Positive association between autism and vaccination

The findings of a paper that has just been published online by the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health are described succinctly in its title, "A Positive Association found between Autism prevalence and childhood vaccination uptake across the U.S population."
The author measured the proportion of children who had received all the U.S. recommended vaccines by two years of age in each U.S. state.
She then measured the prevalence of autism, and speech or language impairment, in each state.
As autism can take many years to be diagnosed the prevalence of autism in eight-year-old children (from 2001 to 2007) was compared with the vaccine uptake in infants six years previously (from 1995 to 2001) .
A positive, and statistically significant, relationship was found between children receiving the full set of vaccinations and the prevalence of autism or speech disorders. The higher the proportion of children receiving all their recommended vaccinations, the higher the prevalence of autism or speech disorders.
A 1% increase in the proportion of children fully vaccinated was associated with a 1.7% increase in prevalence of autism or speech disorders.
The author calculated that a 1% increase in vaccination was associated with an additional 680 children in the USA being autistic or having speech disorders.

This research is important because the UK government, and the medical establishment, have consistently denied any relationship between vaccines and autism. Whilst this paper is unable to prove a causal relationship, it demonstrates a clear association between vaccines and autism.
The author hypothesises that, following the removal of thiomersal (mercury) from vaccines it could be the aluminium, found in the majority of vaccines, that is causing autism in some children. Aluminium is contained in most childhood vaccines and is found in all the vaccines given in the UK to babies at 2, 3 and 4 months of age.

It follows two recent reports that describe vaccines as a cause of autism:
1. A recent publication of a Pace Environmental Law Review uncovered 83 compensated cases of vaccine damage in the USA which included autism despite official denial of a causal relationship.2
2. A recent review article in the Journal of Immunotoxicology described vaccines as a "documented cause of autism." Specifically, this paper describes how an infant's immune system is particularly sensitive at 2 months of age and that "a challenge by so many vaccines while the immune system is compromised might contribute to an onset of autism."3 Many countries, including the UK, start their vaccination programmes at 2 months of age when, in the UK, babies receive 6 vaccines in two shots, both containing aluminium.

The government and medical establishment must now acknowledge that vaccines are a probable cause of autism, and that research needs to be urgently undertaken to ensure a safer childhood vaccination schedule that minimises the risk of adverse reactions including autism.

The full vaccine uptake was considered to be DTaP (or DTP) x 4, polio x 3, Hib x 3 and MMR x 1 and 3 x Hep B
The UK schedule by 2 years of age is very similar, but excludes the Hep B and includes 3, rather than 4, DTaP.
Additional vaccines are given in both the USA and the UK but these were not in widespread use prior to the start of the research period in 1995.

Added 5 June 2011