Wednesday June 27, 2007
As the first trial in Vaccine Court explores the relationship between vaccines and autism, a new survey released today indicates a strong correlation between rates of neurological disorders, such as ADHD and autism, and childhood vaccinations.
The survey, commissioned by Generation Rescue, compared vaccinated and unvaccinated children in nine counties in Oregon and California. Among more than 9,000 boys age 4-17, the survey found vaccinated boys were two and a half times (155%) more likely to have neurological disorders compared to their unvaccinated peers. Vaccinated boys were 224% more likely to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and 61% more likely to have autism.
For older vaccinated boys in the 11-17 age bracket, the results were even more pronounced. Vaccinated boys were 158% more likely to have a neurological disorder, 317% more likely to have ADHD, and 112% more likely to have autism. Complete survey results are available at http://www.generationrescue.org/.
Generation Rescue commissioned the phone survey. Data was gathered by SurveyUSA, a national market research firm, which surveyed parents by phone on more than 17,000 children, ages 4-17, in five counties in California (San Diego, Sonoma, Orange, Sacramento, and Marin) and four counties in Oregon (Multnomah, Marion, Jackson, and Lane).
The survey asked parents whether their child had been vaccinated, and whether that child had one or more of the following diagnoses: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Development Disorder — Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), or Autism. The phone survey was chosen to mirror the methodology the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) uses to establish national prevalence for neurological disorders in their national phone survey.
Timed to the release of the survey results, Generation Rescue also ran full-page advertisements in Washington’s Roll Call, The Oregonian, and The Orange County Register today. The ad compares the 36 pediatric vaccines the CDC recommends today to the 10 recommended in 1983, and asks, “Are We Over- Vaccinating Our Kids?”
“No one has ever compared prevalence rates of these neurological disorders between vaccinated and unvaccinated children,” said J.B. Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue, whose son was diagnosed with autism. “The phone survey isn’t perfect, but these numbers point to the need for a comprehensive national study to gather this critical information.”
In Washington, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has been advocating for such a survey. Co-sponsored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), the “Comprehensive Comparative Study of Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Population Act of 2006,” or H.R. 2832, was introduced on June 22, and would require the National Institutes of Health to complete this research.
“Generation Rescue’s study is impressive and forcefully raises some serious questions about the relationship between vaccines and autism. What is ultimately needed to resolve this issue one way or the other is a comprehensive national study of vaccinated and unvaccinated children,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “The parents behind Generation Rescue only want information. These parents deserve more than road blocks, they deserve answers. We can and should move forward in search of those answers. That’s why I have introduced a common sense bill that would require the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct a comprehensive, comparative study on the possible link between autism and thimerosal.”
From 1983 to 2007, autism rates have climbed from 1 in 10,000 children to 1 in 150 children, a growth rate of 6,000% (boys are significantly more affected by neurological disorders, accounting for approximately 80% of all cases). ADHD currently affects 1 in 13 children. In the same period, the CDC’s recommended vaccine schedule more than tripled. The simmering debate over the cause of childhood neurological disorders shows no sign of cooling, but no study had ever been done to look at unvaccinated children.
Lisa Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue, adds, “Everyone working with autism wants to identify the cause so we can focus on treatment and prevention. A national study like HR 5940 could help end this debate and focus all of our resources on helping our kids. Its time has come, and we hope Congress will choose to put our children first.”