UPDATE (10/6/15): Lyn Redwood from SafeMinds has issued this statement about the Newsweek article.
UPDATE (mpt; 10/5/15): Yesterday morning I posted my thoughts after reading the Newsweek article about the most recent study regarding infant macaques, vaccines, and “autism.”
As I noted yesterday, I had not read the study. I was going by what Newsweek was reporting.
Today I read the study. And the Supporting Information.
In my post yesterday, I stated that my thoughts were based on Newsweek’s write-up, and questioned whether or not it was accurate.
The total number of macaques (79) was reported, but there was no mention about the actual number in each study group (so I averaged.).
The Newsweek article reported the macaques were vaccinated beginning at 12 months of age. That was incorrect. According to the published study, the vaccinated macaques were vaccinated according to schedule, with one group of monkeys getting the 1990s schedule (on the human timeline), another group getting the 1990s schedule (on the macaque timeline; accounting for differences in chronological development between human infants and macaques), and another receiving the 2008 schedule. There were 12 macaques in each of these three study conditions.
15 macaques received the MMR vaccine only.
12 macaques received Thimerosal-containing vaccines only (without also receiving the MMR vaccine).
There were 16 infant macaques who only received saline injections.
For anyone who has ever delved into the issues with pro-vaccine research, this one is consistent…
In the final analysis of the brains of the sacrificed monkeys, there are a lot of missing subjects. One of the analyses compares two groups of only five subjects. In other analyses, 50% of control subjects are missing and 33% of those in the 2008 schedule group are missing.
All of the monkeys were sacrificed, so it is unclear at this point what happened to their brain tissue and why those samples were left out in the final analysis.
When dealing with human subjects, there is often the issue of “attrition,” which means the drop-out of subjects from the study. Parents don’t complete forms, or don’t bring kids back for follow-up, etc…
It’s difficult to imagine what could account for attrition in a study of captive macaques, especially after they have been killed.
Below is my original post, written after reading the Newsweek article. This is a very good example of the quality of reporting we get from mainstream media, and of the necessity to always read the original study thoroughly. Thank God I had the sense to note that I was ONLY writing based on what Newsweek reported.
If you have a child diagnosed with autism, you have probably already had the reports of the latest study shared with you on social media, just as I have.
In my case, it was the Newsweek article. The title proclaims, ”
Anti-Vaxxers Accidentally Fund a Study Showing No Link Between Autism and Vaccines
Unfortunately for everyone, this is just simply not true; at least the part about showing no link between autism and vaccines.
This study looked at 79 infant male macaques, divided into six study groups.
The macaques were between 12-18 months of age.
Two study groups got Thimerosal-containing vaccines.
Two study groups got MMR vaccine.
Two study groups got saline injections.
- 79/6=13.1 per study group. Subtract the 2 saline groups (26) and you have 53 macaques who received ANY vaccines. Assuming the groups were evenly divided, there would be 26 macaques who received thimerosal-containing vaccines ONLY and 26 who received MMR vaccine ONLY. If the Newsweek article is reported accurately (?) then NO monkeys received ALL of the vaccines that are given to infants because our kids get thimerosal-containing vaccines AND MMR vaccines. They also get vaccines containing whopping doses of aluminum (and other neuro-immune toxins).
- The macaques were 12-18 months of age. Human infants are vaccinated at a much younger age, when their Blood-Brain-Barriers and their immune systems are much less mature and much more vulnerable to insult from exposure to toxins from all sources. (Human infants vaccinated according to CDC schedule receive 25-26 vaccines before 12 months of age.)
- The life expectancy of macaques is about 30 years. A 12 month-old macaque is approximately equivalent (in terms of chronological development) to a 30 month-old human child. Vaccinating macaques beginning at 12-18 months is analogous to giving human babies no vaccines before 30-40 months of age.
- There are no females, so even without the other problems, the results cannot be generalized to female human infants.
- The autism rate, according to the CDC is 1/68 (an underestimate). In order for this study to be meaningful, they would have to have at least 68 monkeys in each study condition. At that level, if the CDC estimates of prevalence are assumed correct, your hypothesis would be that 1 monkey in 68 would develop autistic-like symptoms from vaccination. But there are only 52-53 monkeys who received vaccines of any type.
- They examined behaviors and reflexes from birth to 21 days of age… But the vaccines were not administered until 12-18 months of age? What???
I have not yet read this study. (I will.) Judging from the Newsweek write-up, the reporter also has not seen the study and if she has, she has no idea how to read research.
Once again, this is propaganda. Bias. Bunk.