Comment on: Immunization uptake in younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder.

10 Jul

While doing a bit of reading for a recent article: A study comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated kids is coming…and SafeMinds is concerned, I ran across this abstract: Immunization uptake in younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder.

What did they find? That parents often delayed vaccines for younger siblings of autistic kids. And that this made no difference on the autism rate in those younger siblings. In fact, most of the younger siblings with ASD diagnoses were not fully immunized.

This isn’t a study of just MMR or just thimerosal. It’s all vaccines. In online autism/vaccine discussions, you will often read something to the effect of “only one vaccine and one ingredient have been studied”. Wasn’t true before this new study. Isn’t true now. Will be even less true when the next study comes out.

Why do I suspect that “Dr. Bob” Sears, SafeMinds, Generation Rescue, the National Autism Society and TACA won’t include this study in the literature they bring to parents’ attention?

Background: Parental concerns persist that immunization increases the risk of autism spectrum disorder, resulting in the potential for reduced uptake by parents of younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (“younger sibs”). Objective: To compare immunization uptake by parents for their younger child relative to their older child with autism spectrum disorder (“proband”) and controls.

Design: Immunization status was obtained for 98 “younger sibs,” 98 “probands,” and 65 controls.

Results: A significant group difference emerged for overall immunization status (Fisher’s exact test = 62.70, p < .001). One or more immunizations in 59/98 younger sibs were delayed (47/98; 48%) or declined (12/98; 12.2%); immunizations were delayed in 16/98 probands (16.3%) and declined in only one. All controls were fully immunized, with only 6 (9.2%) delayed. Within the "younger sibs" group, 25/98 received an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis; 7 of whom (28%) were fully immunized. The rates of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis did not differ between immunized and nonimmunized younger sib groups, although small sample size limits interpretability of this result.

Conclusion: 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.


By Matt Carey

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2 Responses to “Comment on: Immunization uptake in younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder.”

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  1. Comment on: Immunization uptake in younger siblings of children … | My Autism Site | All About Autism — My Autism Site | All About Autism - July 10, 2014

    […] Read the original post: Comment on: Immunization uptake in younger siblings of children … […]

  2. Happy Autism Awareness Week: Here’s an attack on anti-vaxxers | How Autistic Feels - March 28, 2015

    […] there’s the interesting fact that unvaccinated children can still have autism. Yep. Because there’s increasing evidence that autism is genetic. What can you do to reduce […]

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