Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Is More Better?

A while back, we looked at whether the HPV vaccine was a good idea or a Big Pharma profit center. This morning's McPaper brings us a full page ad from Generation Rescue, an autism advocacy group (no, they don't advocate for autism, but on behalf of folks afflicted with it). It's their contention that the increasing number of vaccinations "recommended" by the CDC may be responsible for an increase in the number of children diagnosed with autoism.
Obviously, correlation does not mean causation, but it doesn't preclude it, either.
So the group commissioned an in-depth study of chillun on the west coast (some 17,000 of them), to see if there was any overlap between those who'd been vaccinated and those with autism. The results are here.
It's kind of interesting, and scary. Turns out, of those surveyed, vaccinated boys were 2.5 times more likely to have neurological disorders (such as autism) than those who had not "had all their shots." Interestingly, GenRes isn't calling for a boycott or moratorium, but rather more study of the issue. As one who supports consumer empowerment and transparency in health care, I certainly applaud and support that.
Which isn't to say that the GenRes study was without flaws. As they themselves ask: "Are parent responses a reliable indicator of a child's diagnostic status?" Well maybe, and maybe not. But that just underscores the need to ask more questions. As I opined in that HPV vaccination post, "the risks here are great, and the downside is particularly troublesome."
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