there been ANY studies for synergistic interactions between the recommended vaccines. At best, there have been some short term studies for immediate reactions for individual vaccines (and the control groups are ALWAYS vaccinated as well). If vaccines are so safe, why are vaccine manufacturers COMPLETELY free of any liability for vaccine damage? If vaccines are safe, why has the Compensation Panel paid out hundreds of millions in claims which include encephalitis, brain injury, autism specifically and “autism like” syndromes?

    Back to this study, I suggest you read Brian S. Hooker’s response to this study. That is, of course, assuming that you really want to learn something with an open mind about vaccine policy and the interrelationship between the so-called regulators and the industry. Here is an excerpt:

    “The basis for the study is essentially a rehash of the data that was used to generate the fraudulent Price et al. 2010 Pediatrics study (Price et al. 2010 “Prenatal and Infant Exposure to Thimerosal From Vaccines and Immunoglobulins and Risk of Autism” Pediatrics 126:656) that was supposed to be the CDC’s “final word” stating that thimerosal, the mercury-containing preservative in some vaccines, was in no way causally linked to autism. Not only was this original study fatally flawed due to a statistical error called “overmatching” (which I’ll discuss further below) but also the study authors hid data regarding the only valid part of the study (i.e., prenatal thimerosal exposure) which showed that children exposed to just 16 microgram mercury in thimerosal in utero were up to 8 times more likely to receive a diagnosis of regressive autism (Price C, et al. Thimerosal and Autism. Technical report. Vol I. Bethesda, MD: Abt Associates Inc; 2009). The study authors instead falsely reported no risk of autism associated with prenatal thimerosal exposure.”

  31. Sarah says:

    Paid pharma shills posting here no question. Anyone who calls a parents who vaccinated their kids
    “anti vax” is delusional.

  32. mainer says:

    Sarah, I am not a “paid pharma shill” I am a person who myself has high functioning autism. Your comment is paranoid beyond belief and is completely off base.

  33. Sarah says:

    I think it’s way off base to call a parent who vaccinated “anti-vax”?? There are autism parents like myself who are repeatedly ridiculed for questioning vaccines and then called “antivax” or worse. Well I vaccinated my child but I still have concerns about safety of the schedule. There is nothing wrong with expressing concerns about vaccinations. Even the CDC admits vaccines carry risk and individual immune response varies so they cannot predict how a child with respond especially when given multiple shots.

  34. Trouty Mouth says:

    Autistic person here. I got diagnosed at age 4, and was vaccinated between the ages of 6 and 17.

    Really lovely to see that parents would their children die from life-threatening illnesses than have my neurotype.

    It’s also pretty hilarious that you guys are still getting your information from a study that was disproved sixteen years ago.

    Stop whining and complaining about your child potentially “catching autism”, and stop trying to find a cure. It won’t do anyone any good.

    Change your attitude, rather than your child.

  35. Hello all says:

    I love how all of the anti-vaxxers call us “biased”, when they don’t look at actual studies. I’ve looked at articles on both sides, and the arguments that ingredients in the vaccines cause autism are just ridiculous.

    Before you ask: Yes, I am autistic. Most of you think that autism = retardation and/or loss of normal function, which makes it shocking that I was able to find this evidence and piece it together.

  36. autismUXB says:

    Since they had their child vaccinated, no parent can be considered anti-vaccine, They may regret having done it now, but you have to realize that the association with vaccine poisoning comes from personal experience of witnessing their child having a terribly adverse reaction to the vaccine. Also realize that this is not a one time temporary event. Since there is no cure, it damages the individual and the family for the rest of their lives.

  37. mainer says:

    The only reason why this anti-vaccine nonsense began in the first place is because of the lack of an explanation for autism. However, this is changing, and all the evidence points to autism being a fixed disorder with a genetic cause that is established long before birth, and long before vaccination. For example, a recent study showed a 67% excess of neurons in the frontal cortex of autistic children compared with typically developing children. These neurons are generated only before birth, so this is really proof of a prenatal origin of autism. Another study found abnormal lung anatomy in every patient with autism studied, and in none of the neurotypical controls. The lung structures are developed by the 3rd month of gestation, so again, this is further proof of that autism is present from before birth.

  38. autismUXB says:

    Since they had their child vaccinated, no parent can be considered anti-vaccine, They may regret having done it now, but you have to realize that the association with vaccine poisoning comes from personal experience of witnessing their child having a terribly adverse reaction to the vaccine. Also realize that this is not a one time temporary event. Since there is no cure, it damages the individual and the family for the rest of their lives.

  39. Glen S says:

    @KA101: “OK, so the fact that the study was government-sponsored means that it’s flawed.”
    But, you and many of the rest of the “identity theorists” will make the same statement about Autism Speaks. So, who is biased and flawed, now?

    @Tacitus: “Who needs science when you have paranoia?” It is you who insinuates with almost your every breath that if one is not with you then they are against you. Just who is paranoid?

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