Chapter 7
Immunizations and Autism
By Dr. William Shaw

 Congressional Investigation of Vaccine Safety

Representative Dan Burton, the Chairman of the United States House of Representatives committee on government reform, said at a hearing in 1999 (1) that his grandchildren are among those who have suffered from immunization damage. He said there were reports last year of more than 11,000 cases of children getting sick after inoculations. Many of their ailments were minor, yet some required hospitalization, he said. Burton said most American children are required to get 22 shots by the time they start school (the actual recommended number is 33 or more agents if, for example, the MMR is counted as 3 agents (2); see Table 1) and "some have described the current mandating of an increasing number of vaccines to children to be a good intention gone too far." By comparison, an elderly person in the United States received a single immunization, the one for smallpox. Plans are underway for “super vaccines” containing 100 or more agents.

Burton said his granddaughter had to be hospitalized within hours of receiving a Hepatitis B vaccine, and his grandson became autistic after getting the shots. "You can call that a coincidence, but I think it is more," said Burton.

 A Brief History of Vaccines

The word vaccine comes from the Latin word for cow, vacca. An English physician, Jenner, made the observation that milkmaids who were exposed to cows infected with cowpox did not become infected with the closely related human disease smallpox that was the most serious illness in the 1700’s. When material from the lesions of cows was scratched into the skin, the recipient of the treatment did not get smallpox. Jenner then proposed the first vaccination program but was widely ridiculed in articles with cartoons showing him growing horns and cow udders. Jenner’s vaccination proposal caught on nevertheless. When Lewis and Clark departed on their exploration of the American West, they carried pox scabs to vaccinate the Indians they would encounter as ordered by United States President Thomas Jefferson. Well into the twentieth century, smallpox vaccination was the only vaccine used in the United States and many other countries.

 A Parent Speaks Out On Vaccines

"Doctors say to me, `Who are you? Are you a physician?' I say no, I'm just a mother and I saw the change in my son," says Shelley Reynolds (3) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who was instrumental in helping introduce the Louisiana bill to allow children to receive separate instead of combined vaccines.

"It was right after his shot, and it was pretty dramatic. I've talked with many, many parents -- at conferences, over the Internet -- who also believe that their children were affected after the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.

"Liam was developing fine and normal. He made every milestone. But he'd been on tons of antibiotics because of ear infections. He'd just finished a six-week round of antibiotics, and when we went to get his ears rechecked, the doctor said, `We've been putting this immunization off for a month, it's time to give it to him.' Within a few days, he started having strange behaviors. And the final straw was at 22 months, when he got his DPT shot (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus). Three days later, he totally stopped talking."

Table 1
Immunizations Recommended by Kaiser Permanente, a
Leading Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) in the USA

Age Recommended immunization Number of agents


Hepatitis B


1 month

Hepatitis B


2 months

DaPT, HIB, polio


4 months

DaPT, HIB, polio


6 months



6 to 18 mo

Hepatitis B, polio


12 to 15 mo



12 to 18 mo



15 to 18 mo



4 to 6 years

DaPT, polio, MMR


** Abbreviations
    DaPT-Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis………MMR-Measles, mumps, rubella
    HIB-Haemophilus influenza type b…………………...VAR-Varicella (chicken pox)

 MMR Vaccination and Autism

In England, Andrew Wakefield, M.D., a gastroenterologist and his colleagues at the Royal Free Hospital examined with electron microscopy intestinal biopsy samples from children with autism. Their examination revealed the presence of virus particles similar to those from measles virus, raising the possibility that live measles virus from the MMR vaccine may actually be responsible for some of the gastrointestinal abnormalities common in children with autism. Wakefield’s original article (4) reported:

“Onset of behavioral symptoms was associated, by the parents, with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination in eight of the 12 children, with measles infection in one child, and otitis media in another. All 12 children had intestinal abnormalities, ranging from lymphoid nodular hyperplasia to aphthoid ulceration. Histology showed patchy chronic inflammation in the colon in 11 children and reactive ileal lymphoid hyperplasia in seven, but no granulomas. Behavioural disorders included autism (nine), disintegrative psychosis (one), and possible post viral or vaccinal encephalitis (two).”

A follow-up study by Wakefield (5) on 30 children with autism reported similar results and again reported onset of autistic symptoms following vaccination in a substantial number of the children. Parents of children with abnormalities of the gastrointestinal tract virtually all reported that onset of autistic symptoms almost always occurred after vaccination with MMR rather than before vaccination. In parents of children who were revaccinated with MMR, additional regression was always after rather than before the injection.

Wakefield’s latest data (6) indicates that the nucleic acids of the measles virus are present in biopsies of the lesions from children with autism but not in those of controls. The ultimate proof of Wakefield’s hypothesis would be to reverse the gastrointestinal lesions and autism by elimination of the measles virus. Wakefield also states that combining the mumps virus in the MMR greatly increases the probability of adverse reaction to the measles virus in the vaccine.

Based on Wakefield’s work, it is reasonable to conclude that any child with autism who complains of gastrointestinal pain, chronic diarrhea, or and/constipation or who reacted adversely to the MMR or other vaccine should receive an endoscopic examination of the intestinal tract to detect damage to the intestinal lining. Similar damage to the intestinal tract has been reported in children with attention deficit hyperactivity (7), raising the possibility that an adverse vaccine reaction may be implicated in the cause of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Dr. Singh at the University of Michigan found that high titers of measles antibodies or antibodies to human herpesvirus-6 in children with autism were associated with high levels of autoantibodies to myelin basic protein and neuron-axon filament protein (8). Such autoantibodies might be directly related to the cause of autism since these proteins are involved in the function of nerve cells in the brain. Interferon-gamma is the principal cytokine produced after primary measles immunization (9). Furthermore, the results of animal studies (10) strongly support the hypothesis that IFN-gamma is a key effector molecule in immune-mediated demyelinating disorders and indicate that the presence of this cytokine in the CNS may also disrupt the developing nervous system. Interferon gamma is one of the cytokines present in very high levels in blood serum samples of children with autism (11).  The mean value in the group with autism was 30 times that of the control group.

Increased mortality in children in developing nations receiving measles vaccine has been reported to occur six to twelve months after immunization probably due to immune suppression (12, 13). The main factor that decreases mortality due to measles infection is not immunization but nutritional status. Death rates due to measles infection in non-immunized middle class children were extremely low in the United States prior to availability of measles vaccines due to good nutrition (14). Measles, however, is a significant cause of child death in third world countries with poor nutrition (14). Vitamin A supplementation markedly reduces the severity of measles infection (14). Another factor that is able to predict adverse reaction to the MMR vaccine is low titers to the tetanus vaccine (15). It seems possible that low vitamin A might be one of the reasons for adverse reactions to the measles vaccine in children who later develop autism. Mary Megson M.D. presented data at the 1999 Defeat Autism Now Conference that indicates that children with autism may not be able to absorb the type of vitamin A commonly found in supplements called vitamin A esters (retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate).

Gupta found high amounts of antibodies to rubella (German measles) in mothers of children with autism (16). Gupta states that these high amounts of antibodies would be transferred across the placenta and may also persist for a prolonged period in the child. If the infant receives the rubella immunization while antibodies from the mother are still present (which is now more likely because of earlier immunization schedules), the antibodies may react with the rubella virus in the vaccine forming immune complexes that “confuse” the immune system (16). Dr. Hugh Fudenberg (17), a clinical immunologist reported that some patients with autism “developed symptoms (of autism) within a week after immunization with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.” Dr. Fudenberg also found that some of these children also had extremely high fever or seizures within one day of the vaccine. Reed Warren and his colleagues (18) think that children with this immune deficiency “may not be able to clear certain viruses completely or before the viruses affect the central nervous system.”

Another mother whose child reacted unfavorably after the MMR writes (19): “Nicholas has severe mental impairment after having the MMR injection. He has no speech, no understanding of language at all, no concentration, bizarre behavioral problems, and rarely acknowledges anyone. He has become very strong and aggressive. He is having constant tantrums, screaming and flinging himself to the ground and biting anyone who tries to restrain him. He is very frustrated and agitated most of the time… Our son was once a bright, happy, normal child who could speak and love everyone.”

Thus, it is possible that a viral infection (derived from a live vaccine) of the intestine has caused certain of the intestinal cells to malfunction in the production of secretin or peptidases needed to prevent the toxic effects of wheat or milk peptides. Based on many similar case reports, parents who already have a child with autism who reacted adversely to an immunization might wish to consider delaying immunizations for subsequent children to two years or later.  Another option would be to consider giving the vaccines separately rather than in the combined form like the MMR. The diseases prevented by these immunizations might also increase the risk of harm to a growing child but this risk is decreased when most other children in the community are immunized.  In Japan, the use of the combined MMR has been prohibited since 1993 because of harmful side effects such as meningitis. Children may receive the measles and the rubella vaccine once separately between the age of 1-7 years but must receive the measles vaccine first (20). If the MMR is so safe, why is it not used in Japan? Are the Japanese ignorant and backward people who do not care about their children’s health?

 Credibility Gap of Health Care Officials on Vaccine Reactions

An article from the Orlando Sentinel (21) summarizes the skepticism of parents toward the medical establishment.

“The pertinent characteristic of a bureaucrat, even one with a medical degree, is that his focus is on programs and budgets, not on individuals. Like the good soldier, the bureaucrats have a tendency to defend the program, to minimize or dismiss critics or dissenters. In the case of grant-making, they tend to finance their own prejudices and to deny money to people, no matter how well qualified, who have different ideas. That is probably why federal medical research, despite billions of dollars spent, has not found a cure for corns or colds, much less for cancer or acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Once the government decides to mandate vaccinations, the bureaucrats will justify it. But you should ask yourself: If the vaccines are so safe, why did the manufacturers seek from Congress a grant of immunity from liability suits?”

 Positive Aspects Of Childhood Diseases

Philip Incao M.D., a Denver physician, argues (22) that the positive benefits of childhood diseases like measles, German measles, mumps, and chicken pox are overlooked. He argues that these childhood diseases have a greater effect in the stimulation of cell-mediated immunity than exposures to the corresponding vaccines. The enhanced immunity from getting these diseases protects the child from serious diseases like asthma, degenerative diseases of the bone and cartilage, and cancer. Dr. Incao implicates the recent asthma epidemic with the increased vaccination for common childhood illnesses; DPT-vaccinated children had five times the risk of asthma as nonvaccinated children.  In March of 1995, the Developmental Delay Registry reported that developmentally delayed children were four times more likely to have had an adverse vaccine reaction than normal children (23).  

 Hepatitis B Vaccine and Autism

A health official from Missouri, noticing the increase in developmental disorders in the state commented (21): "There is only one common thread we can identify with all these children: They are the children who received the first trial of hepatitis B injections as newborns in the early 1990s. Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver that is a danger mainly to health care workers who accidentally expose themselves to blood or needles or to drug abusers. The wisdom of requiring all children to be vaccinated prior to school entry has been challenged (24) by the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC): According to the NVIC, there were 872 serious hepatitis B vaccine-associated adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in children less than 14 years of age in 1996.  In comparison, there were 279 cases of hepatitis B infection in children under the age of 14 in 1996. Thus, the number of vaccine adverse events reported were three times the incidence of hepatitis B in the population that is supposed to be protected. The group calls the government-mandated policy of vaccination of all children against hepatitis B a "dangerous and scientifically unsubstantiated policy."

The case of Jeana Smith (25) is a very revealing one. Jeana is the mother of identical twin boys, Jacob and Jesse. They are alike in every way except that Jacob is autistic while Jesse is completely normal. Jesse is above average in school and has a very engaging personality. They were treated alike in every way except that Jacob, unfortunately, took the hepatitis B vaccine at one month of age while Jesse did not. Shortly after the vaccine Jesse began to develop the frequent ear infections common in the history of children with autism. If autism is purely a genetic disease, then Jacob should have had autism as well. I am convinced that the early hepatitis vaccine altered the normal function of the immune system and triggered the susceptibility to later ear infections.

According to Michael Belkin (26) whose child died 15 hours after receiving the hepatitis vaccine, “almost every newborn US baby is now greeted on its entry into the world by a vaccine injection against a sexually transmitted disease for which the baby is not at risk – because they couldn't get the junkies, prostitutes, homosexuals and promiscuous heterosexuals to take the vaccine. That is the essence of the hepatitis B universal vaccination program.” Furthermore, Belkin is strongly suspicious of the power of money to corrupt medical policy: “Selling vaccines is extremely profitable and the process of mandating vaccines is fraught with conflicts of interest between vaccine manufacturers, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (an adjunct of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The business model of having the government mandate everyone must buy your product is a monopolist's delight.”

One concern about many vaccines, including the one for hepatitis B (27) is that they are preserved with Thimerosal, a preservative that contains 50% ethyl mercury which is extremely toxic. Thimerosal is effective at preventing bacterial contamination of certain vaccines. It isn't needed in all vaccines, including those made of live viruses, but it is present in vaccines against hepatitis B, whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus and bacterial meningitis.

In June 1999, the government notified vaccine experts that if infants younger than 6 months receive a number of thimerosal-containing vaccines during the same doctor's visit, the thimerosal levels could give small infants a dose of mercury over the limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Most vaccines are now available without mercury but many of the same vaccines containing mercury are still available. A website listing the mercury status of vaccines is available at Recently, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons urged a moratorium on hepatitis B vaccinations in infants because of studies linking the hepatitis vaccine and 25,000 adverse reactions, including death and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis and autism. Bart Classen, a Maryland physician published data showing that diabetes rates rose significantly in New Zealand following a massive hepatitis B vaccine campaign in young children, and that diabetes rates also went up sharply in Finland after three new childhood vaccines were introduced (28-31). Data from France (32) links immunization against hepatitis B to the development of autoimmune rheumatoid diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis as well.

 DPT Vaccine and Autism

The DPT (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) is also one of the vaccines linked with numerous adverse reactions. The book “A Shot in the Dark” (33) by Harris Coulter and Barbara Fisher documents numerous adverse reactions, particularly with the Pertussis component of the vaccine. The DPT is one of the vaccines commonly reported to me by parents as a trigger in the development of autism. The pertussis part of the vaccine is perceived as the one with greatest potential harm.  The following account (34) is from a mother whose child had two adverse reactions to the DPT.

“In late February 96 (at the age of 22 months) Tyler received the first DPT immunization. He began having a reaction within one hour, which included the following symptoms: a high fever, uncontrollable crying for more than 3 hours, limping, and extended episodes of staring. The adverse effects of this vaccine were quite apparent, especially because Tyler was a mobile toddler who had reached many significant developmental milestones (i.e. walking, talking in simple sentences, etc.), whereas an infant may have many of these symptoms go without recognition. It was obvious Tyler’s muscle tone and disposition were strongly influenced in this reaction, and the doctors agreed he should receive no further pertussis vaccinations.

(Four months later), I scheduled well care appointments for both of my children; Tyler was scheduled to receive a DT (Diphtheria and Pertussis), and Katrina a tetramune (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis and Hemophilus influenza b (HIB)). An error occurred, and Tyler received a tetramune containing both components (HIB and Pertussis) to which he had a documented history of reactions. Upon realizing the error, the nurse summoned the doctor, who claimed a repeated reaction was highly unlikely. As a preventive measure, they treated him with an anti-allergenic medication and sent us home.

Within one hour Tyler began crying in a high pitch, lost all muscle tone in his lower extremities, experienced labored breathing, episodes of staring, was unable to recognize familiar objects/people, and suffered a grand mal seizure. I immediately phoned Children’s Hospital’s Emergency Department, which instructed us to call the doctor’s office and follow their directions. The pediatrician’s office insisted we bring Tyler back into their office for examination; we did. They administered additional anti-allergenic medications and informed us that even though Tyler was having a significant reaction it was not life-threatening.

Later that night he developed a high fever and allergic type rash. Again we phoned the pediatrician’s office and they insisted we had no reason for concern. At this point, our only medical knowledge about vaccines was that being provided by the pediatrician’s office. Within 48 hours the fever dissipated and Tyler’s muscle tone had returned to a somewhat normal level. Tyler had again developed notable facial, eye and hand swelling and was placed on antibiotics.

Tyler was far from the same normal child he was prior to the vaccine. Immediately following the vaccine reaction Tyler developed multiple severe allergies (to foods, chemicals, and environmental factors), autistic behaviors, behavioral problems, dramatic changes in sleeping patterns (from the time of the reaction to present his average daily amount of sleep is 6-7 hours), allergy induced seizures and loss of developmental milestones.”

Tyler’s symptoms now included hyperactivity, aggressiveness, self-injurious behaviors, repetitive running in place or spinning, rolling repetitively, lethargic appearance, and allergic rashes. When the parents asked the physician for the child’s medical records to document their child’s reaction to the vaccine, the office staff was unable to locate them. (In Pam Scott’s chapter of this book, she documents similar errors in vaccination protocols. Her physician actually altered her child’s medical record to cover up the error.)

 The Acellular Pertussis Vaccine

Some of the side effects of the pertussis vaccine could be eliminated if a newly developed purified vaccine called the acellular pertussis vaccine was used instead of the ordinary pertussis vaccine (33). The whole cell or standard pertussis vaccine is produced today in a manner very similar to that of the inventors in 1912. The vaccine consists of pertussis bacteria grown on casein and yeast supplements and preserved with Thimerosal, a mercury derivative. (The use of casein in the preparation of the vaccine might be one reason so many children with autism are sensitive to casein and/or might be responsible for adverse reactions to this vaccine.) The bacteria mixture is washed and the bacteria are killed with heat and formaldehyde. Then this “toxoid” is bottled by itself or with other agents such as tetanus and diphtheria. The effectiveness and toxicity are based on mice testing. The clinical trials upon which the safety of the pertussis vaccine is based were performed mainly on infants older than 14 months. Very few infants in the human safety trial were the age at which this agent is now administered: two months.

Based on a number of adverse reactions, the Japanese developed and tested a cleaner vaccine called the acellular vaccine, which is used throughout Japan beginning in 1981 (33). The acellular vaccine was much more effective than the cellular vaccine in inducing immunity and had a much better safety record than the cellular vaccine. Despite these advantages, the United States Food and Drug Administration did not approve the acellular vaccine until 1996. Today, the more toxic cellular vaccine is still widely available in the United States. The acellular combined vaccine is termed DaPT while the older more toxic vaccine is termed DPT. The older more toxic DPT vaccine is cheaper to make and is more profitable than the DaPT. To get the safer, acellular vaccine you simply have to ask for it.

 Reporting Vaccine Damage

The National Vaccine Information Center founded in 1982, is the oldest and largest vaccine safety and informed consent rights advocacy organization representing health care consumers and the vaccine injured (33). This organization collects information about harmful effects of vaccines and collects lists of “hot” lots that have been associated with greater damage to children. This center does not administer the vaccine damage fund but can provide you with information about it. Contact the National Vaccine Information Center at (703) 938-0342 or if you suspect that your child has had a behavioral change, processing problems, or acquired autistic behaviors after any of their routine vaccinations.

 Vaccine Damage Fund in the United States

The vaccine damage fund in the United States that compensates families for harm caused by vaccines has not usually awarded compensation for autism caused by vaccination. The legislation establishing the compensation fund should be amended to include vaccine damage causing autism and other severe diseases. The amendment of this legislation should be a top political priority of the Autism Society of America. By law, people injured by vaccines must apply for compensation before suing drug companies or physicians who administered the shots. Those who lose can sue, but few do. A tax on vaccines, paid by consumers, goes into an award fund, which has grown to a record $1.3 billion. The fund took in $160 million last year and paid $43 million in benefits. Awards average around $600,000 to $700,000. Since the vaccine injury compensation program began 10 years ago, about 5,300 claims have been filed and more than 3,200 (or 60 percent), have been rejected. The program has awarded $900 million to 1,300 families.

Many other cases remain unresolved. Parents, applicants' lawyers and activists who lobbied for compensation say the program, which pits government lawyers against claimants, has turned unnecessarily adversarial and even stingy. They blame poor administration, lack of congressional oversight and modifications that make it harder to win aid. The government is well-armed to argue against parental claims with 17 lawyers and 100 expert witness physicians. The average time for applicants who prevail is three and half years, and newer cases take a year less. Yet nearly 400 applicants have been waiting over seven years for a decision, according to program figures. The Autism Society of America needs to become involved in lobbying to change the way this program is administered so that parents of affected children have a more significant role in making appropriate decisions.

 When to Think About Refusing Vaccination

In “A Shot in the Dark”, Coulter and Fisher (33) argue that the health of the population overall does not suffer if a small percentage of highly vulnerable children are not immunized. They list the following situations in which children are much more likely to have adverse immunization reactions:

  • History of seizures or other neurological diseases in the child or other member of the immediate family
  • History of severe allergies in the child or immediate family member
  • History of allergy to components used in the vaccines such as eggs, gelatin, casein, or thimerosal
  • Prematurity or low birth weight
  • Chronic illness or a recent severe illness
  • A parent or sibling with a vaccine reaction
  • Previous severe reaction to a vaccination

Based on reports of parents of children with autism, I would also suggest that children on long-term prophylactic antibiotics or who were recently treated with antibiotics are also at much greater risk of adverse immunization reactions. The role of vaccination in a set of identical twins helps to clarify this issue (36).  Mrs. Johnson had identical twin boys, John and Michael. The delivery was normal and both boys received perfect Apgar scores. Both children developed normally until they were 17 months old when they were administered the MMR vaccine. John was on Bactrimâ (a sulfa antibiotic) for an ear infection at the time MMR was administered and Michael, who did not have an ear infection and was not on antibiotics. (The Physician Desk Reference (37) states that there is limited data on the safety of Bactrimâ in children under 2 years of age and that Bactrimâ is not indicated for prophylactic administration in otitis media at any age.)  Two hours after the MMR vaccination, John started a high-pitched scream, developed a wide range of gastrointestinal problems, regressed in development and later received the diagnosis of autism. Michael, on the other hand, developed normally.

 What Factors to Consider in Delaying or Omitting Vaccination

If your child has any of the significant risk factors listed in the previous section, what are some of
the alternatives?

  • Consider delaying immunizations until the child is two years old or more. All infants are immunodeficient. In the womb, the mother passed antibodies to the infant through the placenta and at birth, this process ceases.  The amounts of all types of antibodies decrease markedly after birth but are near adult values by the age of two years.
  • Make sure your child has been on adequate vitamins, especially vitamins A and C before vaccinations of any type. Diphtheria toxin severely depletes vitamin C when injected into guinea pigs, mammals that, like humans, cannot make their own vitamin C (38).   
  • Do not accept the “dirty” pertussis in the DPT vaccine for your child because the acellular pertussis in the DaPT vaccine is much safer. If your physician refuses to provide it, find another physician.
  • If your child has not tolerated cow’s milk well, he may be allergic to casein. Since casein is used in the preparation of the pertussis vaccine, he may be at greater risk for this agent. Consider blood tests for casein allergy prior to vaccination. 
  • Only use mercury-free vaccines for your children. Insist on reading the product insert. Check with your physician concerning which brands they use before your child’s vaccine appointment, since mercury containing and mercury free versions of all vaccines are available. Due to parental influence, children’s vaccines in the United States are now supposed to be mercury free as of 2002. Other vaccines, such as flu vaccines, may still contain mercury.
  • Prior to your child’s vaccine appointment, ask to have your child immunized with single versus combined vaccines and space the vaccines several months apart. Be prepared that physicians may be resistant to this approach. In addition, drug companies are working overtime to discourage this as well because it is less profitable for them to have to produce, distribute, and store different kinds of vaccines.
  • If your child has already had an adverse reaction or the number of risk factors is substantial, you may wish to file a religious or philosophical exemption if permitted in your state or to file a lawsuit to be exempt from one or all vaccinations. Only two states, West Virginia and Mississippi, allow no exemptions for vaccines.
  • A decision to avoid vaccination of your child is not one to be taken lightly. Your child is more vulnerable to childhood infections such as measles, German measles, mumps, and chicken pox if not vaccinated. In most cases, the symptoms of these diseases are mild but in a minority of cases, they may be severe or even fatal. Diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus are serious life-threatening diseases in almost every case.
  • The hepatitis B vaccine has been linked with numerous side-effects that far outnumber the incidence of disease. I would recommend this vaccine only for health care or child care workers exposed to blood or other body fluids, intravenous drug abusers, individuals who are sexually promiscuous people traveling in third world countries, and families of people with these risk factors or who have active hepatitis B. Meanwhile, work with your representatives to rescind state regulations mandating its use in children.
  • Work to develop laws that would require long-term safety evaluations (ten years or longer) of
    all vaccines.
  • Testing to determine antibody levels may indicate that the child has adequate immunity and does not need boosters.

 Summing Up

Parents who demand that vaccines used for children be both completely safe and effective are not cranks or freaks. Imagine what would happen if the response by the airlines and the government to the TWA and Alaska airline flights that crashed into the ocean had been:

 “Oh well! No activity is completely safe. People fall in the bathtub and break their neck every day. There is no evidence of terrorism or mechanical failure.  Flying is, after all, a very safe activity in most instances. No further investigation is needed.”

Instead the airline, the aircraft company, and the government expended thousands of man-hours, sent divers to the bottom of the ocean, and spent millions of dollars to investigate the crash. The press printed thousands of pages of analysis of the investigation of the causes of the crash.

Children with autism and other developmental disorders and adults with other chronic diseases in the thousands, have crashed in a vaccine program that may be safe for most people. It is important that neither bureaucracy, greed, apathy, or denial get in the way of a large-scale investigation into the reasons for this crash.


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  2. Recommended Immunizations for Children and Teens. Kaiser Permanente Member News, Kansas City, summer 1999.
  3. Sara Solovitch. San Jose Mercury News: Do Vaccines Spur Autism In Kids? Tuesday, May 25, 1999.
  4. Wakefield A. et al (1998) Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Lancet 351; 637-641.
  5. Wakefield A. Article abstract taken from 1998 Conference Proceedings "Psychobiology of Autism: Current Research and Practice.
  6. Wakefield A. Presentation at the Irvine, CA Autism Conference. June 4, 2000. Audiotapes of his presentation can be ordered from the website
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  16. Gupta S., Aggarwal and Heads C.  Dysregulated immune system in children with autism.  Beneficial effects of intravenous immune globulin on autistic characteristics. Autism Develop Dis 26:439-452, 1996. 
  17. Fudenberg H. Dialyzable lymphocyte extract in infantile onset autism: a pilot study. Biotherapy 9:144,1996.
  18. Warren PP, Singh VK, Cole P, Odell JD, Pingree CB, Warren WL, White E: Increased frequency of the null allele at the complement C4B locus in autism.  Clin Exp Immunol 83: 438-440, 1991.
  19. Dawbarns Solicitors Fact Sheet. Mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccines and measles rubella (MR) vaccines. Dawbarns Solicitors. Bank House. King’s Staithe Square. King’s Lynn, Norfolk, Great Britain PE30 1RD.
  20. Sunny Izumi. Citizen of Japan and member of Japanese autism support group. (Personal communication, 1999).
  21. Beware Trend Toward More Mandatory Vaccinations. Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, FL, June 15, 1999.
  22. Incao P. Supporting children’s health. Alternative Medicine Digest. Issue 19, pages 54-59,1997.
  23. Survey shows link between antibiotics and developmental delays in children. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. October 1995.
  24. Hepatitis B in children questioned. Reuters Health News Service. Jan.25, 1999.
  25. Anita Manning. USA TODAY: "Vaccine-Autism Link Feared" Monday, August 16, 1999.
  26. Michael Belkin's [] testimony to Congress on Tuesday May 18, 1999]. Internet posting on AUTISM-PHYSIO Digest - 6 Aug 1999 to 7 Aug 1999.
  27. Neergaard Lauran. US Wants Mercury Out of Vaccines. The Associated Press. NY. 07-07-99 16:04 EDT.
  28. Classen JB, Classen DC. Immunisation and type 1 diabetes mellitus: is there a link? Drug Saf 1999 Nov; 21 (5): 423-5.
  29. Classen JB, Classen DC. Public should be told that vaccines may have long-term adverse effects. BMJ 1999 Jan 16; 318(7177): 193
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  34. Personal communication from the parent of affected child.
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  36. Personal communication from the parent of affected child.
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