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Childhood Vaccination Exemptions Rise in Connecticut

Some Connecticut parents worry of a link between vaccines and autism, though no evidence supports such a theory, according to several experts.

Some of the 1,056 Connecticut children vaccination exemptions from last year were related to parental worry that these vaccines could be linked to autism and other health problems in children, according to the Associated Press.

Exemptions Increase by 127 Percent 

The number of children exempted from vaccines in 2011 is an increase of 127 percent from 2003, when the state recorded 465 such exemptions.

Some doctors in Connecticut have expressed concern about the rise in exemptions.

"If you have more and more kids not getting vaccinated, then you have more and more of a pool for illness to take hold," Dr. Robert Chessin, a pediatrician at Pediatric Healthcare Associates in Bridgeport and Shelton, told the Associated Press.

Health officials in Connecticut . Instances of the disease are on the rise. 

'No Difference'

According to research findings by Dr. Youta Uno of the Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, "Each study demonstrated no differences between ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) cases and controls, failing to support a conclusion that immunization using MMR (Measles, Mumps,. & Rubella vaccines) increases the risk of ASD onset." 

The Wakefield Study

Dr. Andrew Wakefield was stripped of his British medical license after pubishing a study linking autism to childhood vaccines in 1998, according to CNN.

Other studies were unable to reproduce Wakefield's results and an investigation into his findings allegedly discovered that Wakefield misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients in his study.

Pediatric neurologist Dr. Max Wiznitzer noted, "Unfortunately, (Wakefield's) core group of supporters is not going to let the facts dissuade their beliefs that MMR causes autism."

Suzanne Letso, director of the Connecticut Center for Child Development, a non-profit school in Milford for children with autism noted in a 2011 Hartford Courant piece about Wakefield, "The people who are already believing that this has had an effect aren't going to be dissuaded by this," Letso said.

Generation Rescue

Generation Rescue, an organization formed by actress/activist Jenny McCarthy has expressed concern about the possible link between autism and vaccination, discussing a vaccine court created by the U.S. government in 1986:

In the "Vaccine Court," the burden of proof lays squarely on the claimant. In other words, a family must show a clear causal connection between a vaccination and its adverse effects.

The piece continues: 

But the autism community has still persevered, and compelled the court to acknowledge the link between their children’s autism diagnoses and vaccinations’ environmental triggers.

Generation Rescue's website does not immediately cite sources for this information.

'Alleged Ties'

In an editorial for Modern Health Care, David May wrote:

Ongoing fears over the alleged ties between childhood immunizations and the incidence of autism also play into the growing numbers of vaccination opt-outs—despite study after study showing no linkage and discrediting previous claims.

In closing, May added, "Even when we're not talking specifically about needles and vaccines, trust in science still provides the best chance to make progress in solving our problems."

Do you think that fears about vaccination links to autism and other health problems is unfounded? Or has not enough research been done to make a proper assessment?

Kim Stagliano September 06, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Vaccine exemptions are every parent's healthcare right - here are the CT exemptions: http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/state-vaccine-requirements/connecticut.aspx This is a conservative town - do you agree that the gov't should be able to tell you that your child needs 48 vaccines before 1st grade - chances are you had fewer than 10. Take a look at any classroom in Trumbull, - you'll see kids with asthma, nut allergies, diabetes, ADHD, autism, speech issues, delayed development, and more. Did this exist when you were young? For all our "well visits" American kids are UNWELL. Parents are responding appropriately to protect their kids from lifelong chronic illness, ratther than the chicken pox. As an autism Mom I take offense at bearing the blame for parents simply seeing with their own eyes that pediatric medicine is failing our kids in droves.
Kim Stagliano September 06, 2012 at 11:07 AM
The gov't (your tax dollars) has paid for vaccine injury and autism. http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/pelr/vol28/iss2/6/ Pace Environmental Law Review, vol. 28, no. 2, 2011 Mary Holland, Louis Conte, Robert Krakow and Lisa Colin Executive Summary In 1986, Congress created the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (1986 Law). This Program has original jurisdiction for children’s claims of vaccine injury. Because almost all children receive multiple vaccinations for daycare and school, it is critically important that the Program provides fundamental fairness, due process and transparency. This empirical investigation, published in a peer-reviewed law journal, examines claims that the VICP compensated for vaccine-induced encephalopathy and seizure disorder. The VICP has compensated approximately 2,500 claims of vaccine injury since the inception of the program. This study found 83 cases of acknowledged vaccine-induced brain damage that include autism, a disorder that affects speech, social communication and behavior. In 21 published cases of the Court of Federal Claims, which administers the VICP, the Court stated that the petitioners had autism or described autism unambiguously. In 62 remaining cases, the authors identified settlement agreements where Health and Human Services (HHS) compensated children with vaccine-induced brain damage, who also have autism or an autism spectrum disorder.
Kim Stagliano September 06, 2012 at 11:27 AM
Also, you should know that UConn has accepted a $100K grant from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to spy on "anti-vaccine groups." I, the neighbor you see with her three autistic daughters at Stop & Shop and St. Theresa's am considered part of an "Anti-vaccine group" because I dare to ask "What has happened to our kids." Are people pushing for safe car seats "Anti-car seat?" http://www.grandchallenges.org/explorations/Pages/grantsawarded.aspx?Round=all&Phase=all&ProjectID=852 Establishing an Anti-Vaccine Surveillance and Alert System Primary Investigator: Seth Kalichman, University of Connecticut, Storrs Mansfield, CT, United States - US Topic: Design New Approaches to Optimize Immunization Systems Round: Round 8 – May 2012 Phase: Phase I Seth Kalichman of the University of Connecticut in the U.S. will establish an internet-based global monitoring and rapid alert system for finding, analyzing, and counteracting misinformation communication campaigns regarding vaccines to support global immunization efforts.
Katie Wright September 06, 2012 at 12:10 PM
When my son started to regress after multiple vaccines and developed bowel disease I had no idea who Andrew Wakefield was. He has nothing to do with the fact my son had a febrile seizure or lost all his speech due to adverse vaccine reactions. Stop lecturing parents and start listening to them.
Anne Dachel September 06, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Andrew Wakefield, a British gastroenterologist, urged more study on a disturbing relationship that he was seeing. Parents came to him reporting that their child was healthy until they received the MMR vaccine and suddenly regressed into autism and developed severe bowel disease. We're not told in this story that the British government indemnified the vaccine maker so it's the government that has liability for any damage done by this vaccine. To hear the stories of the parents of Dr. Wakefield's patients, watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq5BuVHu4Uw Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/
Anne Dachel September 06, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Listen to Dr. Wakefield talk to CBS reporter, Sharyl Attkisson about vaccines. Controversy Over Vaccine Research http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTh97pANTxc Oct 7, 2009 Attkisson asked Dr. Andrew Wakefield about the controversy surrounding his study on vaccinated and unvaccinated animals. Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/
Anne Dachel September 06, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Andrew Wakefield on His MMR Study April 8, 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIsFW5phHas&feature=related Natural health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Andrew Wakefield talk about autism, childhood vaccine safety, and his controversial MMR study. Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/
Anne Dachel September 06, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Talk show host Alex Jones with Dr. Andrew Wakefield http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUpahcqC2OM Sept, 2011 Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/
Anne Dachel September 06, 2012 at 02:18 PM
It was the late Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the National Institutes of Health, who went on CBS News http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500803_162-4090144-500803.html in 2008 and said that the vaccine-autism question is still open. She said we need to look at the children who got sick---the ones who were born healthy and were developing normally until they suddenly and dramatically regressed into autism following routine vaccinations. NO ONE IS WILLING TO DO THAT. Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/
Anne Dachel September 06, 2012 at 02:18 PM
The short trailer to the movie The Greater Good on their website http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/experts-in-the-field makes it clear that there are experts on both sides and a lot of serious questions that need to be asked. The medical community and health officials promote vaccines as the greatest achievement in modern medicine yet there is growing fear over vaccine side effects. Also see the National Vaccine Information Center http://www.nvic.org/, Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/
Anne Dachel September 06, 2012 at 02:19 PM
HDNet TV exposed the fact that while health officials continue to tell us studies show no link, the federal government has paid out millions of dollars for compensation for vaccine injuries that included autism. Seeing these children who were born healthy and were suddenly and dramatically affected by their vaccinations should give us all pause. http://www.ebcala.org/news/video Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/
Anne Dachel September 06, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Medical experts at Health and Human Services conceded the vaccine damage case of Hannah Poling. She's the young Georgia girl who regressed into autism following routine vaccinations. CBS News ran the story: Family to Receive $1.5M+ in First-Ever Vaccine-Autism Court Award. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20015982-10391695.html Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/
Anne Dachel September 06, 2012 at 02:20 PM
For far too long we've allowed the agency (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) that approves, recommends, and vigorously promotes vaccines to also be in charge of vaccine safety. The CDC is also the place where hundreds of individuals have conflict waivers because of their direct financial ties to the vaccine makers. The last head of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding, a long time denier of any link between vaccines and autism, is now the head of the vaccine division at Merck. In 2008 CBS News ran the story, How Independent Are Vaccine Defenders? http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500690_162-4296175.html Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/
Cynthia Parker September 07, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Parents are up in arms because vaccines really are damaging huge numbers of our children. I got a tetanus booster when I was nineteen that paralyzed both my arms for two days, brachial plexus neuropathy, and went on to develop multiple sclerosis. My baby was given the hep-B vax at the hospital when she was born, even though I had said I didn't want her to get it. She reacted with four days and nights of endless screaming, vaccine-induced encephalitis, and was later diagnosed with autism. She got the DTaP at 2, 4, and 6 months, caught pertussis anyway at 8 months, and later the DTaP booster at 18 months wiped out her only two words, uh for up and uff for dog. She didn't say them or anything else until she was 34 months old. She's in a special autism class now. She was born in 2000, a year after a congressional hearing found that it was a very dangerous vaccine. See testimony given at the hearing on the personal devastating experiences with this vaccine by Judy Converse, Michael Belkin, and Patti White. An autism dad told me two weeks ago that he and his wife had put in their daughters' birth plan that they didn't want them to get it, but they gave it to both the girls anyway at the hospital without even informing the parents (it's on their chart), much less getting permission. The girls are two and five now, so it's not like it was before they were on notice that it was an extremely damaging vaccine.
Cynthia Parker September 07, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Those who read Dr. Andrew Wakefield's book Callous Disregard will be shocked by the savagery with which he has been treated only for bringing to the world's attention the fact that in their case study, all of the Lancet Twelve got bowel disease and nine of them autism as well within days or weeks of getting the MMR. They just said it merited further study, it was approved by the hospital, by the Lancet editorial board, and all was well for a few years until Big Pharma realized it was really going to bite into their profits when the news spread among parents that the MMR was causing huge numbers of children to develop autism or bowel disease. In March Dr. Wakefield's colleagues on the Lancet study Dr. Walker-Smith and Dr. Murch were completely exonerated by a London judge. Sir John Mitting found that there had been NO FRAUD, the children had been appropriately treated for their condition, and he reprimanded the GMC for their shallow reasoning and FALSE conclusions. He restored the licenses of these doctors. Dr. Wakefield was not a part of this lawsuit because his insurance wouldn't cover the costs. Parents must be very cautious on this issue, and be on notice that the medical industry, the press, and the government are not being honest in what they say about vaccines. All of them have a long track record of death or permanent injury caused by them, starting with asthma and allergies caused by the pertussis vaccine.

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