Brand New Autism & Vaccines Study Raises New Questions for Moms

The debate over the potential link between autism and vaccines is heating up again. The culprit? Accusations of a good old-fashioned cover-up by the CDC.

A study published earlier this month in Translational Neurogeneration and funded by the group Focus Autism concluded African-American boys are more at risk for autism if they're given the MMR vaccine before the age of 3. Brian Hooker, the study author, claims researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention knew about the link in 2004 -- but chose to keep it under wraps.

Now, the new study has been taken down by the medical journal, and the original lead researcher at the CDC stands by his findings. What are moms of autistic kids supposed to think?

To reach the conclusion that African-American boys given the MMR vaccine before the age of 3 were more likely to be diagnosed with autism, Hooker, a bio-chemical engineer, pored through the raw data that was the basis of the 2004 study. The CDC study authors found no link between the age children were given their first MMR vaccination and autism diagnoses. Nor did they find an increased risk for a particular racial group. So why were the results of Hooker's new study so different?

More from The Stir: New Info on Vaccines & Autism Could Change Your View of Shots

Hooker alleges that the CDC deliberately limited the number of participants they included in their analysis, which he said altered the results. The lead researcher denies the allegations, but one of his colleagues who worked on the study alongside him, William W. Thompson, has this to say on the CDC study:

I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed ...

Reasonable scientists can and do differ in their interpretation of information. I will do everything I can to assist any unbiased and objective scientists inside or outside the CDC to analyze data collected by the CDC or other public organizations for the purpose  of understanding whether vaccines are associated with an increased risk of autism. There are still more questions than answers, and I appreciate that so many families are looking for answers  from the scientific community.

Indeed, there are more questions than answers as the new study by Hooker was recently removed from Translational Neurogeneration due to "serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions." The journal and publisher believe that its continued availability "may not be in the public interest."

What are we, as parents, supposed to do with this whole scandal? It brings up bad memories of the Wakefield study

Moms are already on edge about this topic. How irresponsible is it for a journal to publish and remove a new study about autism and vaccines in the span of one month? The homework should have been done beforehand. If the study was faulty, it shouldn't have been released at all because all it does is create more fear and more confusion for parents.

Are you concerned about a cover-up? Or do you think the new study should have never been published?


Image via © AB STILL LTD/Science Photo Library/Corbis 



To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Caera Caera

No. It doesn't matter. I'd rather have a child with autism than a child dead from a preventable disease because he shares a daycare room with a baby from a third-world country.

nonmember avatar What

So it is another reason why it is so horrible to be birth a black son. Let riots begin

nonmember avatar Jocelyn

Let's see, a CDC scientist is claiming that CDC covered up an increase in autism in black kids by 240% . The CDC says, " Well yeah there was an increase but it means nothing because it was just probably because those kids were getting caught up on shots for school. " Then the journal that published the findings of the coverup yanks it and all CNN and TIME can write about is that the article that uncovered the fraud is opposed to covering the fact that a high ranking CDC scientists said, " Yeah we did some shady crap that may have hurt thousands of kids". Should I run out and vaccinate my kids now? HELL NO. Moms who don't do their homework on this one and just blindly vaccinate are insane.

nonmember avatar GetaClue

You know who I think are insane? Moms who refuse to vaccinate their kids and put theirs, as well as mine and every other could they come into contact with, at risk. But then again, it's not all that surprising, sinch selfishness and foolishness often go hand in hand.

nonmember avatar Chaya

IF your kid is vaccinated and mine is not, what are you scared of? Your kid is protected by the vaccination (or is he?)!!!!! That scare tactic isn't logical so try something else.......

nonmember avatar Melissa

Third world country?? The majority of cases of measles cases that I have seen in my neck of the woods has been in affluent, primarily white neighborhoods. Why? Because some refuse to vaccinate based on what they believe is scholarly research, when really it's just people like Jenny McCarthy blowing smoke. Well, I am a postpartum nurse and I encourage everyone to vaccinate. Do it on your slow schedule, whatever you have to do, but DO IT. A small child's immune system cannot fight these deadly diseases off on its own. Even if the research was true, which it isn't (it has been shot down so many times by true scholarly articles) I would much rather have an autistic child than a dead one.

nonmember avatar momof3

1-6 kids have a developmental disability are we trading a week or two at tops of being sick for a life long disability ? Measles is not deadly mumps are not deadly and either is polio. Why do I say that ? So many died in the 1940-50s but what has changed ? Sanitation !!!! Also back then doctors routinely took out peoples tonsils and tonsils are one of the main tools to rid our bodies of infection... When was the last time someone died from one of these diseases ? It is also proven that getting measles is important for creating antibodies for some cancers ...

nonmember avatar hitler was cool

The reason the CDC "yanks" published studies is because those studies are probably misinformation-filled, have fallible procedures, and have no true scientific basis. Makes sense seeing how scholarly publications are reserved for literature that is the exact opposite of this fear mongering garbage

nonmember avatar Jaime

You all are so mean to each other. Fact is none of us really know the answers. We all love our kids and have to make tough decisions. It is unnerving to see these studies, pulled or not. Anything that's not naturally occurring in our bodies always leaves us with questions. Sometimes these things turn out to be ok and sometimes we jump in too quickly without enough years of research to prove things are ok. We just don't know. But again, we are all doing our best to do right by our kids. Let's give each other some compassion and maybe even the benefit of the doubt now and then.

nonmember avatar Christy

To the person above who said that polio is not deadly, I think you need to do some research. Polio victims from the 40s wound up in iron lungs and some had such compromised immune systems that they ultimately died. I know someone who had polio as a child, and it has had a lifelong, debilitating impact. Whether you choose to vaccinate or not is another decision, but polio is a potentially deadly disease which has the potential for lifelong ramifications.

1-10 of 20 comments 12 Last