The California Department of Developmental Services data, once called “the gold standard” for autism epidemiology by those promoting the vaccine-autism link, shows that autism rates are higher today for kids who did not receive thimerosal containing vaccines compared to those who did. This was discussed recently in No, the autism prevalence in California did not go down after removing thimerosal from vaccines.
As noted previously, thimerosal was removed from vaccines nationwide, phasing out production by 2001. California passed a law prohiting the administration of vaccines with thimerosal in pregnant women and children under 3 from 2006 onwards. So, kids 3-5 in 2012 did not receive thimerosal from vaccines. And there are more kids in the Autism special ed category in 2012 than in any year previously. The trend is a relatlively smooth increase over time.
It is very clear that these data do not in any way indicate a drop in the increase in autism special ed rates with the removal of thimerosal.
Add to that, vaccine uptake in general and MMR in specific are not changing much over time.
Special Ed data and CDDS data are not the best for tracking autism, especially in such a raw form as this. But these are exactly the tools that were used for years to promote the idea that vaccines cause autism. I don’t think it is a coincidence that there aren’t webistes and discussions devoted to special education any more. I’ll await the claim that it must be the rotavirus vaccine…which contains neither thimerosal, measles virus or aluminum.
By Matt Carey