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When it comes to vaccine safety, a complaint that I’ve frequently expressed is the lack of credible studies comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.

At best, we’ve had vaccination surveys1 based on self-reported data,2 and while that evidence strongly suggested unvaccinated children experience better health and fewer health problems, they were dismissed by most public health officials as unimportant. There are also published studies showing annual influenza vaccination takes its toll on your health, 3,4,5,6 and may do more harm than good in the long term.

Now, two pilot studies led by Anthony Mawson,7 an interdisciplinary epidemiologist and social scientist with a doctorate in public health, have helped to shed some light on the topic.

The gold standard in scientific research is replication and, while the conclusions of these studies need to be replicated using other data sources, they are another piece of evidence showing there are negative health outcomes for vaccinated children, and that unvaccinated children are actually healthier. It’s a good start, and it’s important to know these studies exist.

The fact that no link was found between premature birth and NDDs among the unvaccinated raises the disturbing possibility that the vaccination schedule for premature babies could be responsible for the neurological disorders some premature babies exhibit, which have been previously assumed to be simply a result of premature birth.

This provocative possibility is further strengthened by the finding that vaccination was, in fact, linked with a higher risk of NDD among full-term children. As noted in the paper, aside from preemies being excluded from pre-licensure vaccine trials, another reason this issue has never been formally investigated is “the assumed overall safety of vaccinations.” The results reveal why assuming safety uses seriously flawed logic.

Another powerful example of why safety should never be assumed are West African studies that revealed a high titer measles vaccine interacted with the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine and resulted in a 33 percent increase in infant mortality.9 Those shocking findings led to the withdrawal of that measles vaccine. But what would have happened had those studies never been done? Clearly, we need more like them.

The fact is, all vaccines need to be carefully evaluated not only individually for long-term safety, but also for synergistic toxicity when the vaccine is given in combination with other vaccines and given repeatedly over a period of time. In 2013, a physician committee at the Institute of Medicine (IOM), National Academy of Sciences, pointed out that the current federally recommended childhood vaccine schedule for infants and children from birth to age 6 had not been adequately studied for safety.10

The physicians and IOM staff only were able to identify fewer than 40 studies published in the previous 10 years that addressed the 0 to 6-year-old child vaccine schedule.

The IOM committee concluded there was not enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not the numbers of doses and timing of federally recommended vaccines children receive in the first six years of life are associated with health problems in premature infants or the development of chronic brain and immune system disorders that affect a child’s intellectual development, learning, attention, communication and behavior, such as ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities and autism.

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