Research by Topic: Vaccines

Dr. Paul Offit Receives 2018 Sabin Gold Medal

Published April 25, 2018

The Autism Science Foundation team is proud to announce that ASF Board Member Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia received the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal from the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Every year, the Sabin Vaccine Institute recognizes a distinguished member of the public health community who has made extraordinary contributions in […]

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Watch John Oliver Explore What Fuels the Anti-Vaccine Movement

Published June 27, 2017

John Oliver took aim at vaccine skeptics on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, blaming the misinformation and confusion on everything from the rising popularity of memes to Donald Trump’s statements on the campaign trail. You can see the whole video, which featured Alison Singer, President and Co-Founder of ASF, here.

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Stat News Op-Ed: Let’s focus on the real environmental factors linked to autism

Published March 15, 2017

An op-ed by Dr. Alycia Halladay, Chief Science Officer of the Autism Science Foundation, was published today in Stat News: The publication of Andrew Wakefield’s notorious and now discredited research on autism and vaccines in 1998 triggered a surge of worry about vaccine safety. Since then, questions about a purported connection between autism and vaccines […]

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Statement from ASF President

Published January 10, 2017

Today, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. – who has continued to publicly promote the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism — met with President-Elect Donald Trump in New York City and afterward stated that Mr. Trump has asked him to lead a new commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity. Autism Science Foundation President Alison Singer […]

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Dr. Paul Offit comments on robust new study confirming, again, that vaccines do not cause autism

Published September 28, 2015 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

ASF Board Member Dr. Paul Offit comments on robust new study addressing each of the many ways in which people have thought vaccines could cause autism. Dr. Offit comments, in part: The fear that vaccines cause autism has been a tale of changing hypotheses… The primate study by Gadad et al. addresses all three concerns.”

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Examination of the Safety of Pediatric Vaccine Schedules in a Non-Human Primate Model

Published February 20, 2015 in Environmental Health Perspectives

On Friday, the most comprehensive non-human primate study to date which examined the safety of the current vaccine schedule on neurodevelopment, social behavior and cognition were published in Environmental Health Perspectives. The authors conclude that there was no evidence of effects of vaccines on any of these outcomes.

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ASF President Alison Singer on The Leonard Lopate Show

Published September 9, 2014 in The Leonard Lopate Show

Across the country and around the world, children are getting sick and dying from preventable diseasesin part because some parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children. Alison Singer, President of the Autism Science Foundation, and Dr. Amy Middleman, Adolescent Medicine Specialist at the University of Oklahoma’s Health Sciences Center, examine the science behind vaccinations, the return of preventable diseases, and the risks of opting out. Theyre both featured in the PBS NOVA documentary VaccinesCalling The Shots, which airs September 10, at 9 pm, on PBS.

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The Legacy of the Wakefield Vaccine Scare: A Measles Epidemic in Great Britain

Published May 22, 2013 in NPR

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Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism

Published March 6, 2013 in Journal of Pediatrics

This CDC study casts further doubt on the link between autism and vaccines. The study found no connection between the number of vaccines received and autism risk.

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Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies

Published January 16, 2013 in Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

The Institute of Medicine issues a report in response to questions about the safety of the vaccination schedule for children under age six. Thorough examination of the immunization schedule reveals no major concerns associated with adherence to recommended practices.

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Pediatricians: Keep Thimerosal in Vaccines

Published December 17, 2012 in MedPage Today

AAP reverses position on thimerosal, saying if it knew in 1999 what it knows now about thimerosol it would NOT have issued the statement calling for thimerosol to be removed from vaccines that resulted in panic. “Studies looking for harms from thimerosal-containing vaccine failed to find such associations. The consistent lack of evidence of any harm from thimerosal in vaccines formed the basis of the AAP’s reversal of its 1999 stance, and Cooper and Katz suggested that the academy would not have issued the original statement with that knowledge in-hand.”

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Vaccination a Major Talking Point at Congressional Hearing on Autism

Published December 3, 2012 in Forbes

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Immunization Uptake in Younger Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Published October 8, 2012 in Autism

Study finds that parents who already have one child with autism spectrum disorder may delay or decline immunization for their younger children, potentially placing them at increased risk of preventable infectious diseases.

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CDC Warns Of Flu Risk For Kids With Disabilities

Published August 29, 2012 in CDC

Federal health officials are warning that kids with neurologic disorders face a high risk of death if they get the flu.

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With autism rising, researchers step up hunt for a cause

Published April 3, 2012 in USA Today

For many families, the quest for the causes of autism has grown more urgent with the news that the estimated prevalence of the condition grew by 23% from 2006 to 2008, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said last week.

With autism rising, researchers step up hunt for a cause

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Nature Magazine: Autism Science Foundation is a Voice for Science

Published November 2, 2011 in Nature Magazine

Nature Magazine profiles the Autism Science Foundation and its co-founder, Alison Singer.Convinced by the evidence that vaccines do not cause autism, Alison Singer started a research foundation that pledges to put science first.

Autism's Fight for Facts: A Voice for Science

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Vaccines largely safe, U.S. expert panel finds

Published August 25, 2011 in Reuters

After a close review of more than 1,000 research studies, a federal panel of experts has concluded that vaccines cause very few side effects, and found no evidence that vaccines cause autism or type 1 diabetes.The report, issued on Thursday by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies of Sciences, is the first comprehensive report on vaccine side effects since 1994.

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Justices Rule Vaccine Firms Protected From Suits

Published February 23, 2011 in The Wall Street Journal

The Supreme Court handed a victory to vaccine makers Tuesday, ruling 6-2 that U.S. law shields them from product-liability suits alleging defects in a vaccine’s design. The high court ruled in the case of a Pennsylvania couple who alleged that their daughter suffered profound impairments after receiving a diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine made by Wyeth, now part of Pfizer Inc. The result takes a key legal tool out of the hands of those who contend their children’s autism was caused by vaccines.

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The Tragedy Of The Fraudulent MMR Autism Link, A Personal Story

Published February 7, 2011 in Medical News Today

Medical journalist recaps his struggle to determine if vaccinations caused his son to be diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome concluding that it would not have made the slightest bit of difference if we had refused to vaccinate when our son was small, claiming any conspiracy theories are not based on any compelling data.

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Autism Drug Aims to Balance Brain Signals

Published September 15, 2010 in New Scientist

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Prenatal and Infant Exposure to Thimerosal From Vaccines and Immunoglobulins and Risk of Autism

Published September 13, 2010 in Pediatrics

In this study prenatal and early-life exposure to ethylmercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines and immunoglobulin preparations was not related to increased risk of ASDs.

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CDC Study Shows No Vaccine, Autism Link

Published September 13, 2010 in Web MD

Exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines in infancy or in the womb is not associated with an increased risk for developing autism, according to a new study from the CDC. The analysis indicated that children with the greatest exposures had slightly lower rates of autism than those who received fewer thimerosal-containing vaccines or none at all.

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Prenatal and Infant Exposure to Thimerosal from Vaccines and Immunoglobulins and Risk of Autism

Published September 1, 2010 in Pediatrics, Price et al

This new study in the journal of Pediatrics indicated that there was no increased risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder associated with receipt of thimerosal-containing vaccines. The study also found no increased risk for any of the subtypes of Autism Spectrum Disorder, including ASD with regression. In addition, it found no increased risk of Autism Spectrum […]

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On Time Vaccine Receipt in the First Year Does Not Adversely Affect Neuropsychological Outcomes

Published June 1, 2010 in Pediatrics, Smith and Woods

Analysis determined whether children who received recommended vaccines on time during the first year of life had different neuropsychological outcomes at 7 to 10 years of age as compared with children with delayed receipt or nonreceipt of these vaccines. Their data showed timely vaccination was associated with better performance on 12 outcomes in univariate testing […]

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On-Time Vaccine Receipt in First Year Does Not Adversely Affect Neuropsychological Outcomes

Published May 24, 2010 in Pediatrics

Timely vaccination during infancy has no adverse effect on neuropsychological outcomes 7 to 10 years later. These data may reassure parents who are concerned that children receive too many vaccines too soon.

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Vaccines: The Reality Behind The Debate

Published April 12, 2010 in Parents Magazine

Wary parents want to protect their child from any possible risk. It’s time to inject a dose of reality into the rumor-driven debate.

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Measels Outbreak Triggered by Unvaccinated Child

Published March 22, 2010 in US News & World Report

The family’s 7-year-old boy, who was intentionally unvaccinated against measles, was exposed to the virus while traveling in Europe. When he returned home to San Diego, he unknowingly exposed a total of 839 people, and an additional 11 unvaccinated children contracted the disease.

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Vaccine Court Ruling: Thimerosol Does Not Cause Autism

Published March 15, 2010 in Forbes

From the late 1990s to the present, scientists have looked closely at the evidence, and every well-done study has pointed to the same conclusion: thimerosal in vaccines has no link to autism. In one very large Danish study, autism rates rose after thimerosal was removed from vaccines. Another study looking at California, Sweden, and Denmark found the same thing. These results directly contradict the claim that thimerosal causes autism. Last Friday, a special vaccine court ruled on three cases in which parents were suing on behalf of their autistic children. In each case, the parents claimed that thimerosal had caused their childs autism. In each case, the Special Master (a judge) ruled definitively against the parents. The result was a slam-dunk win for science.

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Disgraced MMR-Scare Doctor Andrew Wakfield Quits US Clinic He Founded

Published February 19, 2010 in Times Online

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Published February 15, 2010 in Time

More than any other research, it was a study published in the British medical journal the Lancet in 1998 that helped foster the persisting notion that childhood vaccines can cause autism. On Feb. 2, that flawed study, led by gastroenterologist Dr. Andrew Wakefield, was officially retracted by the journal’s editors–a serious slap and a rare move in the world of medicine. “It has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al. are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation,” wrote the Lancet editors in a statement issued online.,9171,1960277,00.html

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Scientist: Autism Paper Had Catastrophic Effects

Published February 8, 2010 in NPR

The prestigious British medical journal Lancet took a rare step and retracted a 1998 paper that sparked a firestorm about potential links between vaccines and autism. That paper has been a bane to Dr. Paul Offit, co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine and chief of infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. Offit tells host Guy Raz why he thinks the paper was a disaster for parents seeking answers about autism.

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Hippocrates Would Puke: Doctor Hoaxed Parents into Denying Kids Vaccine

Published February 6, 2010 in New York Daily News

British physician Dr. Andrew Wakefield has been branded a primary instigator of the mania that drove parents to avoid having their children undergo routine immunizations for fear that inoculations could produce autism. It was Wakefield’s article, published in 1998 in the premier British medical journal, The Lancet, that gave authority to the proposition that combined inoculations for measles, mumps and rubella were connected to childhood autism.

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Time to Regroup on Autism

Published February 3, 2010 in

Alison Singer says link between autism, vaccinations debunked but research progressing. But, she says, new science is overshadowed as some cling to discredited study. Some parents put kids in danger by still avoiding vaccines, trying dicey “therapies”. New research should move forward with science as a guide.

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Lancet Accepts MMR Study “False”

Published February 2, 2010 in BBC News

The medical journal which originally published the discredited research linking autism and MMR has now issued a full retraction of the paper. The Lancet said it now accepted claims made by the researchers were “false”.

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Retraction-IIleal-Lymphoid-Nodular Hyperplasia Non-Specific Colitis, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder in Children

Published February 1, 2010 in Lancet

Dr. Andrew Wakefield's study, in which he investigated a consecutive series of children with chronic enterocolitis and regressive developmental disorder and found associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children, which was generally associated in time with possible environmental triggers is retracted.


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Get Vaccinated

Published January 21, 2010 in Forbes Magazine

Everyone’s decision to vaccinate or not is not just his own business. Scientists have quantified this matter in something called “herd immunity.” If enough of a population is immune, a disease dies out. For measles you need 83% of the population to be vaccinated or naturally immune in order for the number of active cases to decline over time. When immunity falls below this threshold, incidence of the disease goes up, putting at risk entirely innocent patients (newborns and those who, for sound medical reasons, cannot safely get a vaccine). Vaccine deniers are not just hurting themselves; they are also contributing to a wave of vaccine paranoia that may kill thousands of children.

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The Top 10 Everything of 2009.# 7: New Research on Autism

Published December 8, 2009 in Time Magazine

TIME recognized New Research on Autism as #7 of its Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs of 2009.,28804,1945379_1944376_1944404,00.html

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The Decade’s Most Overblown Fears #3: Vaccines Cause Autism

Published November 17, 2009 in Newsweek

Newsweek's number three most overblow fear of 2010 was the idea that vaccines cause autism.

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An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All

Published October 19, 2009 in Wired Magazine

Paul Offit, award-winning 58-year-old scientist, is hated for his opinion on vaccination. He boldly states in speeches, in journal articles, and in his 2008 book Autisms False Prophets that vaccines do not cause autism or autoimmune disease or any of the other chronic conditions that have been blamed on them. He supports this assertion with meticulous evidence. And he calls to account those who promote bogus treatments for autism treatments that he says not only dont work but often cause harm.

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Mercury-Vaccine Link Disproven in Autism-Study

Published October 19, 2009 in Reuters

A new study provides more proof that childhood vaccines with mercury as a preservative — no longer on the market — did not cause autism. It found that the number of autism cases continued to rise through that period even though the preservative thimerosal — nearly half of which is made of ethylmercury — was removed from most vaccines in 2001.

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Autism Science Foundation President Alison Singer Speaks

Published October 7, 2009 in BlogHer

Autism Science Foundation president Alison Singer is well known in the autism community for her formative role at Autism Speaks, for her controversial participation in their Autism Every Day video, and for leaving Autism Speaks to found the Autism Science Foundation.She a role model for autism parents struggling to balance advocacy with positivity and work with family, especially those who tirelessly investigate ways to help our children lead fulfilling lives, actively respect neurodiversity, and continue to educate ourselves and others about autism perspectives and attitudes. Read on to learn about the founding and goals of the Autism Science Foundation.

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For the First Time, A Census of Autistic Adults

Published October 3, 2009 in Time Magazine

On Sept. 22, England’s National Health Service (NHS) released the first study of autism in the general adult population. The findings confirm the intuitive assumption: that ASD is just as common in adults as it is in children. Researchers at the University of Leicester, working with the NHS Information Center found that roughly 1 in 100 adults are on the spectrum the same rate found for children in England, Japan, Canada and, for that matter, New Jersey.,8599,1927415,00.html?xid=rss-health

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Abstracts from the International Meeting for Autism Research

Published May 1, 2009 in International Meeting for Autism Research

Vaccine Refusal, Mandatory Immunization, and the Risks of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, The New England Journal of Medicine (May 2009) Vaccines are among the most effective prevention tools available to clinicians. However, the success of an immunization program depends on high rates of acceptance and coverage. There is evidence of an increase in vaccine refusal in the […]

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Neuropsychological performance 10 years after immunization in infancy with thimerosal-containing vaccines

Published January 1, 2009 in Pediatrics, Tozzi AE, Bisiacchi P, Tarantino V, De Mei B, D'Elia L, Chariotti F, Salmaso S.

Thimerosal, a mercury compound used as a preservative in vaccines administered during infancy, has been suspected to affect neuropsychological development. We compared the neuropsychological performance, 10 years after vaccination, of 2 groups of children exposed randomly to different amounts of thimerosal through immunization. Children who were enrolled in an efficacy trial of pertussis vaccines in […]

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Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study

Published September 4, 2008 in PLOS ONE, Hornig, Briese, et al

This study provides strong evidence against association of autism with persistent MV RNA in the GI tract or MMR exposure. Autism with GI disturbances is associated with elevated rates of regression in language or other skills and may represent an endophenotype distinct from other ASD.

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Continuing Increases in Autism Reported to Californias Developmental Services System: Mercury in Retrograde

Published January 31, 2008 in Archives of General Psychiatry, Schechter, Grether

California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) data do not show any recent decrease in autism in California despite the exclusion of more than trace levels of thimerosal from nearly all childhood vaccines. The DDS data do not support the hypothesis that exposure to thimerosal during childhood is a primary cause of autism.

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Thimerosal Disappears but Autism Remains

Published January 8, 2008 in Archives of General Psychiatry, Fombonne

Parents of autistic children should be reassured that autism in their child did not occur through immunizations. Their autistic children, and their siblings, should be normally vaccinated, and as there is no evidence of mercury poisoning in autism, they should avoid ineffective and dangerous “treatments” such as chelation therapy for their children.

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