1) The MMR study consists of 288 children, 192 of which were hand-picked to match 96 autistic children. It strikes me that for a condition that is diagnosed in 1 out of 120 children, a population of 300 children is a bit sparse. Is that blasphemy?
2) The MMR study (which the other high karma poster is also quoting, it's the same study) is, after all, an MMR study. That means that of the 30 or so shots http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/downloads/child/2... that a child is forced to undergo in the US by age 6, the Measles-Mumps-Rubella shot has been shown apparently (with a sample size of 288 kids) not to correlate with autism. I'm not sure why MMR was singled out, but for many of us, it's not any one vaccine that's the issue, nor is it thimerosal (although I'm glad it's out of there), it's the sheer number of them and how fast they are imposed on young bodies. Many more of them, I may add, than when you were a kid.
I feel that you are not going to be swayed from your position that all is well in vaccination land. I wonder if you have children. When you have a new son (boys are diagnosed at a rate of 1 in 70) we'll see if you aren't more willing to be critical of one or two studies that are quoted so often it seems like there are 50.
My original point still stands. Fund a study of non-vaccinated children. They exist. I have two of them. Compare their autism rate against the general population. Use a sample size that is actually meaningful, and you'll shut up Jenny McCarthy, and you'll let me sleep easier as well.
2.) MMR and thimerosal were singled out because anti-vaccine activists made the claim that they caused autism.
Now that those claims have been disproven, Jenny McCarthy and other anti-vaccine activists are making different claims.
Incidentally, I will be swayed from my position when I see some repeated, statistically significant evidence that vaccines are correlated with autism. At the moment, most of the evidence indicates no correlation.
In fact, you don't need large samples to get significant results. If there is a strong effect, even a very small sample will show it. If the effect is small, you will need a larger sample.
300 is, in fact, a pretty large sample. I haven't read the full study, but if its a simple random sample, the an effect would have to be quite weak indeed to not show up (in all probability).
It's human nature. Kids get vaccines every 6 months (or so it feels). If/when they develop autism, as a parent you are bound to wonder what happened. You look back, and the first thing that you can think of is the needle in your son 6 months prior. Nothing else comes to mind.
But that's because we don't have a clue what causes autism. So it's easy to associate any kind of needle, something we don't understand, with the shock. It helps cope.
Back on rational grounds, vaccines definitely have +++++++ effect, and you are trying to argue that there might be a tiny (-) somewhere, which is still very much completely hypothetical. Do the math: vaccines still end up way positive.
STUDY POPULATION: The 96 cases with childhood or atypical autism, aged 2 to 15, were included into the study group. Controls consisted of 192 children individually matched to cases by year of birth, sex, and general practitioners.
This downvoting crap is starting to piss me off. How about
echo "127.0.0.1 ycombinator.com" >> /etc/hosts
Fuck you guys. I'm going home.