Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Politics

When the next outbreaks hit, they’ll likely be in Texas (2019 edition)

A new study that mathematically models vaccination and measles spread shows why Texas is overdue for large measles outbreaks, thanks to its growing number of children whose parents claim personal belief exemptions to school vaccine mandates.

I’ve been writing a long time about how Texas is overdue for massive measles outbreaks on par with what we are observing in Brooklyn and and Rockland Counties in New York. The reason is that the antivaccine movement in Texas has been particularly influential, fusing as it has antivaccine conspiracy mongering with conservative, anti-government, -antiregulation beliefs, making appeals to “parental rights” and “health freedom,” particularly effective there. As I’ve said before, “parental rights,”
“health freedom,” and anti-government beliefs combine to produce a highly effective gateway drug to antivaccine pseudoscience, quackery, and conspiracy theories. Indeed, the number of children whose parents claim “personal belief exemptions” (or, as I like to call them, “I don’t wanna” exemptions) to school vaccine mandates has skyrocketed since 2003.

That’s why Dr. Peter Hotez and others have been warning of potential disaster in Texas for a while now. Now, a new study from the University of Pittsburgh and Texas Pediatric Society, the Texas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Austin, TX: Forecasted Size of Measles Outbreaks Associated With Vaccination Exemptions for Schoolchildren. The study, whose lead author is David Sinclair, is hot off the presses last week in JAMA Network Open. The key question asked was: What is the expected size of measles outbreaks in Texas at current (i.e., 2018) and decreased vaccination rates? Mathematical modeling was used to estimate the expected size of measles outbreaks in Texas under various scenarios, taking into account how individual cases could spread based on the activities and personal contacts of the infected individuals, noting that the number of personal belief exemptions in Texas has increased 28-fold, from 2,300 in 2003 to 64,000 in the 2017-2018. I note that this means that the personal belief exemption rate has climbed from 45,000 since the 2015-2016 school year.

The authors note in the introduction:

Efforts to achieve or maintain herd immunity have been hampered by a small segment of the population declining vaccinations for their children for various reasons, including concerns regarding adverse effects of vaccination, lack of knowledge of the vaccine, and social influences.13,14 These concerns are not homogeneously spread in the population, creating spatial foci with greater risk of measles outbreaks.15,16 Because of these fears increasing in the past 2 decades, vaccine declination disproportionately affects children. A 5% decrease in vaccination rates has been estimated to cause a tripling of measles cases in children aged 2 to 11 years.17

Schools with a large number of students with vaccine exemptions provide environments in which measles can spread among susceptible students and to the wider population.18 The merits of requiring children to be vaccinated to attend schools have been debated extensively,19 with requirements and incentives varying around the world.20 In the United States, states individually choose whether to grant vaccination exemptions to allow unvaccinated children to attend school. As of June 2019, exemptions for religious or personal reasons are permissible in 45 states.21

The authors note that Texas is the second largest state in the US by population, with metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) encompassing a range of sizes representing 92% of the MSAs in the US, before proposing to do the following:

We use agent-based simulations of the Texas population, including the size, location, and vaccination rate of each school, to evaluate the risk of widespread measles outbreaks occurring within and beyond Texas schools. We analyze the risk of outbreaks at 2018 vaccination rates (from the 2017-2018 school year) and the risk if vaccination rates continue to decrease. Advocacy groups in Texas have argued both in favor of and against changes to vaccine exemption regulations in Texas31-33; this investigation aims to help inform such discussions. Early (unpublished) versions of these simulations directly influenced legislative votes in favor of the elimination of conscientious exemptions to vaccination in California.34 Simulations were run for each Texas MSA (except Texarkana). Texas counties not located in an MSA are not discussed in this article; however, the results of similar simulations are provided elsewhere.35

The authors developed an agent-based decision model using a tool called Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics (FRED). (I kind of like that the name of the tool is Fred. I don’t know why.) Agent-based models can simulate the actions and interaction of a collection of individual agents that follow a set of rules and thus allow the modeling of the behavior of agents in a complex, interconnected system when various parameters and rules are changed. The authors note that the FRED tool can model the spread of infectious diseases through a population, based on the daily interactions of agents in their households, neighborhoods, and schools and workplaces.

The agents in this particular set of simulations were made up of a synthetic population of Texas generated from 2010 US Census data, including age, gender, race, household size, and household income. Each member of the synthetic population was assigned a household location according to US Census tract populations and demographic distributions, and agents were assigned workplaces corresponding to commuting patterns, business sizes, and employment rates. Finally, each school-aged agent was assigned a school type (public or private) and school location on the basis of their demographic characteristics. The schools in the synthetic population were created using real school locations and sizes. The agent-based model assumes that, during each work day, agents interact with the other agents in their household, neighborhood, and workplace or school.

Vaccination rates were assigned on the basis of the reported vaccination rates of the schools attended by agents in the model. Because the two-dose series of MMR is 97% effective in preventing infection, a random 3% of each school’s population was assigned to be susceptible to measles. Approximately 0.2% of students in Texas are ineligible to be vaccinated because of contraindications46; medical exemptions to vaccination were assigned randomly to agents in schools.


People born in the United States before 1957 are assumed to be immune to measles because they were exposed before mass vaccination, when measles was widespread.47 Agents representing population members aged 62 years or older (the age of someone born before 1957 on January 1, 2019) were, thus, immune to measles in these simulations. The vaccination rate of the remaining population was assumed to be 94.8%, on the basis of antibody seroprevalence analysis of the US population48 and assuming 97% effectiveness of administered vaccinations.

Vaccination rates for each school were obtained from the Texas Department of State Health Services.23 The most recent available vaccination rate for each school was used (from the 2017-2018 to 2015-2016 school years). Vaccination rates for schools with no data available were estimated using the vaccination rates of similar, nearby schools (eAppendix 2 and eFigure 1 in the Supplement). Private schools in Texas report vaccination rates on a per-school basis; however, public schools report by school district, so the vaccination rate of a school district was applied to each public school in the district. Seventh-grade (ages 12-13 years) vaccination rates were used (eAppendix 3 in the Supplement).

And…enter a single case of measles:

In each simulation run, a single case of measles was introduced via a randomly selected student (aged 5-15 years) for whom a vaccine had been refused. Measles outbreaks were simulated for the 2018 vaccination rates at each school, and further scenarios in which the vaccination rate of schools with vaccine refusers was decreased by 1% to 10%. Approximately 0.2% of students in Texas are reported as being medically exempt from vaccination. We assume an uncertainty of 0.2% on this value; therefore, any school with less than 99.6% of students vaccinated was considered to have vaccine refusers when deciding which schools’ vaccination rates to decrease.

This leads to the money figure, which shows an exponential increase in measles cases in six MSAs, including the four largest MSAs in Texas (Austin–Round Rock, Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land, and San Antonio) and two with more typical population sizes (Lubbock and Tyler):

Note that this is a logarithmic scale. Each major tick mark represents an increase by a factor of ten in the number of measles cases based on percent decline in vaccination coverage. Also note that it’s not just the unvaccinated who are at risk. Bystanders (those with medical exemptions and the 3% of the vaccinated who remain susceptible to measles) are also at risk. Even though this modeling predicts that 64% of the measles cases would occur among children for whom vaccination was refuse, that still means 36% occur bystanders who did not refuse vaccination or the small number of children with legitimate medical exemptions to school vaccine requirements.

The authors note in the conclusion:

These simulations estimate that large measles outbreaks of more than 400 cases could occur in Austin–Round Rock and Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, with their 2018 distribution of vaccination rates. This finding is consistent with the largest measles outbreaks that have occurred since measles was eliminated in the United States9,10 and suggests that the vaccination rate of these areas should be increased to reduce the chance of a large outbreak.

These simulations estimate that large measles outbreaks of more than 400 cases could occur in Austin–Round Rock and Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, with their 2018 distribution of vaccination rates. This finding is consistent with the largest measles outbreaks that have occurred since measles was eliminated in the United States9,10 and suggests that the vaccination rate of these areas should be increased to reduce the chance of a large outbreak.

The Tyler MSA simulations suggest a significant chance of large measles outbreaks associated with students attending 2 schools with vaccination rates of 70% and 85% (eAppendix 6 in the Supplement). This highlights that a small number of significantly undervaccinated networks could be associated with measles spreading widely in a population. In the event of an outbreak in schools with undervaccinated populations, interventions targeted at these schools may be especially effective. Such interventions may involve isolation measures or mandatory vaccinations, as happened in New York State in 2019,12 or voluntary vaccination programs,18 if vaccination acceptance increases during an outbreak. Undervaccinated close-knit communities present an increased risk of outbreaks; mandating that schools with low vaccination rates plan for outbreak scenarios may help reduce outbreak sizes.

Also, the lower the vaccination rate, the larger the chance of outbreaks and the larger the size of outbreaks. The authors also found that decreases in vaccination rates in schools with undervaccinated populations in 2018 were associated with exponential increases in the potential size of outbreaks. Indeed, even a 5% decrease in vaccination rate was associated with a 40% to 4000% increase in potential outbreak size, depending on the metropolitan area.

As I’ve said many times before, when the next outbreaks occur, they’ll probably happen in Texas. In fact, I’m rather surprised that Texas has managed to get away with this situation for as long as it has without suffering large outbreaks. Moreover, by refusing to vaccinate their children based on fears based on pseudoscience and conspiracy theories, antivaxers endanger not just their own children, but all children.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

178 replies on “When the next outbreaks hit, they’ll likely be in Texas (2019 edition)”

This has been stirring around in the back of my mind since I just dropped my daughter off for her first year at UT in Austin. I already suspected Austin was a low vaccination area but I wasn’t sure how bad. Maybe they should included vaccination rates in all that college research material you get.

I wonder if Texas had been lucky so far because it’s unvaccinated population travels abroad less. I don’t know if that’s true, and it certainly won’t be enough if there’s inter state travel, but international travel was a large component in New York, Minnesota, and Washington state.

At any rate, Texas has a big problem. This is why they need grassroots groups speaking up for vaccines (thank you, Jinny Suh).

It may simply be that the unvaccinated population of Texas has fewer links to places like The Philippines, France, Ukraine or Israel, places where measles outbreaks are common.

@ Chris Preston,

Population density? New York State has an overall population density of 421 people per square mile, the highest density area is NYC; 26,403 people per square mile.

One-third of Texas’ 254 counties have a population density of less than 10 persons per square mile, with Dallas county, the highest, at .2,891 persons per square mile & the lowest being Loving County, at 0.13 persons per square mile.

FRED results make sense to those of us that support/develop vaccines to protect children. On the other hand, it requires far less math and science to convince the anitvax/vaccine-hesitant folks with the simple message that Andy ( discussed with Del last week: the MMR vaccine is causing measles via mutation, and the immune response to MMR provides less immune protection than wild-type infection.

So, the cycle continues: easy to digest messages based on conspiracy mongering decrease vaccination rates compared with evidence-based predictions such as FRED provides. Once again, the end result it likely to be more measles cases among children living in the US (especially in Texas). Eventually when enough cases accrue death and serious complications will follow, and temporarily a decrease in the vaccine hesitant numbers. Same as it ever was…

That Telegraph story is from May. I hadn’t heard that Andy was 1) claiming the MMR causes measles, 2) dating Elle McPherson 3) trying to grub up funding for Vaxxed II: The People’s Truth “targeting the HPV vaccine”. Eeek! Did this get Oracian Insolence I missed somehow?

I don’t think the problem is that FRED is too complicated. Orac’s post would go over the publics’ head because he excerpts so much of the arcane specialist lingo of the JAMA paper in pull quotes. Putting the results in a form fit for a general readership newspaper would reduce it to something like Computer Simulation Shows Texas Now At High Risk For Measles Outbreaks. The paper wouldn’t go very deep into what’s in the sausage. Apples to Apples, it’s not a question of digestibility, but more of “who do you trust?”. And if your answer for that is “Andy Wakefield”, you’re already down the rabbit hole, no?

I’ll break the response into 2 parts:
1) Thanks for making my point for me. We appear to agree that despite the well reasoned assumptions, math, and work the model reflects, “the paper wouldn’t go very deep into what’s in the sausage” (assuming that you meant “newspaper”). Andy simply continues his disinformation campaign sans well reasoned assumptions or work, and captures not only the motivated reasoners we call anti-vaccine but the uncertain (and afraid) vaccine hesitant. Tough for the science-based of us to compete on messaging.
We also seem to agree that, based on Orac’s usually well referenced science journalism, the model will accurately predict Texas as prone to future outbreaks. When that occurs the history of vaccination will likely repeat: there will still be antivaxxers, and there will still be vaccine supporters. Depending on the seriousness of measles outcomes there may even be a reduction in vaccine hesitancy until the cycle begins again.

2) Andy isn’t big on referencing his disinformation so I often have to speculate about his claims. I speculate that Andy believes MMR causes measles because there are measles mutations occurring since the vaccine was developed. Predictably, his interpretation is that in response to the vaccine (ignoring that fact that viruses mutate in the absence of vaccines), MMR has created mutant wild-type measles that evade the vaccine-induced immunity (which explains the outbreaks). Further, he seems to be denying how effective MMR is globally, and in his denial he is focused on the differing immune response of wild-type measles versus an attenuated vaccine measles regardless of the lack of clinical significance for the difference. All this, of course, ignores that the unvaccinated are the cause of the outbreaks seen in the US, and will continue to be…

I speculate that Andy believes MMR causes measles because there are measles mutations occurring since the vaccine was developed.

Despite the various strains, measles virus has very little wiggle room for mutation of its humagglutinin and fusion proteins if it wants to hang onto its binding sites. Wakefraud is simply talking out of his ass.

Andy believes MMR causes measles

Andy is a grifter. He doesn’t believe any of this.

I know it’s the Telegraph but it doesn’t sound far-fetched that Ol’ Andy has gone that daft, some grade-A conspiracy mongering right there. And I hope Elle is in it for the long haul because the stink of Wakefield won’t come off that easily.

Elle is no slouch in the anti medicine arena herself. Her sister is worse.

Undervaccinated close-knit communities present an increased risk of outbreaks

We have had one or two fairly serious outbreaks in Canada. It seems that they occur in close-knit communities. Usually it seems that there is no real objection to vaccines just a cultural bias about going to the doctor, let alone, getting a needle stuck in one.

While we have some raving anti-vaxers it seems we do not have as many or quite as rabid as the USA, what’s her face at UBC excepted. Of course you have 10 times population so that allows for more nutters.

Still, I think I am cancelling Dallas off the vacation list and reconsidering Damascus. Sounds like it might be healthier.

I’d like to recommend a podcast, Explore the Space, Feb 2019 with Dr Hotez talking about the anti-vaccine movement. He’s just terrific.

As an aside, two of the metro areas listed are places woo-meisters Adams and Null have determined to be the best places to live in the US ( Austin and Tyler, respectively): they each own LARGE properties and encourage followers to move into those locales because they are “sustainable” ** or health freedom friendly. Also legislation concerning medical charlatanry is somewhat lax ( see Dr Bryzynski) and taxes are low. Less gun laws too.

** although they stressed how these areas would thrive in the future weather-wise ( only Null supports AGW) as well, soon after they moved, both areas were hit with massive storms/ floods which they disn’t deny.

yes on & on& on hhmmmm ask your self…how did people & all the kids get on back in the old days ??cheers from happy bob from oz

How did they deal? Parents got used to burying their kids; kids got used to missing their brothers and sisters.

Hi Fred or is it really Dan… it is nice to know you love kids suffering from high fevers, seizures, a wiping out of the immune system, and with a good chance of death or permanent disability.

Why do you hate children so much?

@ Robert Walton,

Well Bob, it depends on how ‘old’ of the old days you ask about

In 1910; people got the Measles & got better but 12.4 in every 100,000 died.

In 1920; people got the Measles & got better but 8.8 in every 100,000 died.

In 1930; people got the Measles & got better but 3.2 in every 100,000 died.

In 1940; people got the Measles & got better but 0.5 in every 100,000 died. This would equal the death rate for ‘Poisoning by venomous animals’ for the same year.

In 1950; people got the Measles & got better but 0.3 in every 100,000 died.

In 1960; people got the Measles & got better but 0.2 in every 100,000 died, which was, admittedly; a rate 0.1 higher than ‘Death by police intervention’.

After that, the MMR saved us from the Measles.

Pages 571-609.

on deaths from measles prior to vaccination:
– they happened every year, year after year, but with vaguely periodic peaks
– most of the population was immune to measles after having contracted it and survived
– the deaths therefore were almost entirely among the new members of the herds – young children
Run up the numbers for annual rate of death from measles in children under 5 and see how trivial the numbers (don’t) look.

suggest background music while doing calculations: Kindertotenlieder by ol’ Gus Mahler

In 1960; people got the Measles & got better but 0.2 in every 100,000 died, which was, admittedly; a rate 0.1 higher than ‘Death by police intervention’.

That’s a particularly excellent example of invoking a common, ignorance-based anti-vaccine meme while ignoring the more recent data that refutes your pathetic effort to make a point.

It turns out that the risk from measles is now much higher than Brady Bunch fans might suppose:

Because estimates of case risks rely on data for severity generated during a pre-vaccine era they underestimate negative outcomes in the modern post-vaccine epidemiological landscape. Physicians and parents should understand when making decisions about their children’s health and safety that remaining unvaccinated in a predominantly vaccine-protected community exposes their children to the most severe possible outcomes for many preventable diseases. [Fefferman NH, Naumova EN. Dangers of vaccine refusal near the herd immunity threshold: a modelling study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2015 Aug;15(8):922-6.]

For example:

During 1988 through 1990, California experienced its worst measles epidemic in more than a decade, with 16,400 reported cases, 3,390 hospital admissions, and 75 deaths. [Dales LG et al. Measles epidemic from failure to immunize. West J Med 1993; 159:455-464).]

Note that one death in 219 cases is more than “0.2 in every 100,000.” In 1990, 1 in 311 measles cases resulted in death here in the United States: 89 deaths among the 27,672 US cases [Current Trends Measles — United States, 1990. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. June 07, 1991 / 40(22);369-372.]

Please stop posting stupid stuff to support you nonsensical anti-vaccine fixation. You need therapy, but displaying your ignorance isn’t therapy.

Hi Christine, I caught measles in 1969. I survived, although my Mum was told I might not. I did lose half my hearing. If it had been available, my Mum would have had me immunised.

For once, the term “exponential” is being used properly. I’ve grown to detest the ignorant use of the word by innumerate journalists. True exponential growth can be pretty serious if the exponent is big enough. As readers of this blog undoubtedly know, the word does not just mean “big.” In this case, the growth becomes more rapid for even modest increases in the unvaccinated population.

How did they deal? I can remember my mother telling us that she had whooping cough as a kid. It was obviously a major event in her life and stayed with her as a powerful memory. In my generation, we all got measles and chicken pox, which the medical profession referred to as childhood diseases. The one advantage to having chicken pox as a kid was that the mortality was a lot lower than getting it as an adult and getting chicken pox pneumonia, which had a mortality of about 25% in those days.

I can remember a movie we saw in school about the City of Hope and childhood leukemia, which had a high mortality at the time. How did parents deal with such things? If you were Danny Thomas, you raised money and devoted a substantial part of the rest of your life to creating a cancer research center. That didn’t bring his son back to life though. There was even a substantial mortality from high school football, usually due to dehydration. It was coaching policy not to allow players to get water during practice, as this toughened you up. I think the death rate for high school football was around two dozen per year just due to dehydration and heat alone.

How do parents deal with deaths due to gun violence? Not all that well actually.

If science came up with an anti-cancer vaccine, would the anti-vax crowd oppose it? We now know the answer, as there is one and they do.

Most mutations are lethal, and this applies to measles virus. A virus must get inside to the cell, and have working enzymes. Epitopes containing active sites would change much slower, and this explains why measles vaccine is still working.

Epitopes containing active sites would change much slower, and this explains why measles vaccine is still working.


Ok if you send your child to school without vaccines an start an epidemic you should pay the Bill’s. Also if our family has to have vaccines to enter school so should everyone .or send them to schools for unvaccinated .see how people like it when an outbreak starts an you are responsible

In other anti-vax news ( courtesy of Dr DG’s twitter link)…

Anti-vaxxers rallied today at California’s capitol building: RFK jr and Del Biggie were present. Looks like the same signs used in the V event. I watched the 10 minute video, she who videotaped kept saying, ” We have 500 people!” many times. Doctors in white, nurses blue scrubs, I didn’t see much white except for message tee shirts ( not the same, I’ll venture).

I looked at the Sac Bee’s am coverage and found an interesting tidbit: Eric Frame ran against Dr Pan in their party’s primary ( the regular election is in Nov) and LOST by 53%. Should I repeat that?
The group claims they have massive support in the state and can’t get rid of their enemy in a primary? PLUS it’s a really Democratic district so I doubt that there’d be meaningful opposition: he won easily last time.

California has single, open primaries, not separate primaries by party. The top two finishers in the primary go to the general, regardless of party. E.g. in the US Senate race for 2018, another Democrat finished 2nd to Diane Feinstein, and thus became her opponent in the general (I voted for him; he lost).

In the Cal Senate Sixth primary Pan won with 65.9% and Frame, running as an Independent, finished second with 13.2%. A Libertarian named Janine DeRose got 11% and another Democrat, Jacob Mason, got 9.9%. So Frame just edged into the ballot for the general. In the general, however, Pan received 69.5% and Frame 30.5%. In raw numbers Frame got 93,217 out of 306,120 cast. In contrast, the November turnout in 2014 – where Pan defeated another Democrat 53.8% to 46.2% – was 179,626.

While the AVs have zero chance of unseating Pan, the results show more strength than I would have guessed. I don’t know however, if Frame made vaccines the sole focus of his campaign, or if he gained votes from stances on other issues.

Thanks for that information, the article wasn’t clear. I do know about the national Senate race with two Democratic women leading to Harris’ win.

According to, Nov1, 2018:
Frame is an ” outsider candidate”/ independent who supported keeping non-medical exemptions but also was against Monsanto/ ‘glyphosate causes cancer’ , who wants single payer health coverage and supports “natural health care” .
So he’s not ONLY anti-vax. Anti-vax is part of his appeal,

Please I have had measles ,40 years later stronger and better than most of you.And no peanuts don’t do shit to me neither does milk.Nor my kids.

There was a vaccine for measles 40 years ago. You parents were negligent, and you were left for several months after measles with a weaker immune system.

Considering the grammar and “logic” used in that comment it seems you lost several pertinent brain cells.

why are the provaxxers or shall now refer to them as immunocompromised, so paranoid about outbreaks when they are vaccinated? let the unvaxxed wipe themselves out and keep yer dam mouth shut.
and stop claiming SCIENCE.
apparently your science is not irrefutable.
no science is.
same goes for the other side.
y’all will fall for anything that can possibly divide you.
seems like society is only good at distracting people.
that must be what the purpose of humanity is, huh?
to cause distraction!

Measles is deadly. Why would you allow that threat to public health when a simple risk assessment shows a better path – vaccinate your crotch goblins!

@ Mike Morris,

vaccinate your crotch goblins

Well, in the event vaccine hesitant parents had any concern that others probably just don’t care as much about their child’s safety as they do … Thank You. For confirming this. Incredibly helpful. Now, did you happen to see the stats I posted above to ‘crazy bob’, regarding just how deadly the measles was before the vaccine saved humanity from the brink of the Spotted Death?

Complete with the 800+ page CDC citation. I narrowed down the page rage. More interesting stats from the same source:

In 1921, measles killed 4.2 out of every 100,000 people, That was the exact same death rate as ‘Prostrate Disease’ (despite that only roughly half of the population even had a prostrate).

In 1929, measles killed 2.5 out of every 100,000 people, which was slightly more than the 2.0 per 100,000 death rate from ‘Duodenal Ulcers’.

In 1939, measles killed 0.9 out of every 100,000 people; exactly as much as the death rate from ‘Accidental Mechanical Suffocation’.

In 1953, measles killed 0.3 out of every 100,000 people; compared to the 0.1 out of 100,000 that were killed by ‘Execution’.

Definitely worth it, to vaccinate our crotch goblins.

To CK:

The good bits:
In 1980, 2.6 million people died of it, and in 1990, 545,000 died; by 2014, global vaccination programs had reduced the number of deaths from measles to 73,000. Despite these trends, rates of disease and deaths increased from 2017 to 2019 due to a decrease in immunization.

Think globally. Act locally. Vaccinate.


I also read those numbers. I am curious though what conclusion you draw from them?

It is important to recognize those are population level death rates, and are influenced by many factors such as the increase in life expectancy during the 20th century. For instance, if fewer people die from diphtheria, they live to be older and increase the total population and reduce the fraction of that population that die from measles each year even if there is no change in prevention or treatment of measles itself.

The diphtheria vaccine was developed in 1923. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.


Diphtheria once was a major cause of illness and death among children. The United States recorded a high of 206,000 cases of diphtheria in 1921, resulting in 15,520 deaths (a case-fatality ratio of 7.5%). Diphtheria case fatality rates range from about 20% for those under age five and over age 40, to 5-10% for those aged 5-40 years. Diphtheria was the third leading cause of death in children in England and Wales in the 1930s. Diphtheria is extremely rare in the United States today; between 2004 and 2011, no cases of diphtheria were reported to public health officials. One case was provisionally reported in 2012.

In 1945, my mother completed her nurse’s training in Dallas and worked at a military hospital near there treating people returning from overseas. She told me they gave the diphtheria vaccine to every patient coming into the hospital. She treated the only case of diphtheria she ever saw at that hospital and was very glad she never had to treat a case again.

why are the provaxxers…so paranoid about outbreaks when they are vaccinated?

Because those too young to be vaccinated and those who are immunosuppressed from chemotherapy and organ transplants can catch these diseases and die from them. Dana McCaffrey, Kaliah Jordan, Kailis Smith. Three babies who died from vaccine preventable diseases because not enough people around them vaccinated.

Also because the anti-vaxxers are trying to contaminate the science showing that vaccines are far safer than the diseases. If they actually managed to seriously do this, then vaccine rates would fall and even more people would be subject to VPDs. It’s a matter of self protection.

“Because those too young to be vaccinated and those who are immunosuppressed from chemotherapy and organ transplants can catch these diseases and die from them.”
I also balk at the idea that children, who have no choice in the matter, are being put at risk because of the stupidity of the Parents.
If you want to make poor decisions that affect only yourself then go for it, forcing your decision onto others, whether children or rest of the people they\you interact with, is despicable.

let the unvaxxed wipe themselves out

You know it’s the children of antivaxers who are going to suffer from their parents’ decision not to vax them, not the parents themselves, right?
Not to mention that a specific sub-group of “unvaxed” don’t have a choice – those too young to be vaccinated, and those with real medical conditions, like, precisely, the immuno-compromised.

So what is your fool proof plan to protect babies under a year old?

Do you also think the young people who are being hospitalized by vaping deserve the lung damage?

I’m somewhat perplexed about these transient pseudonyms suddenly appearing in order to pimp Dan Steinberg.

Perhaps it is because someone who demonizes vaccines with bad data is trying to step back from the reports of lung damage from the type of product he sells.

Nah, it’s the references to the plagiarism site. I doubt Dan’s making much bread given the panoply of vaping devices on the market now.

True. Though I found it ironic that he goes off on aluminum in vaccines while selling a product to suck random vapor into the lungs. Just like I sniggered at the hipsters complaining about smoke from wild fires last year as they were vaping.

“Hmm, wonder if the surgical gloves they used during the C-section transferred antigens to the infant?”

That’s why OBs never wear gloves during vaginal deliveries.

You can’t fool Mother Nature.

Dangerous Bacon writes,

“You can’t fool Mother Nature.”

MJD says,

Medical science is a creative and controlling force .Of course we can fool Mother Nature; forced immunity through vaccinations is just one example.

@ Andrew,

Measles also causes deafness and mental handicaps

Wen I see a study that shows a lack of correlation between vaccines & autism using a genetically at-risk-for autism cohort; I would consider that statement as viable. Until then; ASD trumps every other ‘special need’ out there.

Unwarranted, unsubstantiated concern for mortality is what will give you that compulsory immunization win & you know it.

Sorry. Didn’t realize that ASD was worse than dying blind and in convulsions. Good to know.

Andrew: Years ago this blog used to get comments from antivaxxers who found pictures of children suffering from VPD “attractive” – perhaps there are people who only are attracted to children actually dying in horrible ways. They would find children with autism unsatisfactory because ASD is not fatal (unless you count children who were being murdered by a parent (directly or via increasingly extreme “cures” for imaginary vaccine injuries as deaths caused by autism).

@ Andrew,

Oh; it’s ‘death blindness’ now? And ‘convulsions’ are a daily part of ASD for many; thanks

Okay, Christine… now you need to bring up the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers than the present American pediatric MMR vaccine causes more seizures and encephalitis than measles.

Now get to it!

Have you written the Simons Foundation on what studies they should be doing? Be sure to explain your study protocol very carefully because you have so many specific demands.

I know you like to think that the last person to suffer and sacrifice like you was Jesus Christ when they nailed him to the cross, but plenty of special needs parents would love to trade places with you on the grounds that your son can walk and talk and isn’t dying.

I know a few. I have met more than one wheelchair bound child and a family with a set of identical twins: one is autistic and the other has leukemia.

One of the “children” in the wheelchair is just over twenty years old and has the mental age of a two year old, is on a ventilator and has a feeding tube. The wheelchair is a massive piece of machinery. The mother would do anything for her child. Including driving all the way to Anaheim to have them experience Disneyland, because that is how much she loves her child. Also the mother does it all herself with just the help of her mother since the father took off when the severity of the disability was noted at birth. Even though the mother can use state funds to get a caregiver for her child while she is at work, she can’t find any. Many say that they cannot lift the 95 pounds required to change a diaper or give a bath. One only wanted to work nights when everyone was sleeping!

I also know one family whose bipolar child tried to commit suicide several times since the age of eight. They got through that with actual medical care. Yet they were scared for us when our kid required open heart surgery.

It seems that others often have it worse than ourselves, it just depends on your perspective of what you are used to. We live in a Mediterranean type climate on the American west coast. And right now our community is loving the rain in late August as compared to last year of several months without rain and having to choke on the yellow acrid air caused by several forest fires. You have to learn to roll with the punches and appreciate what you have. Plus, I am still replacing my teeny tiny lawn with drought resistant plants.

PS: You nailed it with your comment. (sorry could not resist the pun)

On the one hand, I pity Christine. It’s clear she’s really struggling with how to best handle her son’s behaviors when she has little to no support structure around her. It makes me sad that she’s so fixated on vaccines that she poo-poos things like like better services (imagine how much easier being a special needs parents would be with adequate PCA hours) or accomodations (I know more than one parent of a child with sensory issues who would gladly kill a man for a sensory friendly grocery store).

I really believe she’s using this site as a form of digital self-harm. In the short term, it feels good to get angry and lash out, but obviously it doesn’t last, as seen by her inability to stay away for more than three days after declaring she was done with us for good. It makes me sad, because it isn’t good for her, her son or the rest of her family.

However, a good chunk of my pity is used up by the fact that she seems to think she’s owed other people’s pain and suffering to make up for her own. Despite what she thinks, the issues and and behaviors she’s dealing with are not unique to her, or even autism. I’ve seen sprouted potatoes with more empathy.

I pity her too. I also thinks she needs to get help, elsewhere not here. I often wonder what her other ten children and their fathers are doing to help her. Perhaps they tried but were rebuffed.

Terrie, Chris,

However, a good chunk of my pity is used up by the fact that she seems to think she’s owed other people’s pain and suffering to make up for her own.

Co-dependency, I’ve primarily saw that into co-dependent peoples and it’s deeply rooted in the executioner, victim & savior triangle and also, deeply rooted in toxic shame (less so with normal shame) when a thinking pattern of shame is present regardless of the presence of a shameful act or not.

That’s why I encourage peoples (online or IRL) to get rid of toxic shame (the unwarranted shame) but alas, I can bring a horse to the water fountain but there is no guarantee that it’s gonna drink.


This citation is posted many times:
Jain A, Marshall J, Buikema A, Bancroft T, Kelly JP, Newschaffer CJ. Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US Children With Older Siblings With and Without Autism. JAMA. 2015;313(15):1534–1540. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3077
Can you please comment it ?

using a genetically at-risk-for autism cohort

I think that’s called “human”.

For some reason, I don’t see c-sections performed by robots catching on any time soon. If ever. I mean, would any guy here be interested in a robot performed vasectomy?

Actually, why not? It’s just about the robot making an incision and finding the right pipes, and men’s plumbing is a lot simpler than women’s (or so my mom keep telling me, I’m not an Ob/gyn).
But I’ll admit I don’t think we have the technology yet, so I would need some convincing…

Yes Christine, blindness followed by death is a consequence of measles (when measles leads to SSPE). I don’t know where you got ‘death blindness’ from, but I appreciate you not falling back on your usual dismissive term “rash.”

@ Andrew,

You said ‘dying blind’ as if it were part of some pathological sequelae leading to an early demise. You obviously find the CDC mortality data to be lacking the clout needed to generate irrational fear when it comes to pre-vaccine Measles mortality.

I find the pre-agenda data to be more accurate regarding infectious disease. Like how before the flu vaccine, Influenza was listed under: Infectious & Parasitic Diseases: ‘Influenza; respiratory complications specified’, ‘Influenza; respiratory complications un-specified’. Pneumonia is under; ‘Diseases of the Respiratory System’, as ‘Lobar Pneumonia’ & Pneumonia (unspecified).

Kind of funny how we have a flu vaccine & now four different causes of death involving two separate categories have been reduced to ‘INFLUENZAandpneumonia’ for impact.

It’s really not impressive how much misunderstanding & contempt of severe autism there is among those who boast their ‘science-based’ affiliation. Chris, in particular, seems to be quite oblivious, while fawning over parents of kids in wheelchairs & parents who change diapers on 95 lb children; that I was changing diapers for a 150 lb child (who was well over 95 lbs for at least three years) who has been wheelchair bound twice. Those two times he needed a wheelchair; once at 195 lbs & the next at 220 lbs; provided me with the easiest mobility & the least stressful level of care he’s required since he was 3 years old; despite having no help or respite care.

She thinks she’s making me feel bad for parents who have it ‘so hard’ without having a clue as to knowing exactly what the spectrum of ‘hard’ means for those on the spectrum.Or preaching about the ‘club’ of parents who have buried a child with complete disregard for the fact that I’ve been a member of that club for 25 years now?

Surely; misinformed contempt has got to be the ugliest form of contempt ever expressed by those who think they have a clue about SBM.

“Surely; misinformed contempt has got to be the ugliest form of contempt ever expressed by those who think they have a clue about SBM.”

Thank you. Apology accepted.

“You said ‘dying blind’ as if it were part of some pathological sequelae leading to an early demise.”

Dying blind is part of pathological sequelae leading to early demise. When a child gets SSPE following measles, first they have headaches and personality changes, then blindness and muscle spasms, then death.

” You obviously find the CDC mortality data to be lacking the clout needed to generate irrational fear when it comes to pre-vaccine Measles mortality.”

Mindreading fail. It’s not my fault your attempts to make measles look like nothing more than a rash fell through .

“Kind of funny how we have a flu vaccine & now four different causes of death involving two separate categories have been reduced to ‘INFLUENZAandpneumonia’ for impact.”

Yes, it’s weird how we’ve learned more stuff as time has gone by. I suspect a conspiracy.

Why are you distorting what Chris said? I notice you failed to mention that the child is on a venilator, and that the problem wasn’t the parent, but the difficulty in finding PCAs. Nor did you mention parents struggling with their bipolar child. I would assume given the associations between bipolar disorder and aggressive behavior, you’d relate to their struggles.

Today, we were just told that a coworker would be working full time from home starting Monday for the next month. While we were not told offically, we all know it’s because their 13 year bipolar son has been becoming more and more violent, due to issues with puberty wrecking havoc with his medication and the forthcoming transition back to school. Or, I could introduce you to the family raising a child with FAS who has had to lock up their knives since the kid was old enough to reach the counter. (Aggressive behavior occurs at much higher rate in FASDs than ASDs).

We don’t hold you in contempt. We pity you for preferring to be angry to actually helping your son and other struggling families due to your fixation on vaccines. You say you have no help and respite, yet have repeatedly resisted the idea that time and money is better spent on priodiing families with those resources instead of bogus studies examing ideas that make no sense.

@ Old-timer,

You don’t seem to be able to separate ‘antivaxxer’ from ‘parent of an autistic child’. My son is vaccinated & you’ve done him & I, as well as ALL parents struggling with caregiving for ASD children a huge disservice with your misinformed, fantasy rant.

Christine, vaccines do not cause autism. My mother knew I was different when I was just several months old. I shrank from touch.
One of the sequelae of measles is measles encephalitis. Even if the victim survives, the damage is horrible. Far worse than ASD.

@ Julian,

I believe your mother. My mother said similar things about me; I wasn’t a cuddly baby either. I’m sure we were both born with BAP; the Broad Autistic Phenotype.

As far as BAP goes; it’s probably a superior phenotype with a narrow spectrum of high-functioning seen. I would guess that you are higher-functioning than I am but we still are communicating here fairly well together (something I can’t say for the neurotypical people here) & I’ve noticed that I have also been able to have non-abrasive conversations with Aarno & Alain too.

However, if you were to become a father I think you should be very wary of vaccines for your biological child. I do believe they are incompatible with the genotype that leads to our phenotype. I think that vaccines are causing a immune-mediated process that can cause ‘BAPs’ to regress into profound, severe autism.

Until our genotype has been established & epidemiological studies done specifically for our cohort; nobody really can say that vaccines can’t cause Autism in us. Obviously, vaccines are not causing autism in that majority of humans without our genotype, That much is clear, because the epidemiology WOULD have picked up on that already.

Autism is genetic? Then isolate the genes & preform the epidemiology studies on us & only us. Saying that autism is genetic & giving us research on those without ‘genetic autism’ isn’t very science based.


However, if you were to become a father I think you should be very wary of vaccines for your biological child.

Thank you for your concern. But I turn 43 in a few months, and I’ve made peace with the fact that I will never have children.

I do believe they are incompatible with the genotype that leads to our phenotype. I think that vaccines are causing a immune-mediated process that can cause ‘BAPs’ to regress into profound, severe autism.

Except, you have no evidence to support this hypothesis.
The question of whether vaccines cause autism hs been investigated.
Even Andrew Wakefield, who was hired to find a link, found nothing, and cooked his data.

As far as BAP goes; it’s probably a superior phenotype with a narrow spectrum of high-functioning seen.

Please define “phenotype.” Perhaps this will help with producing a considered response.

I’ve noticed that I have also been able to have non-abrasive conversations with Aarno & Alain too.

I’ve been in therapy forever (or so it feel like) so, one, I can manage not to get riled up even under extremes circumstances. I also did witness enough bad shit happening (to me or to other) that I fail to be surprised at 99.99% of the shit I encounter but I definitely lost faith in humanity.

For the most part, your comments elicit a yawn. It’s your stubbornness who get under my nerves sometime (make me revisit other stubborn peoples memories…)


“You don’t seem to be able to separate ‘antivaxxer’ from ‘parent of an autistic child’. ”

Oh, I’m well aware of the huge difference between parents of autistic children and antivaxxers. Parents of autistic children can be god damn heroes – there’s Dr. Roy Grinker (who wrote the book on the history of autism), Kathleen Seidel who exposed the corrupt practices of lawyers that exploit parents of autistic children, Kev Leitch who started one of the first blogs supporting the interests of autistic people and their families, Matt Carey who took over that blog and served on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee to help families get the help they need. There’s “autismum” who fights the good fight for her child in Wales, and Kim Wombles (who has three kids on the spectrum), and so many more.

Antivaxxers are very different: Dr. Geier with his chemical castration treatment for autism, Jim Humble with his bleach treatment, various other people pushing OSR (an industrial chemical), chelation, hyperbaric chambers and all the other quackery that makes money, risks lives and helps no one. There’s also the lawyers who sue parents of autistic children for exposing their practices (Cliff Shoemaker), the antivaccine network that attacks parents for reporting how dangerous VPDs are, and the people who will tell any lie, and make up any story to promote their antivaccine beliefs.

There are a few parents who fall into the trap of antivaccine nonsense – like “Fore Sam” who claimed that autistic people were prone to becoming murderers, and failing actresses who exploit their children to get back into the limelight, but those are a tiny minority – and I have no trouble recognizing the vast gulf between antivaxxers and their especial victims – autistic people and their families.

@ Old-timer,

Bleach? Chemical castration? THAT’S AWFUL!! Would you really affiliate me with that nonsense?

I don’t think it’s asking too much; given that autism is genetic but also immune-mediated: To want to see the research look at the autism prevalence in vaccinated, genetically at-risk children versus the autism prevalence in un-vaccinated, genetically at-risk children.

‘Genetically at-risk’ meaning a standardized genotype; not ‘bio-siblings’.

Or, since the findings of autistic children as having abnormal cytokine profiles is well established; would it be too much to ask to see research that establishes baseline, pre-immunization cytokine profiles in children, where the data could later be compared to children who were later diagnosed with autism & their present cytokine profiles?

I mean; is that actually asking too much, to want to see ‘more scientific’ science; before closing the book on vaccines with autism? Is that actually ‘right up there’ with Bleach & Chemical Castration’?

would it be too much to ask to see research that establishes baseline, pre-immunization cytokine profiles in children, where the data could later be compared to children who were later diagnosed with autism & their present cytokine profiles?

Please provide the sample size that would satisfy you in such a wild goose chase.

There were GcMAF, which was a immunomodulating drug.
Autistic siblings would have genes that cause autism, obviously.

@ Aarno,

I know, the sibling study.

I am ASD & I have 11 children. One with Asperger’s (# 7) & one with severe, regressive autism (#11). If I would have had only 6 children, none of them would have signaled. If I would have had only 8, 9 or 10 children; none of them would have signaled in an ‘at-risk-by-sibling’ study either. How may families do you know with 11 kids, all from the same biological mother?

I am Rh negative. Only two of my kids are Rh negative (#5 & #8). This is above the world-wide prevalence of less than 15% & curious due to my Mediterranean heritage (prevalence of 4-9%). The risk for Malaria mortality is slightly less for those who are Rh negative.

Do you think that research was based on siblings or did they check for blood-type first?

I cannot understand how blood types and autism could be related. Another of your intuitive facts, I presume. (Malaria is a disease of red blood cells, so connection you mentioned is a possibility.)
2 / 11 is 18%. Sounds genetic predisposition for me, though you were very lucky. Others have very bad luck, and that is way statistical methods are used.

@ Andrew,

Thank you. Apology accepted

LOL, case in point.

Dying blind is part of pathological sequelae leading to early demise

I’ll give you that. Thank you for explaining.

Mindreading fail

Not really. You don’t like that the CDC stated that in pre-vaccine 1953; the risk of Measles mortality was slightly higher than the risk of death by Execution. It is what it is & mortality from Measles had been declining since 1910; all on it’s own.

@ Chris,

I wouldn’t say I ‘pity’ you but I am afraid for you. “Autism,’ is just the behaviors/symptoms seen, following vaccine injury in the developing brain. When you refuse to acknowledge the near-consensus achieved in science; that autism is an immune-mediated, multifactorial genetic disorder, you have closed your mind to all the subsequent research that followed.

You have failed to notice something very alarming that has been mentioned in this research.

Everything about the anatomical changes & viral bio markers found in the brains of people with autism; is identical to what is being found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s; is just the behaviors/symptoms seen, following vaccine injury in the aging brain. This is likely why it has recently been noted that ASD offers ‘protection’ from developing Alzheimer’s. It probably does not necessarily do that. The reason the incidence is so much lower in ASD; is likely because we already have it.

Now that … is a disorder that actually could almost be worse than severe autism … Except it’s victims have the opportunity to live a full life before their brain is … Hey … how come you provaccine never get all riled up about people who say; ‘I grieved the loss of my mom a long time ago, after the Alzheimer’s left her just a shell of who she used to be’?

No snickering about fairy lore & ‘Changelings’ … no outrage about trying to find a cure that would steal their identity, or accusations to people about ‘hating’ their parents? The statements made by the families are alarmingly similar. The abuse of parents is because of vaccines … Can’t wait to see how you are received by the ‘cure for Alzheimer’s’ community when you you try that with them.

You have an ASD son, right? Biological? You are likely at a high risk from the vaccine injury known as Alzheimer’s. If you had been born with your son’s generation; it would have been YOU with ASD but instead …I’m afraid for you. Truly.

Why would you think I care about anything you say? Your whining and misplaced “theories” are worthless. Again, go to the four links I sent you and get help.

But Chris – she’s really worried about you! Really, really worried! Genetics, risks, Alzheimers! Boo!

“Near consensus” ? Where you get that ? Immune mediation hypothesis is quite marginal. You could, of course cite a paper proving me false.
Alzheimer disease and autism are very different things. One is about destruction of brain cells, other overgrowth and underconnection


I’ve cited so many. Here’s one I missed.

In most cases, the etiology is unknown, but several studies point to the interaction of genetic predisposition with environmental factors

The immune system is thought to have a causative role in ASD, and specific studies have implicated T lymphocytes, monocytes, Natural Killer (NK) cells and certain cytokines

That, like your other citations, do not show a consensus or near it that immune issues cause autism.

Several of your other links, as you were told, were not about a causative role for immune issues, just about their existence with autism.

Only due to age. One is neurodevelopmental, the other is neurodegenerative; same proteins involving neuroinflammation.

“This review highlights findings that demonstrate how one βAPP metabolite, secreted APPα, and the ADAM family α-secretases, may lead to increased brain matter, with emphasis on increased white matter as seen in autism. sAPPα and the ADAM family α-secretases contribute to the anabolic, non-amyloidogenic pathway, which is in contrast to the amyloid (catabolic) pathway known to contribute to Alzheimer disease.”

You should really read the stuff that you’re spraying.

Here’s one I missed.

You’re claiming confirmation from a paper that hasn’t even been published yet (“The full-text will be published soon”). Well done you.
Main author there (Richard Frye) is a DAN doctor and hyperbaric-oxygen grifter. Likes to publish through Frontiers because their standards of peer-reviewing are negotiable; his work has been covered in RI threads before, on account of his incompetent conviction that MMR contains aluminium adjuvants. Not encouraging.


overgrowth and underconnection

Long-range underconnection only. Autistic brains have twice as many synapses (i.e. connections) per neuron as a normal brain. The neurons are 20% smaller and more numerous (23% more neurons).

I need to look up the number of dendrite but I’d make the guess that there’s more dendrites too.


@Aarno (& everyone btw),

Also, see

Same task: Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices, neurotypical versus autistic, different processing style for the same task. It does lead to questions of how smaller neurons & more synapses affect processing style.


Forgot to specify: check the reaction times for all the tasks and contrast both groups.



Regarding memory, you might want to review these papers:

a href=”″>

They show better memory for autistic, much better memory compared to neurotypical, never mind Alzheimer.

It’s pretty much a black vs white situation as in 6 sigma of deviation between autism & Alzheimer. Totally opposite.



Wakefield was studying intestinal inflammation in ASD & there have been many recent studies that have confirmed that the co-morbidity actually does exist.

you have no evidence to support this hypothesis

Obviously. The studies that could prove or disprove it have not been done. It’s not a terrible hypothesis.

Google Scholar returns 7400 hits with “autistic enterocolitis”. So Wakefield’s hypothesis is tested multiple times, for sure.
Speaking about false hypotheses, tocilizumab is antibody against IL6 receptor. FDA has approved it for some autoimmune diseases. It does not work in the case of schizophrenia:
Ragy R Girgis, Adam Ciarleglio, Tse Choo, Gregory Haynes, Joan M Bathon, Serge Cremers, Joshua T Kantrowitz, Jeffrey A Lieberman & Alan S Brown
A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of Tocilizumab, An Interleukin-6 Receptor Antibody, For Residual Symptoms in Schizophrenia
Neuropsychopharmacology volume 43, pages 1317–1323 (2018)

@ Aarno,

Wakefield’s hypothesis is tested multiple times, for sure

You know what’s weird is that when I first wrote that reply to Julian, I wrote ‘Type autism intestinal into Google Scholar & see what results you get’.

I erased it because I thought for sure it would be misunderstood & used against me (NOT by you or Julian).

Wakefield’s hypothesis was not “autism can be accompanied by bowel issues.” In fact, his starting point was measles virus can cause bowel issues, evolving to the (disproven) MMR can cause Chrone disease, evolving to his attempt to link MMR and autism via bowel disease. That’s the heart of his original claims.

And that’s been definitively disproven.


Christine seems to think that if she throws keywords at Google and it returns any results, that proves her point. That’s the only explanation I have for the fact that she has cited several studies that state the exact opposite of her claims. But, of course, the fact that the studies don’t agree with her just proves that entire fields of study are engaged in a conspiracy to prove vaccines are safer than VPDs.

@ Dorit,

By 2018 there seems to have been a massive amount of ‘gut/brain axis’ studies published. Wakefield seems to have gone from A-Z too quickly. That does not mean the recent research won’t wind up at Z as well.

Regarding the consensus? I don’t much care what you saw others here say. Autism as immune-mediated has been known since the 1990s but in 2014, a foundation distributed post-mortem brain tissue from autistic donors to labs all around the world & there has been a non-stop confirmation of immune-mediation studies published & they will continue to be published & pretty soon … somebody will quit walking on eggshells & just GO THERE. And say it.

Did you actually think all this excitement about measles & outbreaks & compulsions (oh my) … was on a ‘natural’ timeline? That’s sort of naive.

It smacks of a growing desperation & for good reason. Better hurry …

A. Again, that wasn’t Wakefield’s hypothesis or target. And his actual hypothesis was thoroughly disproven.

B. You may not care that you were already told that the articles you linked to to claim that don’t support or show a consensus that there’s a causal link between immune issues and autism, and why you were told that. It’s an important point to put out, though, for those who may want to evaluate your claim or credibility.

C. Suggesting that measles outbreaks are a conspiracy is going down an unrealistic rabbit hole. There are a lot of people involved, including the initial travel-based cases. That’s going a bit far to try to explain away the harms from antivaccine efforts and the natural response by states to them.

For one thing, you would need to rope in the large outbreaks in Europe, Africa, Israel that led to unvaccinated travelers being infected. So you now have a global conspiracy.

It smacks of a growing desperation & for good reason. Better hurry …

You fantasy life is quite dim and dusty, isn’t it? You are still putting the cart before the horse. What part of “downstream effects” do you not understand.

There is an actual brain study:
Eric Courchesne, Ruth Carper, Natacha Akshoomoff
Evidence of Brain Overgrowth in the First Year of Life in Autism
JAMA. 2003;290(3):337-344. doi:10.1001/jama.290.3.337
It would be useful if you actually cite something.

In addition, as I’ve often written, scientists at Yale and Boston Children’s Hospital, April Levin and Charles Nelson amongst them, have looked at brain wave differences in younger siblings of children with and without autism and have found discernable differences as early as at 3 months.
( although I’m sure that anti-vaxxers will find a way to blame 2 month vaccines, Hep B or the mother’s vaccines)

I haven’t looked recently but I think that there has also been an ongoing project at LONI, at UCLA. concerning brain development in autism ( they are the people who studied brain changes during the symptomatic changes observed in Schizophrenia in young adults/ other brain conditions/ illnesses as well in living subjects)
THAT’S where research is looking besides genetics.

Ooops! Correction:
that’s at USC not UCLA: the Mark and Mary Stevens Institute of Neuroimaging etc and they have an informative website describing their work

Funny how anti-vaxxers know nothing about places like this or studies of gaze which have been ongoing for years.
AS well as the whole discussion concerning “regression”


“Wakefield’s hypothesis was not “autism can be accompanied by bowel issues.” In fact, his starting point was measles virus can cause bowel issues, evolving to the (disproven) MMR can cause Chrone disease, evolving to his attempt to link MMR and autism via bowel disease. That’s the heart of his original claims.

And that’s been definitively disproven.”

Wakefield’s hypothesis that he could make more money pretending that vaccines caused autism has definitely been proven, though. Antivaxxers compared him to Jesus, while he called murder “an act of love.”


I don’t much care about Wakefield’s social standing.I find it very hard to believe that his research was ‘disproven’ when the relationship between autism, the immune system, gastrointestinal issues & gut bacteria has only very recently been established.

You provaccine seem to have this innate ability to only disprove, versus prove … anything. Counterintuitive, really.

There is extensive evidence proving vaccines benefits and showing their actual risks, which are very small.
Antivaccine activists just don’t like what it shows.

I find it very hard to believe that his research was ‘disproven’

He was caught FAKING HIS RESULTS. That generally counts as a “disproof” of someone’s research.

Oh, good grief. Now this is a perfect example why we don’t care about your theories, and why you should be ignored:

Lancet 1999;353 (9169):2026-9
Autism and Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine: No Epidemiological Evidence for a Causal Association.
Taylor B et al.

BMJ 2002; 324(7334):393-6
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Bowel Problems or Developmental Regression in Children with Autism: Population Study.
Taylor B et al.

PLoS ONE 2008; 3(9): e3140 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003140
Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study.
Hornig M et al.

It is Wakefield who invented “autistic enterocolitis”, and immune system was supposed to be very much part of it. Vaccine court rejected the theory

“Counterintuitive, really.”

Your intuition and a chocolate teapot are both unsuitable for purpose, but the latter is a least pleasantly fit for consumption.

You provaccine seem to have this innate ability to only disprove, versus prove … anything.

This is rather ironic coming from someone whose basic gig is fecundity. Do you deny that the TT vaccine prevents tetanus? There’s about a century of proof, vis-à-vis proofiness.

Sorry Dorit but if autism is genetic then we need those vaccine studies to be done on a genotyped cohort. Not just siblings. Full-bio siblings can vary so much. Even my fraternal twins are completely different individuals. Risk/safety studies for genetic disorders are NEVER done by ‘siblings’. You have to know the genes. Why are studies on autism being so short-changed?

Autistic siblings have all genes causing autism. Result is no effect. So if vaccination causes autism when a specific gene is present, it prevent autism when another one is. How probably is this ?
To do a study like this, you must have a plausible hypothesis and a specific gene and a specific vaccine.

@ Aarno,

To do a study like this, you must have a plausible hypothesis and a specific gene and a specific vaccine

Yeah, it would have to be one vaccine at a time & I’d think that starting with the HLAs & ILs would be relevant. This would have been a lot easier if the research would have been started in the late 1990s when those genes were first suspected but whose fault is that?

Probably the same people who found the sciece to be so inconvenient & just kept cramming more vaccines onto the schedule. Pretty irresponsible. Criminally irresponsible.

I suppose the next best thing is for vaccine-hesitant parents to pay out of pocket for their child’s pre-vaccine cytokine profile & to advise the pediatrician of their intent to follow-up. Or maybe I should first suggest that to those vaccine-injury attorneys & see if that would be a helpful tool for litigation?

We can’t just continue on like this. When science fails us; I suppose the next best thing is lawyers.

The fact that the scientific findings don’t match what you want to believe doesn’t mean science “failed” – it’s not at your service.
It means your beliefs are wrong.

Criminally irresponsible.

Your penchant for sickly sweet melodramatics has already been noted, thanks.

I suppose the next best thing is for vaccine-hesitant parents to pay out of pocket for their child’s pre-vaccine cytokine profile & to advise the pediatrician of their intent to follow-up.

I’m sure you’ll get right on that.

Or maybe I should first suggest that to those vaccine-injury attorneys & see if that would be a helpful tool for litigation?

Please do and report back.

If vaccines cause autism to some siblings of autistic people, they must prevent it in the case others. In addition, effects must exactly cancel each other, because general effect is nil. How probably that is ? This is probably reason, why nobody is interested.
There are no autistic genotype, there are only different genes causing autism.

Risk/safety studies for genetic disorders are NEVER done by ‘siblings’.

Could you rephrase that in English?

@ Narad,

This is rather ironic coming from someone whose basic gig is fecundity Oh. Mah. Lawd.

Do you deny that the TT vaccine prevents tetanus Nope.

@ Doritmi,

It means your beliefs are wrong

Nope. It means I’m accusing the CDC of perpetuating only the science that support their agenda Science cannot be ‘wrong’ nor ‘right’. Beliefs can but so far, there is no science that says I’m wrong about genotyped cohorts or baseline cytokine profiles. There can’t be; because it’s not been done. When it’s been done & if the science says I’m wrong? THEN my belief is wrong. Until then; you don’t have squat.

@ Julian,

It’s been DONE? What is the standardized genotype for autism risk used in research?

Were the cytokine profiles of those kids who were later diagnosed with autism normal before immunization, or were they abnormal?

Why would the provaccine be hiding the proof that we were born this way?

Nice try Christine.
A huge metaanalysis looking at over 14 million subjects found no difference between the rates of autism in the vaccinated and unvaccinated. If vaccines were responsible for even a minority of cases of autism, the analysis would have detected an effect. It didn’t.
Before you can speculate WHY something is happening, you must first show that is IS happening. And the evidence that vaccines cause autism is, to put it bluntly, very weak indeed. Your demands that researchers look at cytokine profiles is simply a red herring. Like so many other antivaxxers you are now shifting the goalposts, insisting that even though nothing has been found, if your hypothesis is tested, something might come up. This is desite the fact that, like I said, if vaccines caused even a fraction of cases of autism, an effect would have been detected.

One may as well substitute “garden gnomes” for “genotyped cohorts or baseline cytokine profiles” in this construction.

No science says I’m wrong in stating autism is caused by pregnant women driving cars. You don’t seem to understand how science works.

Christine, why are you trying to flog your so-called “theory” here? Why are you not writing letters to the editors of relevant journals, proposing the sorts of research you think will shore up your beliefs? Why are you not identifying and writing to researchers from whom you think you might be able to garner some interest?
There are physicians, scientists and researchers here – some, like our esteemed host, who are all three in one. I don’t know that any are doing active research in anything along the lines of what you want to have done. Why not “do your research” and find such people instead of having a public and futile moan?
But, as many have been trying to hammer into your head, why not drop your extremely dubious theories and concentrate your efforts onto seeking the best possible help you can get for your son. I think you are on the brink of disaster and refuse to step back because of your desire for vindication exceeds your desire to be sensible.

@ doug,

It was actually the physicians, scientists and researchers here; who helped me think of those theories.

I’m not seeking revenge; I want justice & acknowledgement for all the parents & all the children. There is a difference & what I want is more true & more selfless than what you want. Not sorry.

All the children? 1 in 200 infants who contract whooping cough die. Does your “all the children” include them?

Christine: “When it’s been done & if the science says I’m wrong?”

Then you’ll come up with more excuses and dubious theories. It’s how the antivax game is played.

Oh Dangerous One
Perhaps there are REASONS why research is NOT being done about vaccines/ autism/ cytokines/ whatever:
researchers find questions to study that are based upon what is already known and which will lead to further lines of research eventually.

As you know, woo proselytisers have theories of disease cause/ cure/ prevention that focus upon nutrition ( food and supplements). Years ago, parents would ask if it were not possible that diet / supplements could treat SMI rather than meds and therapy. ( akin to Orthomolecular Psychiatry, Scientology etc)..There are reasons why that would be a waste of time and money. People with SMI have brains that are “different” and these differences were set up ERY early in life even though they may only become apparent at adolescence ( although there can be precursors/ predomal ).In addition, vitamins have been shown to have no effect on symptoms. If they did, they would be used as meds or auxiliary treatment with meds.

Re cytokines : there are many cytokines. many genes, many vaccines and FACTORS OTHER THAN VACCINES that can affect cytokine profiles. How could you tell if the changes were due to vaccines or something else? How many times do you test? After each vaccine? After each encounter with microbes? Whenever a child has an infection, scrapes a knee, breathes air that is not pure? Every time they are not in a pristine environment? How do you keep these factors separate and identifiable?

IN ADDITION, research has shown NO association between vaccines and autism so why bother? If vaccines led to distressd cytokine profiles and then autism it would show up in studies that includes MILLIONS of children. THAT WE ALREADY HAVE..

But, Denice, all that tells us is that statistical analysis is corrupt and invalid… Ok, I just threw up a little in my mouth typing that out.

Oh I know.
I nearly drew up a path chart ( vaccine > cytokine problem > autism – I do hope that those right pointing arrows show up) IF we already had vaccines> autism and only had to fill in the central part.
BUT we don’t have any vaccines> autism anywhere. So why bother?

“statistical analysis is corrupt and invalid”

Everybody knows that numbers are amorphous and evil shape shifting little monsters that slither about willy-nilly whenever you put on a blindfold and dip your hand into a large jar of colored balls. There is a bug in the gigantic software simulation that we call our universe that is triggered by these numeric wonders and which halts Turing machines and converts NP problems to values of 0 and 1. The powers-that-be refuse to acknowledge the problem since it is bad for business, in particular the professional sport of monkey watching. In brief, we’re doomed.

Denise, you may be interested in this:

“Elevated levels of some inflammatory markers in newborn bloodspots indicated a higher degree of immune activation at birth in children who were subsequently diagnosed with ASD.”

Heuer LS et al. An Exploratory Examination of Neonatal Cytokines and Chemokines as Predictors of Autism Risk: The Early Markers for Autism Study. Biological Psychiatry. 2019 Aug 15;86(4):255-264.

Of course, it’s not surprising that some aspects of the immune system are altered in ASD by birth, since some immune system-related genes are among the myriad genes that are dysregulated during fetal development in ASD. It’s quite odd to focus on cytokines and postnatal vaccines, though, since it’s clear that fetal neurodevelopment is altered in autism.

Of course. Needless to say, as you and others here have demonstrated, we have data that show that ASDs exist prior to birth/ very early development. as well as in the UNVACCINATED.
We’d do better to tell that to a dining room table though.

@ Dorit,

Antivaccine activists just don’t like what it shows

You know; what exactly is your reasoning for there to be any antivaxxers at all? Besides that Vaccines are the leading cause for coincidence?

@ brian,

(sigh) Whatever it was had been on my roof when I stepped out onto my porch. I heard a sound like a flag unfurling in the wind (there was no wind) & then a percussive boom that popped my eardrums (and knocked me backwards, into the door). ‘Whatever-it-was’ that had launched itself off my roof glided away without not one more flap & it was huge.

“Whatever it was’ may not have been the thunderbird but if there ever was ‘the bird who’s wings brought the thunder’; that would have been it. Maybe it was a ‘Hangry Bird’. There was another rash of cattle mutilation reports that year (jk).

Now stop, unless you are actually interested.

Now stop, unless you are actually interested.

I think that your thunderbird dream makes exactly as much sense as your other drivel, so I’m done. I hope that you can get the help that you need.

@ Julian,

A huge metaanalysis looking at over 14 million subjects found no difference between the rates of autism in the vaccinated and unvaccinated

Bullshit. There has never been a saline-placebo controlled study done for vaccinated vs unvaccinated. One method to study vaccines was developed that couldn’t show a relationship between gravity & a falling object & it was repeated over & over in order to create a false-consensus.

There is no way this would be acceptable for any science other than vaccine propaganda.

Before you can speculate WHY something is happening, you must first show that is IS happening

That’s why the research that would show it IS happening won’t be done. You would never see the research as to why because it would destroy the vaccine program. Had this been addressed when it was first alleged; we would have looked at the WHY & had superior vaccines by now. It’s too late for that. Too many lives destroyed.

Where saline placebo came from, I do not know. But there are many studies comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated, for instance:
Schmitz R, Poethko-Müller C, Reiter S, Schlaud M. Vaccination status and health in children and adolescents: findings of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS). Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2011;108(7):99–104. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2011.0099

@ Terrie,

1 in 200 infants who contract whooping cough die

Has the pathogen known as Pertussis ever taken an oath to ‘First; do no harm’? Sorry but a disease has more claim to me & mine than a compulsed iatrogenic disorder does.

I can imagine that if I were one of you lucky ones who has not yet had a serious adverse event from a vaccine; I would think differently. What a luxury to cheat disease, death AND disability.

I’m pretty sure my family member who has endured a lifetime of SV40 cancers, despite her deal with the CDC for free medical care for life; would tell you ‘I’d rather have taken my chances with Polio’. She was vaccinated in 1963. Had the problem been addressed when first known about in 1959? She wouldn’t have lived with cancer for more years than without & I might trust vaccines.

Or my daughter who died within 24 hours of her DTP in 1994 would have rather tried to be one of the 199 out of 200 who wouldn’t have died from Pertussis. Had the problem been addressed when first known about in the 1980s? She’d still be alive & I might trust vaccines.

Given the odds of dying from measles were similar to ‘Death by Execution’ in 1953; I’d gamble with that over my son’s severe autism any day. Maybe if there was a guarantee he’d ‘only be as autistic’ as Aarno, Julian or Alain? Then sure; why not gamble? Had the problem been addressed when first known about in the 1990s? He would not be disabled & I might trust vaccines.

See; I don’t have that luxury of trust that you do. I’d rather have a doctor who did nothing that have one who did harm. Maybe if I started talking about vaccine-injured cats; you’d ‘get me’.

So the 1 in 200 infants are NOT part of “all the children” to you? (Which was the question you clipped from your quote).

As for vaccine-induced sarcoma in cats, that was proven by epidemiology, which you have stated is not valid science, so why do you believe it’s true?

I suppose because it fits her ideas about vaccines. Statistics are lies, unless they prove something Christine agrees with.

@Renate, Explains why she loves the idea that mouse models are not accurate, but thinks cats are a great model. I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked. If she’s willing to cherry pick direct questions to make herself look good, what won’t she cherry pick?

Terrie: Dead children are of no concern unless their deaths can be blamed on vaccines. That’s why the pro-disease crowd crow about Japan temporarily stopping pertussis vaccination after two deaths (in two years) – those deaths count. But the 41 deaths in Japan in one year, caused by pertussis (which roared back like the lies of an antivaxxer) don’t count at all.

( for the reference, by the wya)

Cats developing sarcoma at vaccine injection sites are real but rare ( 1-2 per 10,000) which we learned about from studies not speculation. There is also anti-vax sentiment amongst pet owners.

Of other relevance to Oracians:
as you may know, scoffers here comment at AoA, occasionally contributing different types of information during the same period of time. Most recently, see comments on the Minnesota article. Other articles over the past weeks. This may help create a more balanced picture of unbalanced thinking.

@ Terrie,

As for vaccine-induced sarcoma in cats

OMG I totally just said that, randomly, because sometimes it feels like people care more about fur-babies than human ones. I had NO idea there was an actual issue.

This actually happened?

Digging some papers:
Hendrick MJ , Shofer FS , Goldschmidt MH , Haviland JC , Schelling SH , Engler SJ , Gliatto JM
Comparison of fibrosarcomas that developed at vaccination sites and at nonvaccination sites in cats: 239 cases (1991-1992).
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association [01 Nov 1994, 205(10):1425-1429]
And the point:
Of the cats in the VS group administered a single vaccine, 37% were given rabies, 33% were given feline viral rhinotracheitis/calicivirus/panleukopenia virus, and 30% were given FeLV vaccines.
Vaccination schedule does not include these.

Christine, God, I hope you don’t have a cat. Yes. Epidemiology, the science you claim exists to support vaccines, showed it was an actual thing, and they… changed the way they vaccinate cats. It’s almost like the process you hate so much works!

@ brian,

It wasn’t a dream & I’m not the only person here who saw it. It doesn’t have any bearing on what I say about vaccines, except that when that happened; I was very pro-vaccine. I suppose I was a little delusional back then.

Since I have recently moved to Dallas, this is of particular concern to me.

The most common language spoken in the home in Texas besides English is Vietnamese!
I have a relative who married a Vietnamese immigrant. They lived in Houston.
There is now a large outbreak occurring in Vietnam.

Viet Nam had 1,177 confirmed measles cases in 2018, twice as many cases as in 2017. Most of the measles cases related to the lack of vaccination due to parents deciding to delay vaccination of their children. In late 2018, the Ministry of Health launched an additional measles-rubella vaccination campaign for 4.2 million children aged between 1 and 5 in vulnerable areas in 57 cities and provinces. UNICEF called on parents to make an extra effort to consult health official to ensure that their children’s immunization status is up to date to protect their children against the disease. UNICEF also advocated health authorities to sustain investment to build trust among the population and to focus on reaching the poorest, most marginalized communities, including internal migrant populations.

There were over 10,000 cases of measles in Brazil last year and several in Colombia, Peru and Chile as well.

@ Denice,

Of other relevance to Oracians

You have self-identity issues. Do you see yourself as part of some elite club or something? I know you couldn’t talk science without them but geez.

Yes, I tried once again at AoA. Still boring.

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