Robert DeNiro ‘regrets’ pulling anti-vaccine film ‘Vaxxed’ from Tribeca line-up


A few weeks ago, we covered the controversy surrounding one particular film selection at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. When the Tribeca line-up was announced a few weeks ago, people were vexed that a “documentary” film called Vaxxed had been included. Vaxxed is written and directed by disgraced doctor Andrew Wakefield, one of the leading figures in the anti-vaccine movement. Robert DeNiro, who co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival, first defended the choice to show Vaxxed, then following an enormous amount of backlash, he withdrew the film, but not before he told everyone that his 18-year-old son is autistic and he believes that vaccines have something to do with it.

Well, Tribeca opened last night and to do some promotion for the festival, DeNiro appeared on the Today Show yesterday. And things got… crazy? Let’s go with crazy, I think. Skip ahead to the 2:20-ish mark for the beginning of the conversation about Anti-Vaxx, etc.

The main gist is that DeNiro has a more than mild flirtation with the anti-Vaxx movement. He comes dangerously close to saying that the MMR vaccine caused his son’s autism. He also says he regrets pulling Vaxxed from the Tribeca line up. Some assorted quotes from DeNiro:

People should see Vaxxed: “I think the movie is something that people should see. I, as a parent with a child who has autism, am concerned. I want to know the truth. And I’m not anti-vaccine, I want safe vaccines… There are many people who will come out and say, ‘No, I saw my kid change, like, over night, I saw what happened. I should have done something and I didn’t.’ So there’s more to this than meets the eye. Believe me.”

Whether his son changed after being vaccinated: “My wife says that. I don’t remember. But my child is autistic. And every kid is different.”

There’s something here: “There’s something there that people aren’t addressing. And for me to get so upset here today – on the Today show, with you guys – means that there’s something there.”

[Via People]

As I said in the previous post about the Vaxxed controversy, if the conversation is merely “let’s have a larger conversation about autism,” then I’m all for that. If you want to have a healthy and scientifically-based conversation about vaccines, then sure, we can do that too. But I have a problem hanging those arguments on Wakefield’s documentary-apologia, which seems less like a documentary and more like a piece of anti-vaccine propaganda which would do more harm than good.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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191 Responses to “Robert DeNiro ‘regrets’ pulling anti-vaccine film ‘Vaxxed’ from Tribeca line-up”

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  1. SilkyMalice says:

    The truth is out there DeNiro. Try PubMed.

    • Miss M says:

      My thoughts exactly! And if he doesn’t understand the terminology, contact a professional in the field and /or the authors of the scientific article.

    • Kitten says:

      Objectively, I agree with you. But on a personal note, I feel for the guy. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a child who suffered from autism and I can empathize with how much a parent of an autistic child would want to cling to some clear-cut, concrete cause, something external and not genetic (which let’s face it, it probably is) so I’m gonna cut the guy some slack this time.

      That being said, it’s just really hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that people would selfishly put the public at risk because of a false notion about vaccines that’s based on shoddy research and straight-up make-believe.
      It seems like the epitome of self-interest to me, and complete disregard for the health and safety of others. SMH.

      • SilkyMalice says:

        Kitten, I know. My heart breaks for the parents. But I get impatient with willful ignorance, no matter the source. Sometimes bad things happen in life for no reason, and people are much better off if they can accept that instead of hanging on to the anger and injustice of it. Forgive the universe, if you will.

      • ab says:

        Not all autism parents feel this way, though. I was actually surprised when I started seeking out parent support groups after my kid was diagnosed to find many autism parents who don’t think like this. I thought I would be the only one, but in both of my regular groups, anti-vaxxers get a heavy dose of side-eye.

      • Miss M says:

        I agree with you both and it is heartbreaking. It is very difficult to explain the genetic implications because we know parents will feel guilty. They are not, he has the means… Seek genetic counseling (if you prefer), accept your child as a blessing and, as silkymalice said, forgive the universe.

      • Kitten says:

        I completely agree. Plus, as a public figure and someone who has been very vocal over the past few years about his child’s autism he has a responsibility to represent autism and its causes in a factual light.
        I wonder how the autism community feels about his stance?

        ETA: @ab-Thanks for answering my question 🙂

      • Naya says:

        I agree. Its so sad watching these parents scrambling to find a “why”. I empathise with them, its the “doctors” who back this nonsense I have a problem with.

        @ab Thats great to hear.

      • Esmom says:

        One of my kids is on the spectrum and believe me I spent months wondering if something specific might have caused it. For a short time I thought it was because I gave him strawberries that weren’t organic when he was a baby. I was frantic and worried. But I also knew that vaccines were not to blame — many of the signs of autism were present before his MMR. They’re subtle, which is why so many parents don’t catch the signs that early. In retrospect I can see my son’s autism was there on literally day 1 of his life.

        As for the autism community, it’s already horribly, bitterly divided. I saw reports of DeNiro’s comments on my FB feed yesterday and predictably the anti-vaxxers felt vindicated and the neurodiversity folks felt offended.

        Also, fyi, not everyone “suffers” from autism. Many believe that their unique neurology, despite the challenges, is something to be not only accepted but celebrated. My son is 16 now and slowly inching his way toward seeing his ASD as a gift rather than a curse.

      • Anon says:

        My daughter had a swollen ankle for months and we didn’t know what was wrong. She had fallen off the couch the night before she started limping. It was not the worst fall she had ever taken but the only thing we could think of that may have caused it. The second orthopedic specialist said that the fall probably had nothing to do with it that I said just trying to rationalize what was wrong with my daughter. Well he was right. She has juvenile idiopathic arthritis. They don’t know what causes it but it was probably kickstarted by the flu she got months before. She was 2 so too young to tell us that something might be wrong sooner. But she was visibly healthy one day and something was wrong the next. And we thought for months it was the tumble. It was not. I feel for him, he’s just trying to make sense of it.

      • Kitten says:

        @Esmom-Thank for that and my apologies if I offended you for using the word “suffers”. I actually thought about that when I was typing it–that it wasn’t the right word—and I should have taken the time to phrase it differently.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Esmom, I’m so glad your son is doing well. It breaks my heart to think of you feeling bad about the strawberries. I think many people with ADD feel the same way as your son does, myself included. Not to compare the two at all, except they are “differences” but surveys show that most people with ADD wouldn’t change it if they could because it’s part of who they are.

      • anna2222222 says:

        When my son was diagnosed I definitely went through a stage of worrying about what the cause was. I swung into research mode and fixated on causes and cures for autism, but over time you realize that your child is still your child and they’re not a problem that needs to be fixed. You can enjoy them and support them and use therapies to give them the best chance to be happy, independent people.
        I feel sad for parents that are vulnerable and get stuck in the anti vax movement. In saying that, my autism parent friends and I laugh about anyone who carries on about autism and vaccinations – they may as well wear a sign saying ‘crazypants’ on their head. Science!

      • jammypants says:

        Autism is genetic on my brother in law’s side. Not every kid is autistic, but a few born have been, from different siblings. At least with my family, autism is not viewed as a stigma, it’s just viewed as part of who the kid is, like being left handed, or artistic or ambidextrous. There are others who view it as an invisible disability. But there are communities who see kids these two different ways:

        “My kid has autism.”
        “My kid is autistic.”

      • Esmom says:

        Kitten, I wasn’t offended at all by your comment, I just wanted to clarify something that many in the community feel very strongly about. I don’t personally get too worked up about that stuff but I know others who do.

        GoodNames, thanks so much. He still has his struggles — anxiety, food-related OCD etc — to be sure. But it’s dawned on him recently that perhaps those struggles have made him stronger in many ways than the average teen. I think he’s right…I’ve never met a more determined person. I think the ADD comparison is apt. In fact I have heard that ADD and autism spectrum disorders likely are related. Which makes sense to me, we have varying degrees of both in our family.

      • byland says:

        My eighteen-month-old neice is on the autism spectrum (full of personality and physically active, but has yet to say and word and has issues with certain texures and sensations) and although my sister-in-law looks at it objectively and intelligently, my brother decided, “no! It’s the vaccines! Stop them, they’re evil!” The only reason she was vaccinated at all is because she is on Medicaid and trying to refuse them for any reason would result in losing her eligibility. Personally, I think that’s taking it a bit too far – talk about punishing the wrong person. Governmental rules are so black-and-white it’s ridiculous sometimes.

      • Tammy says:

        My 17 year old cousin falls under the spectrum and my aunt knew at six months something was different because he was not responding the same to her as his older brother had. He was diagnosed at 3 years old and the earlier the diagnosis, the better it is. She told me the schools try everything in hopes something works but what she does at home is pretty simple: she has a routine in place and that there is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. All she does is attempt to guide him into making appropriate choices and redirect him when he gets upset. He’s a straight A student, he’s made friends and while he cannot always express how he feels and it’s hard for him to empathize, he’s pretty spectacular.

        My friend has a son is autistic and it’s a constant struggle for them. His son cannot verbalize much to them, he often wakes up at 3 am screaming or running around the house, or strips off his swimsuit at a pool but he loves his son and every day he faces a new set of challenges but does his best. He lives for the moment when his son smiles from ear to ear because he knows his son is happy.

        My point is that there are varying degrees of autism and some are better equipped than others. Robert DeNiro is still trying to make sense of the why. Doesn’t make him a bad person or necessarily means he believes the vaccines caused the autism. He clearly states he doesn’t remember but that his wife does and is supposed to say she’s making it up? What is she truly believes that? Some people do, so it’s not easy road to navigate.

      • SilkyMalice says:

        I haven’t shared this, but Asperger’s runs in my family, with an uncle, nephew and myself all on the spectrum. I got the lightest touch of i but still struggle with ADD and anxiety – also social interactions can be a bit beyond me. :/ Because I can see how it has touched different members of my family in three different generations, I can appreciate the genetic component. Interestingly, another cousin suffers from Tourettes.

        I wish I hadn’t responded in such a knee-jerk way to DeNiro. Esmom, and everyone else who responded with their stories, thank you for reminding me about the very human side of parenting autistic children.

      • Courtney says:

        We know it’s not just genetic and we know it’s not just because of changes in diagnostic criteria. (I can’t post the link from my phone, but UC Davis Mind Institute is a good source of current info).

      • Magnoliarose says:

        Silky I think we all do the same. React and then reflect sometimes.
        I don’t know much Aspergers except it seems to be something more people are discussing. It is interesting that it is genetic. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      • Dangles says:

        “it’s just really hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that people would selfishly put the public at risk because of a false notion about vaccines that’s based on shoddy research and straight-up make-believe.
        It seems like the epitome of self-interest to me, and complete disregard for the health and safety of others”

        I feel the same way about the invasion of Iraq and the War on Drugs.

  2. LadyMTL says:

    Even various autism societies / organizations have come out and said that there is no link between vaccines and autism, and yet here he is hinting that there might be one? And indirectly promoting such a ridiculous movie to boot?

    Sigh, I’ve just lost so much respect for DeNiro.

    • doofus says:

      me, too. it sucks finding out distasteful or disappointing things about celebs that you like.


    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:


    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Me, too, although I wonder if he just believes his wife, who thinks she saw the change?

    • byland says:

      I haven’t lost respect for him, per se, although I can’t say I really know much about DeNiro other than (most) his older movies are great-to-good and (nearly all of) his newer ones are best advoided.

      As menioned above, I can understand how he wants to have something to point to to explain why his son has had to live with this condition. It’s human nature as parents to want the best for our children and with the reason for Autism still unclear, vaccines are an easy target for their anger and frustration.

      I feel for he and his wife, their son, daughter, and his other children.

    • Magnoliarose says:

      I haven’t lost respect for him. I think he is vulnerable and desperate for answers and hope. When a parent has no answers it is one of the most helpless feelings in the world. With all of his wealth and success that give him access to the best doctors in the world, he and his wife still feel helpless.
      I only have compassion for them.

    • Dangles says:

      You lost respect for DeNiro over this? What about his appalling choices in movie projects over the past twenty years?

  3. Mewsie says:

    Why are private persons’ opinions weighing just as heavily as scientists’ researched facts in America? Why can any loud soccer mom tear down centuries of medical progress?

    • Lucrezia says:

      ‘There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” ‘

      Isaac Asimov, (21 January 1980)

    • Saks says:

      This! and also people treating these lies as if they are worth discussing. Perpetuating ignorance is not widening a conversation.

  4. Erinn says:


    I’ve lost 100% of the respect/good feelings I’ve had for this man in the past. Guess what Rob – your child is more likely to have autism because of YOUR genetics. They’re finding links to older fathers and children with autism – yet despite study after study still no link between vaccines and autism.

    As a sister of someone with autism – I find all of this so enraging. People like Deniro are consistently putting it out there that they would prefer to risk their child dying from preventable disease than a child who is autistic. They are undermining all of the work people with autism, and autism organizations are trying to do. Autism does not make someone less of a person. Autism is not a death sentence. For a parent with an autism child – you would think he would become more involved in offering support to families, or showing how wonderful an individual with autism is instead of making them feel like a plague on society.

    When will people stop listening to this bullshit? Literally – the studies have been disproved time after time, and because morons like Deniro with more money than brains run their mouths.

    I really feel for his child – it must be awful to have your father running on about how vaccines ‘ruined’ their child, and caused the autism – especially when it’s not even true.

    And this is where I stop looking at this article. I’m too angry and hurt by this kind of crap to even look at it any longer.

    • doofus says:

      great post, Erinn.

    • Esmom says:

      Very well said, Erinn. I see people online all the time dehumanizing their children as they lament the curse of autism on their lives. It’s so damaging.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      What galls me is that this man has enough money that he could hire multiple scientists and pay them to go over the studies and explain it to him in lamen’s terms so it makes sense.


      The truth is its all those scary vaccines and he’s just really a good concerned Dad who’s giving a vocal platform to a movement that kills and maims people.

    • INeedANap says:

      You are absolutely correct. I am sure it must have been emotional for him and his wife to realize they have a special-needs child, but he is making it sounds like his kid is broken. That’s a load of horsepucky.

      And the reason no one will talk about the link between older fathers and autism is because men’s egos are tied to their virility and they are too sensitive to consider that it might be time to put away the ol’ boner.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Talk to your doctor on your next visit. Until then, don’t get medical advice from strangers on blogs or anyone without biomedical training. We have some pretty scientifically informed people on Celebitchy, but read the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and also find the vaccination schedules issued for all ages by the National Institutes of Health. Do not worry about Big Pharma … they produce these low-margin products because it’s the most efficient and expert way to reach millions. A rare socially beneficialgovernment-industry partnersip. Vaccines can save your baby’s live…you yourself were vaccinated. Get the shots, use a car seat properly, and enjoy.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        The above showed in the wrong place.

        But the thing about older fathers is interesting because a small % of older fathers might be that way because it took them a longer time to get established socially. Makes one wonder.

    • Katie says:

      Thank you!! Your first paragraph entails everything I came here to say!! Instead of older men marrying these younger women, and wanting to feel oh-so virile and manly and having children at their age. First look at yourself and studies that show that age of the father (and mother) CAN correlate with symptoms on the spectrum!!! I can understand the women wanting to have their own children (paycheck?) but don’t blame it on life saving vaccines that have been proven NOT to correlate with children developing autism. ARGH!! /end rant

  5. Polkasox says:

    Andrew Wakefield lost his medical license because he falsified studies. Why would anyone listen to him?? I don’t understand it. The man has proven to be a liar and a fraud.

    • Eden75 says:

      Sadly, people will follow discredited people as far as they will go. Jim Baker, Peter Popoff (who is still faith healing to this day) and things like CoS survive because people are too lazy, gulliable or willing to follow someone famous instead of doing actual research and fact checking. Basic research into vaccines and the Lancet report that linked them to autism will show you immediately that the paper by Wakefield was discredited. Hell, the 2nd and 3rd paragraph of his wiki page alone should freak people out. Humans have always been this way, it’s nothing new. I understand that we all have a desperate need to know why something is but blaming something that is helpful to the human race is ridiculous.

      Also, lets not forget the big thing with Wakefield and, imo, the biggest reason he published that paper, he made money and stood to make a WHOLE lot more. He was paid by Legal Aide for the research to link the MMR to autism and he had patented a vaccine that would compete directly with the vaccine we use today. How much do you think that patent would be worth? Millions? Billions? That was, again, imo, his main reason for the unethical treatment of disabled children, disgracing his colleges and turning millions of people against something that helps us all.

    • OriginallyBlue says:

      Because sadly there are a lot of stupid people out there who buy into every conspiracy theory. They would rather believe that this man was blackballed by the government and science community for “telling the truth” than believe he is a liar and wrong.

    • hogtowngooner says:

      Because they want to believe in a “conspiracy” and practice confirmation bias to prove it.

      They will disregard anything that doesn’t confirm their already-reached conclusion, and use anything that does, regardless of how flimsy (or in this case, fraudulent). They are so consumed with feeling superior to the rest of us, that they are on some higher plane of understanding.

      I can appreciate parents with an autistic child searching for answers on why it happened, and it’s probably exciting to feel like they’re the hero in their own Erin Brockovich-type movie, but they need to accept that the link between vaccines and autism has been scientifically, categorically, disproven. And they should be ashamed of themselves for putting public health at risk to placate their feelings of perceived injustice.

  6. Kitten says:

    I CALLED IT. I said in the last thread that there were a lot of rumors going around about De Niro talking to a certain FL Congressman about the Anti-Vaxx movement.
    I was 100% certain that DeNiro really wanted to show this film, but caved to public pressure.

  7. Mia4s says:

    I have sympathy for every parent of a child with autism looking for answers. I’ve seen the devastation and grief. Truly I wish him peace….but….This is not your answer Mr.DeNiro, this is a scam (and a dangerous one). Don’t let yourself get taken advantage of to give these anti-science fools a platform at the cost of innocent lives.

  8. Goats on the Roof says:

    Damn Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy and every other person who claims vaccines cause autism, and damn them all to hell. The garbage they’re peddling has NO basis in fact. Wakefield’s study linking autism to vaccines was fabricated and completely shot to hell, so I don’t understand why these jackasses feel the need to keep spreading lies that have such serious repercussions.

    I work in neuro-onc at a pediatric hospital, and people who refuse vaccines because they cause autism/don’t have to do what anyone tells them to/don’t give a f*ck really set my teeth on edge.

  9. Jenns says:

    Whether his son changed after being vaccinated: “My wife says that. I don’t remember.”

    So then maybe the vaccines had nothing to with your child’s autism. Because that’s probably something you would remember.

  10. susanne says:

    I do not trust pharmaceutical companies, at all. I wholeheartedly believe that they would cover up negative reactions to vaccines.
    My kids are 9 and 11, and I vaccinated them on a more spread-out basis, and I was not comfortable with it. My concerns were respected by our family doctor, and I know that she would have supported my decision if I had chosen to not vaccinate. I did some research, made a choice I thought was best for my children, and they are completely healthy.
    There are too many stories about children who changed overnight. While I am aware that the research that was done 15 or so years ago was refuted and found to be faulty, and that anecdotal reports are not science, there is no reason not to explore this more.
    Drug companies are known to push dangerous substances. This is a proven fact. We are right not to trust and to question. I continue to have my kids vaccinated, but I am not completely comfortable with that choice.

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      I’m surprised your doctor didn’t fire you as a patient for refusing to vaccinate on schedule. I would have.

      And you’re right–we should question and educate ourselves. But the problem we are seeing today is people with no understanding of science or how vaccines work think their ‘University of Google’ degree (effing Jenny McCarthy) somehow makes them more knowledgable than professionals who’ve devoted their LIVES to this stuff.

      • susanne says:

        Just to clarify, I did choose to vaccinate in a way that would meet standards, just not all of them at once.
        I actually chose our family doctor based on her more progressive views, like not side-eyeing me when I wanted to nurse for longer than a year.
        I believe in science, but not pharmaceutical companies.
        I realize the danger in reading the interwebs and considering myself a medical expert. I made a choice for my kids which was thought out, researched, and supported by a physician I trust.
        I don’t agree with the anti vax folks, but I don’t trust drug companies more.

      • Goats on the Roof says:

        Please note, I said I would discharge you due to not following the prescribed schedule, which you admitted.

        Vaccines are scheduled in a way to work best with a child’s immune system and offer protection early. By refusing to follow that schedule because you weren’t “comfortable”, you put your child and other people’s children at risk. You can distrust pharma all you want, but the schedule is approved by AAP and AAFP, which is–gasp!–made up of DOCTORS. The idea that pharmaceutical companies and the entire medical community is out to put young lives at risk screams stupidity to me.

        People like you are why I’m glad I didn’t go into primary care. I would be bald from tearing my hair out in frustration. I work with children with cancer, and luckily the people surrounding them are only too happy to comply with recommended vaccines to help protect them against further illness.

      • SloaneY says:

        People like her? Who just chose to spread it out? She didn’t say she didn’t vaccinate. No, I don’t think pharma and doctors are out to get everyone. But I do think they sweep inconvenient truths such as adverse reactions under the rug. It doesn’t fit the narrative.
        I’m glad you aren’t a primary care doctor, either. You’re obviously my way or the highway, and kids with cancer have parents who will do anything you say without question if you can just keep their kid alive.
        Doctors aren’t perfect. They don’t know everything. They don’t have all the answers. And most of them can’t admit that.
        Sorry. Your posts really rub me the wrong way.

      • Goats on the Roof says:


        Yes, people like her. Research has established there is NO benefit to a delayed vaccination schedule. Delaying vaccines only makes a child more vulnerable to preventable disease and puts the health of others in the community at risk.

        I wouldn’t say I’m “my way or the highway” on a lot of patient care issues, but vaccines are one topic I don’t think parents should get much of a say in. They have been studied ad infinitum, and are safe and effective at preventing disease. Not vaccinating or doing so on a delayed schedule is a public health risk, and one not worth taking.

      • SloaneY says:

        And I would say they aren’t always safe. They weren’t in my child’s case. After an adverse reaction we spaced them out. I don’t regret it.

      • Goats on the Roof says:

        Delayed vaccinations have not been shown to decrease adverse reactions, but that’s between you and your child’s doctor. Special consideration should and would be given to kids with a history of adverse reaction. (See, I’m not totally rigid.)

        However, if your child had an adverse reaction to a vaccine, he is the exception and not the rule. Literally millions of kids are vaccinated without side effects.

        Unfortunately, most conscientious objectors/delayers do not have any sound reasoning for their actions other than “not being comfortable” (read: egotism). The carelessness of these individuals is why we are seeing a rise in scary shit like measles and pertussis.

      • Magnoliarose says:

        I disagree with you Goats. My pediatrician practices integrative medicine and is a parent herself. We spread them out but not ridiculously and my child did have a minor reaction to a vaccine. We are partners and she respects our opinions but also guides us with her expertise. She believes in vaccinations and won’t accept anti vaxxers as clients.
        I would never go to a doctor who didn’t respect my thoughts and ideas, even if they disagreed, I would rather a discussion and not a lecture. I like that she explains both sides of any issue and we work as a team.
        I would never put my blind trust in a doctor or a pharmaceutical company and I’m not a Google mom either.
        I have experienced dealing with pediatric oncology, autism and Down Syndrome within my close family and friends, I don’t envy your job and can appreciate your views, but in this area I disagree.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        I don’t know what it means to be a ‘progressive’ doctor. Either a doctor knows and respects the science or does not. Doctors are responsible for the health of the child, not the self-satisfaction of the parent. Maybe Edward Jenner (smallpox) doesn’t seem ‘progressive’ after a few hundred years but he knew more about preventing disease than modern quacks like Andrew Wakefield.

      • Goats on the Roof says:


        You’re entitled to your opinion, of course, but science disagrees with you. Spacing out vaccinations makes your child more vulnerable to contracting a totally preventable illness. Please see WHO, CDC, AAFP, and AAP websites for a library full of research to back that up.

        I may actually be more bothered by doctors that allow declinations/delays than by the parents. They should know better! This issue wouldn’t be what it is today if more providers had set their foot down on this issue instead of caving to parental pressure.

        There are many areas where a child’s health can be a collaboration (diet strategies for an obese kid, for example) but vaccines are not one of them.

      • susanne says:

        I appreciate the responses here. My choices were made ten years ago, and I was informed. I do not blindly trust any health care provider, and I had two physician opinions involved in my choice to vaccinate. I do not see how seeking information makes me one of the bad guys. I am skeptical, and fierce mama when it comes to my children.
        Any physician who is opposed to critical thinking should take a good look at themselves and check that god complex thing.

    • Tanya says:

      It has been studied, as nauseum. The universe can be unfair, but it’s not the fault of vaccines. Stop shifting the goalposts.

    • Esmom says:

      “There are too many stories about children who changed overnight.”

      No, just no. Very rarely, a child will have an adverse reaction to a vaccine. As for the others, I think those stories are more about the parents realizing something was atypical with their child’s development overnight vs. the child actually changing overnight.

      • Algernon says:

        I heard someone say something about this that made a lot of sense to me. She said that most parents don’t pick up on the signs of autism until there is a concrete benchmark their child should be hitting, and then doesn’t. That’s why a lot of kids don’t get diagnosed until they’re in school; parents don’t notice anything is different about their special snowflake, until s/he gets around other special snowflakes and they can compare development. That seems like a reasonable explanation for the “overnight” change some parents talk about. They think little Braxlee is fine until she’s in pre-school and they realize none of the other kids behave like her.

      • Esmom says:

        Algernon, yes, exactly. And lots of key milestones are happening right when the MMR vaccine is typically given.

      • Magnoliarose says:

        This does make perfect sense. More sense than most things I heard. It is the same in a way when a parent discovers their child is deaf. It can go unnoticed until it one day it is. My relative has an autistic child and is very angry about anti vaxxers. He thinks they muddy the waters when funds and attention could be better spent.
        I don’t have the same reaction to Deniro as some but then again I don’t have an autistic child so it’s an outsiders view.

      • Pepper says:

        I think a lot of people don’t like admitting they missed or ignored some pretty obvious signs early on, and vaccines give them an easy out.

        My SIL claims her oldest son changed overnight when given the second MMR jab. It’s not true at all. He was already non-verbal, wouldn’t make eye contact or communicate through gestures, barely responded to his name or things going on around him. At about a year old people were telling her she might want to get his hearing checked because of how un-responsive he was. By the time he had the MMR jab, pretty much everyone except her was assuming he had autism. At the very least, it was blindingly obvious that something wasn’t quite right. But it’s like she didn’t want to face that until she had some outside force she could blame.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      This has been explored more, hundreds of times actually.

      The truth is an uninformed and suspicious mind will never be soothed. There will never be anything you can be shown or see as evidence that will make you feel comfortable with medical treatment like vaccines because you already approach the topic with the idea something nefarious is going on. The only good thing is you’re not one of the many mothers who’ve come forward after their child contracted a preventable disease to mourn how they realize their uninformed opinion cost their child his or her health.

      It is what it is.

    • Alex says:

      Yea no. Vaccines are safe. Overwhelmingly safe. And kids in this country can live free from horrible diseases like polio.
      Kids don’t wake up one day with autism. THATS NOT HOW IT WORKS. Most likely its something that develops slowly and one day the parents notice something atypical.
      Your ignorance does not trump the numerous scientific studies and data. There is no link. The end

    • SloaneY says:

      I agree with you. Almost everyone on this site will vilify you for in any way questioning the absolute safety and efficacy of vaccines.
      They are absolutely great in preventing disease. No one is saying that. But to say that they are completely safe in all cases is just not true. There are many adverse reactions that are either not reported or dismissed by the medical community.
      My child doesn’t have autism, but he had adverse affects from his 4 month shots. He had spiking fevers and gigantic welts all over his arms and legs for months after these vaccines. He had to have a punch biopsy because no one could figure out what it was. He had a type of dermatitis that had never been documented in anyone under 6 years of age, and even then, documented in children extremely rarely. It was mostly something found in elderly arthritic women. And yes, I know it was the vaccines, as it started within 24 hours of the shots.
      Adverse reactions are swept under the rug because they don’t fit the narrative. Not enough research is done into these reactions.
      I had the rest of my child’s vaccinations spaced out. He still got everything, but not 5 shots at one time. So he may have been a few months off schedule. And if any doctor wanted to fire me for not being rigidly on schedule I would say good riddance to a $hit doctor.
      I’m sure all of your kids did just fine with their vaccines. That’s wonderful. I just pray you never have to take your screaming child with a super high fever covered in welts to the ER on Christmas and listening to incompetent doctors saying they have no idea and nothing’s wrong with the kid. I also hope that if this does happen to you, that the people in your life are more understanding than some of you are currently being.
      The OP didn’t say all vaccines were evil and she didn’t vaccinate. There is no reason to be rude to her.

      • Izzy says:

        This doesn’t mean EVERY child will react this way. Having said that, the fact that your child DID have such an extreme reaction, points to more than just vaccines. That’s a hella strong immune system reaction, so if it were my kid, I would be extra-vigilant going forward about his reactions when exposed to other new substances. It would be ONE ingredient in the vaccine, perhaps. And NOT THIMERISOL – that is no longer used in vaccines here. But his extreme reactions, and the fact that future, further spaced out vaccines led to calmer reactions, points to a potential issue with his immune system. It may not be a devastating problem. But there is so much we don’t understand about immune response, including its overreactive tendencies. IJS

      • katy says:

        Thank you for summarizing what I so strongly feel as well. The blind acceptance of vaccination schedules and doctors never being wrong greatly upsets me. Just because you are a doctor doesn’t mean you are right, although I will certainly respect your the breadth and depth of your knowledge and take your advice fully into consideration. And just because government administrations tell me something is safe to be ingested or injected, why should I not question that, when I frequently question the wisdom of the government in every other area?

        Every so often, I pop up and point out the grey in this black and white issue. No, vaccines do not cause autism. With that I agree. But I do believe that a bad reaction to the act of being vaccinated can trigger or worsen a neurological condition that a child may be genetically predisposed to. Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC in 2008 said the same thing on CNN:

        “But my understanding is that the child has a — what we think is a rare mitochondrial disorder. And children that have this disease, anything that stresses them creates a situation where their cells just can’t make enough energy to keep their brains functioning normally. Now, we all know that vaccines can occasionally cause fevers in kids. So if a child was immunized, got a fever, had other complications from the vaccines. And if you’re predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.”

        Trumpeting “vaccines cause autism!” is no doubt misleading and dangerous. But to say “Vaccines do not cause autism!” in such a black and white fashion, while impressing that they’re safe and that anyone who dares question government guidelines and big pharma is a heretic, breeds sheeple of a very different kind.

      • SloaneY says:

        Oh, I’m very careful about what he gets and watch him very closely.

        And your last sentence is exactly my point. We don’t understand a lot about immune response, and what are vaccines but immune response disrupters? And yet everyone is so sure that vaccines are safe for all but the rarest of rare. I’m postulating that it’s not as rare as everyone thinks, and more research needs to be done. The medical community can’t even wrap their brains around auto-immune diseases in adults, let alone the effects of 25 different vaccines in a very young and still developing immune system.

      • SloaneY says:

        Btw, I don’t think vaccines ’cause’ autism and I agree with them in general practice. I do think there needs to be more research and less blind blanket acceptance.
        Katy- yes, this exactly!

      • Magnoliarose says:

        I agree with you. I would never go to a doctor who refused to work with me. My child was running around energetically and after the visit had a fever, lethargy and a rash. Even my pediatrician agreed it was a reaction. I didn’t have to fight her about it.

      • Patricia says:

        True, that was a reaction. A reaction that showed the vaccine worked very well.

      • Miss M says:

        I am with Izzy. I have never had a reaction after being vaccinated. Fast forward, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder 2 years ago. I had to be vaccinated again due to the nature of my work recently and I had a strong reaction tot he vaccine (even the flu vaccine). But I believe, in my case, it is because of my condition since I never had any reaction in the past.

      • SloaneY says:

        Patricia- he had an extreme reaction, so that means the vaccine “worked really well”? So everyone who doesn’t have an extreme reaction — I guess their vaccines didn’t work?
        You’re an idiot.

      • Patricia says:

        No, I’m a nature scientist and you are a very classy person obviously.
        And no again, if there is no extreme reaction it doesn’t mean the vaccine didn’t work at all.

    • Diana says:

      My mom and I would agree with you. My younger brother is autistic and he was never the same after receiving one of the vaccinations. We’re not anti-vaccine but I sure as hell would not trust pharmaceutical companies. Can you just imagine the public health crisis and the lawsuits that would occur if they ever admitted that some of the stuff that was in vaccines (thimerosal) caused Autism? To me it just doesn’t make sense to pump a baby full of vaccines before their immune system is fully developed. I think in the late 1950’s there was only a few vaccines that were administered to kids. Now It’s something like 20 or 25. I’m sorry but that’s just ridiculous. I agree with spacing out the vaccines. You don’t have to overload a kids system all at once.

      • Robin says:

        Um….part of the reason babies and children get shots is BECAUSE their immune systems aren’t fully developed.

      • Patricia says:

        Trust pharmaceutical companies? Do you know how many independent scientists all over the world work on this topic? People have no idea and ramble about not trusting big pharma.
        Science has not found a link between autism and vaccines. The question is not : Will pharmaceutical companies admit anything.

  11. Sayrah says:

    Ugh, please let me continue to respect him as an actor because this is crazy.

  12. Greenieweenie says:

    Eh, I don’t really get too worked up about it. He has never put himself out there as a poster child for anything. I don’t even sense that he’s trying to use his celebrity to “raise awareness”. Seems to me that it’s very personal to him. But of course, if you’re a public figure, when you speak about personal things you become a voice for those who aren’t public figures. Such is life!

    ETA: I wonder if he’s making all these crap movies to bank $ now for a lifetime of good care for his son.

    • Kitten says:

      Well he’s worth $200M so I think he’s all set in terms of care for his son but aside from that, I agree with every word you say here.

      My personal feelings about the Anti-Vaxx movement aside, I still think he should have shown the film (and I said as much on the last thread) for many reasons. Aside from the censorship issue, I think showing the film might have eventually helped to change DeNiro’s stance. If enough respected people who attend his festival came up to him after the film and told him why Wakefield’s studies are complete horsesh*t then maybe they would get through to him.

      • Greenieweenie says:

        Good point. I really do kinda feel bad for DeNiro. He’s clearly cares and probably gets an earful from his wife (not demonizing her, just she’s the one who perceives the MMR link) and, as an actor, thinks a film festival is a natural venue to explore the issue. I disagree, obviously, I just don’t see him having the vitriol that irritates everyone about anti-vaxxers. I do applaud the impulse to challenge big corporations and don’t take offense to DeNiro saying that either. I’m just not into it when the challenge lacks a sound scientific basis.

        I dunno, I don’t even think this is particularly controversial.

      • Kitten says:

        I think the fact that it lacks a sound scientific basis is exactly the reason why it SHOULD be shown. Let Wakefield shoot himself in the foot. Let him put it out there so everyone can call him out on it.

        I see absolutely nothing gained from NOT showing the film, except the public appeasement of people who firmly disagree with the Anti-Vaxx stance. The film has already debuted in several theaters and I’d bet dollars to donuts the people who are paying to see it are already firmly on-board with the Anti-Vaxx movement. Nothing will change these people’s minds.

        There’s this argument that the Tribeca Film Festival would give this film some air of validity, but people who go to film festivals aren’t stupid, you know? I have a feeling that even if Vaxxer had shown at Tribeca, most attendees would have skipped it anyway. Maybe a few would watch out of morbid curiosity but the movie has pretty much bombed already so….

      • Lucrezia says:

        I don’t know about respected film-makers being able to change his mind.

        Did you watch the clip? They say it was other filmmakers threatening to back out of the festival that made him decide not to show the anti-vax doco. Which is fine. But then DeNiro says “It was a knee-jerk reaction. Especially from the filmakers [who were threatening to pull out]. Whoever they were … I didn’t even want to ask. But now I WILL ask.” I’m honestly not sure how to take that. Why does he need to know. It sounds a bit threatening, tbh. Is he just thinking of trying to change their stance by making them watch the clip? Or is he thinking of black-balling them for daring to criticise his pet film?

        Also, I don’t think festival-goers are stupid, but I do think they’re more inclined to be art-y than science-y. So they may not have the background necessary to understand the problems with the doco. I’m science-y and you could show me an art-history doco full of complete BS and I’d almost certainly fall for it.

      • Kitten says:

        @Lucrezia- To me that sounded like he didn’t want to out people or name names. I’d bet that he knows who didn’t want the film to be shown.

        …and art and science aren’t incompatible. In fact, many genres of art are based on science or greatly influenced by scientific theories.
        I’d bet a lot of people even on this thread work in the arts or have an art background and overwhelmingly agree that Anti-Vaxxers aren’t thinking logically when it comes to this issue.

        The people that attend Tribeca are generally part of a college-educated, liberal-minded, discerning crowd. I don’t think they need us telling them what’s “dangerous” for them to see.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Unfortunately he’s the poster boy now and basically become one once he showed that film.

      Art and medecine don’t mix. One is about interpretation of the senses and the other is about informed medical and science facts. Once you say, “Well I’m just going to give a million dollar platform to this movement that kills people and harms public health.” – you are now officially the poster boy.

      • Greenieweenie says:

        I just listened to him again…I actually agree with him. He’s saying that certain people are more susceptible to vaccines–that’s been my experience (my large family needs to be a case study for this). For non-research people, he’s saying that there is a genetic cause for autism that could be triggered or otherwise exacerbated by vaccines. This is not the same as saying vaccines cause autism a la Jenny McCarthy.

        I think, from what I read in the fine print on my son’s vaccine handouts, that this is already generally acknowledged by the medical community. A certain percentage of bad rxns is deemed a tolerable risk as a matter of public health policy (not medical coverup). I think that’s reasonable–this is how public policy works–and I don’t hear DeNiro saying otherwise.

        I hear him saying there should be more research into the genetic cause so that the biomedical interactions can be better understood in order to reduce that risk to a small percentage of the population. He questions why this research isn’t happening–I think it’s fine to question.

        So I still don’t see anything particularly controversial. I read proposals for various research agendas all day long so that’s all this sounds like to me. (He does swerve a little to the side of conspiracy but I don’t hear that in his main point). (am not an anti-vaxxer, just a researcher without a conspiracy-minded bone in my body).

      • Kitten says:

        I know we disagree on this, ESE but I have to ask you if you think that Sicko should have never been shown at Tribeca?

        FWIW, I can think of eight really powerful medical documentaries off the top of my head that are important films. I just don’t believe in saying “you can’t show this film because I firmly disagree with everything it represents” because I see that as a form of policing what people can and cannot see. Censorship has no place in the art world–it doesn’t belong there.

        I know you won’t change your mind and that’s cool, but I wish people could see the two separate issues here and how they are NOT mutually-exclusive. I can believe the Anti-Vaxx movement is garbage and I can also support the right for people to screen a movie, even if I disagree with the movie’s content.

        I think people are smart enough to make up their minds on their own. I don’t think making something “off-limits” does anything to deter/convince people. I think Anti-Vaxxers will see this movie and have their beliefs reaffirmed, and I think those of us who disagree with the Ant-Vaxx movement would see this movie for the crock of shit that it is.


      • Algernon says:

        @ Greenieweenie

        The bad reactions the fine print on vaccines warn about are allergic reactions, not autism. The “acceptable risk” of vaccines is that a small percentage of people will turn out to be allergic to some ingredient within the vaccine, which only makes it more important that everyone else be vaccinated, to protect that small percentage that can’t, for whatever reason, receive vaccines themselves. The medical community is not accepting that vaccines might give 1 in 1000 kids autism. They’re accepting that no matter what you do, someone somewhere will be allergic to something in the vaccine.

      • GreenieWeenie says:

        @Algernon, “The medical community is accepting that no matter what you do, someone somewhere will be allergic to something in the vaccine” >>

        hmm. I would change that to read public policymakers–not the medical community. Public policy is always a cost-benefit analysis, so the risk of a small percentage of negative effects is to be both expected and tolerated. Or maybe you are criticizing the direction of research within the medical community?

        My fine print definitely addressed the percentage of extremely bad rxns (in addition to all the other possibilities like fever, rash, soreness, swelling, etc.) Are you sure extreme rxns are just categorized as an allergy? Because I have done a vaccine trial before as part of a control group and I’ve listed reactions for that purpose…I have a hard time believing if I’d had a stroke on the spot when I received the trial vaccine that would’ve just been considered an allergic rxn.

      • FingerBinger says:

        @Side-eye He didn’t show the film. He pulled it from the festival.

      • Lucrezia says:

        @ Greenieweenie: he mentions thiomersal, which hasn’t been used in vaccines since 1999.

        Also, his comments sound worse if you know what the doco is about. Wakefield (yes, the guy that was struck off the medical registrar for falsifying his research) claims to have a “CDC whistle-blower” who says that the CDC knew vaccines caused autism in a certain subset of people, but didn’t admit it.

        Sifting through the lies, what happened was: there was a study on MMR and autism in Atlanta. The first group of scientists failed to find a connection. One of those scientists (a junior member of the research team) later did a re-analysis and appeared to find a link between MMR and autism in African-American boys immunised before the age of 3. However, his statistics were wonky (if you test African-American boys, and girls, and Asian girls, and Asian boys, and Hispanic girls, and Hispanic boys and etc etc, then you’re going to find a random link, just because you tested so many things) and the journal retracted his paper.

        Go back and re-listen to what DeNiro is saying, remembering the context of the doco. IMO, he’s saying the CDC knows the MMR vaccination causes autism in African-American boys, and that they are covering it up. If anything, it’s more sinister than McCarthy, who just thinks scientists are stupid.

        Re allergies: I think what you might possibly be thinking about are the various types of anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction, but it has a huge range of symptoms since it can shows up in different systems: skin (hives, swollen throat), respiratory (trouble breathing due to bronchial spasms), cardiovascular (low blood pressure, high blood pressure, fast heart, slow heart, heart attack) or gastro (cramping, nausea, vomiting, headaches).

        However, there’s also things like adverse reaction databases (that’s what it’s called in Oz, not sure of name in US). Basically, if ANYTHING happens to you after any kind of medication and it gets reported … then it gets recorded. I just looked up MMR in the Oz database. Adverse reactions listed there include expected things (anaphylaxis, rash, injection site pain), psychological things some of which didn’t need to be listed like crying (no shit sherlock!) things that might indicate a medical problem (listlessness) and some random stuff (nightmares). And some things that have no logical connection to MMR like tonsillitis, inflammation of the ear, and croup (all noted, just in case there IS some weird connection).

      • Algernon says:

        @ Greenieweenie

        If even one person has a bad reaction to a medication, they have to list it as a possible side-effect, which is just responsible reporting. Your doctor should be able to give you more information on rates of occurrence, etc.

        I sort of use “allergic reaction” as a catch-all, but Lucrezia breaks it down well, in terms of anaphylaxis.

        Every medication/vaccine is going to come with warnings. No one “cure” is going to work for every single person. That’s why vaccination is so important, herd immunity is real and it protects the subset of people for whom the vaccine doesn’t work.

      • Greenieweenie says:

        @Lucrezia, good point about the anti-vaxx rhetoric–I don’t pay much attention to it other than the things you hear repeated all the time, so I’m probably not picking up the language cues in what DeNiro is saying…

        I always wonder how people believe these conspiracy theories that necessarily stop at national borders. Like I wouldn’t necessarily put it past the CDC or some other major health organization in the US to engage in some sketchy decisionmaking. But I don’t accept that EVERY major health institution of repute across the globe is engaged in some conspiracy.

  13. Goldie says:

    Or ask you’re doctor . I’ve had these conversations with parents because it’s my JOB to advocate for my patients. Not just your kid but the ones that can’t get vaccinated yet because they’re too young or too sick. You’re risking all their lives so it’s paramount to me that you understand that vaccines are safe and there is no proven link to autism. For a healthcare provider to do otherwise makes them negligent in my opinion.

  14. Jayna says:

    I disagree with him, but I still have tremendous sympathy for him. At least he said he wasn’t anti-vaccine.

    I remember when he was on John Travolta’s private plane going somewhere and John said Robert shared with him his son was autistic. John said Robert broke down crying. I was stunned. You don’t see him show emotion. Then in an interview when talking about his son he broke down crying. This proud, very private man is very raw emotionally over his son, so much so that when talking about his son he breaks down. So while I disagree with him, I haven’t gone through the heartbreak he has, so I still have sympathy for him. That’s all.

    • meme says:

      As do I but if he son “changed overnight” after getting a vaccine, how could he not remember it? Wouldn’t his wife be upset and have told him about it? Strange.

      • Magnoliarose says:

        He could have been on location or out of town. She may have told him in hindsight.

  15. Tanya says:

    Interesting, my kids also changed overnight when they were around that age. It’s called “becoming a toddler,” and it’s a time of tremendous neural development.

    • embertine says:

      Exactly, Tanya. And it’s when children start developing more complex social behaviour and the ability to recognise other people as external entities, which is why autism tends to become obvious in many cases only around that age.

      • maria says:

        I think you people need to be more open minded that injecting chemical substances in a person’s body can have negative consequences period. Why is that so out of the realm of possibilities for most people on this blog? Heck eating peanuts for some children can be deadly so why can’t multiple concoctions being injected directly into the blood cause serious problems in vulnerable children? Science is not infallible!

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Please . Have you ever learned how vaccines work?

        The pope is not infallible. Science works on probabilities.

      • Robin says:

        Vaccines aren’t “injected directly into the blood” and there are a lot of “chemicals” out there. Most food is made up of…chemicals. And of course there’s that horrible chemical dihydrogen monoxide. Maybe it should be banned.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’ s what I’ve always thought, autism seems to present around a certain age that happens to coincide with timing of the vaccines. I can understand why people began to assume a relationship, but the science has proven otherwise.

  16. Ams says:

    Fired her as a patient bc she wanted to make her own choices for his kids medical care? Well good thing you’re not a doctor.

    Parents can raise their kids how they see fit. my mother got us vaccinated but requested they only use smallest dosage as legally required bc even back in the 80s there were questions of what vaccines were composed of… Also my cousin has a son that is a kid that changed overnight post 2 year vaccinations. Stopped talking completely and behavior digressed rather than progressed- finally was able to have him diagnosed autistic by age 6.

    Currently I’m pregnant with first child and have read a few studies done by my university that encourage spacing out vaccines which is what I’m leaning towards doing.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Most doctors simply can’t keep risking the overall health of their patients because of what mothers have found on websites written by other mothers with little donation links at the bottom.

      So yes, they do tend to ‘fire’ patients these days.

      In truth if it didn’t pose a threat to others with damaged immune systems I wouldn’t mind so much. So long as the consequences fall squarely on the child and the parent. Since they don’t the general public also has to make decisions for public health.

    • Alex says:

      Ummm during the major measles outbreak in NYC my doctor discharged numerous patients with kids that refused to be vaccinated on schedule. Its about the safety of his other patients including infants and immune-compromised people. Yes you can be fired by your doctor.

      • Lady D says:

        I really would have thought it was the other way around, that a patient would ‘fire’ the dr. instead. Apparently though doctors at my local hospital are starting to refuse surgery for smoking patients.

      • Alex says:

        No doctors with practices have to look out for the entirety of their patient list. My doctor put that he was no longer accepting patients that don’t vaccinate and discharged everyone else. Esp since the doctor I go to works in a practice that has pediatrics along side adult physicians

    • Magnoliarose says:

      My advice is to interview doctors in person before the baby is born and find a good fit. I would never not vaccinate. We live in a global world and you have no idea who your child comes in contact with when in a public place. We space and it works for us.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Global world notwithstanding, kids are more likely pick up bugs from the kids next door or with them at daycare or in preschool.

  17. Squiggisbig says:

    There are so many things I don’t understand about anti-vax folks.

    1. Even if there is a link between vaccines and autism it doesn’t strike them as odd that the anecdotal stories sound like a super hero origins story? Like you could replace vaccine with “spider bite” and “Robert Deniro’s son” with “Spider-Man” in the story above and the meaning would be exactly the same

    2. What is their theory as to why Wakefield used crap research?

    • Lucrezia says:

      RE 1: I always think of the old wives tale about thunder causing spoilt milk. My milk was perfectly fine, boom! thunderstorm … and it changed overnight!

      3. Why is it better to risk measles/mumps/rubella (which can kill) than autism?

      4. What is the “research” they’re talking about when they say “I’ve researched the topic, and I’m doing what is best for my child?” Why do they never cite an actual study?

  18. Ams says:

    Also While there is no direct link to autism and vaccines there is also zero proof that autism is genetic. So what is with everyone spouting off about that and then bashing those who believe it may be the vaccines? It’s all speculation bc nobody knows yet.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      There’s plenty of scientific evidence consistent with a strong genetic contribution to numerous mental and developmental disorders, including autism. There’s no “autism gene” but genetics are far more complicated than that. Here’s a good introduction:

      There’s no reason to think the nervous system isn’t vulnerable to at least as much genetics-based influence as the rest of the body.

      • Greenieweenie says:

        Thanks for the summary. I knew this lit was out there, just not my field (and unlike every anti-vaxxer armed with Google, I’m aware that literatures actually need to be read before one’s opinion of them should be considered).

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      PS People “bash” those who believe vaccines cause autism because they cite “research” that was garbage, pulled from the journal (way too late), utterly discredited and shown to have been fabricated by a doctor (whose license was later pulled) so he could make money on his quack “cures.”

      Hence the bashing. Totally deserved. And there’s zero scientific evidence, after years of long-term study, of any link between vaccination and autism.

      It’s not “eh, no one knows.” One side DOES know, and conclusively, too.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Well said ‘Who Are All These People’, also we have really got to do a better job of teaching science in schools or our species is going to eventually die out from willful ignorance.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Thx and it’s like Lucrezia says above, they never pull out an actual study …maybe because they don’t know much about the process of science or how research is done, vetted and published, which is sad, because we depend on science to keep ourselves and our planet alive and healthy. I saw a headline this week about adding Science to the 3Rs in school because it’s now just as essential as reading, writing, arithmetic… it might not have been when public education developed, because science itself was not as well established a field and basic literacy was priority, but at this point…

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        At this point it’s massively necessary.

        I agree with that thought, it’s becoming a very STEM based world and if we can at least start young with teaching kids how to understand scientific thought and hypothesis (as well as small age related experiments) we’ll be on our way to at least making a society that understands that correlation is not causation.

    • Lucrezia says:

      What Who ARE referenced, plus the fact that Rhett Syndrome shows a similar regression factor to autism (children are slightly delayed but can pass as normal until 16 to 20 months, then regress) and we know exactly what causes Rhett Syndrome: mutations in the MECP2 gene located on the X chromosome (or, in very rare cases, mutations in other genes in a similar spot). So a genetic condition can cause what looks like a sudden regression in a toddler.

    • embertine says:

      Not to mention, there are specific forms of severe autism that have long been known to be genetic, such as Fragile X syndrome, which runs in one part of my family.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        And Fragile X carriers, who may not have autism per se, but are still vulnerable to neurological problems linked to the gene.

    • Izzy says:

      I was going to say there’s no proof YET, but clearly there is, as other posters have found links and posted.

      You know, fifty years ago doctors told my stepmom that her constant lung illnesses looked a lot like Cystic Fibrosis, but no, she doesn’t have it, because sweat test and blah blah. But then the Human Genome Project started, and scientists discovered that there are SO MANY VARIANTS of mutations. They are STILL identifying CF mutations today, and they have found more than two dozen so far.

      Oh, and PS, my stepmom was officially diagnosed, via genetic testing, with TWO CF mutations, at the age of 60. That was nine years ago.


      • SloaneY says:

        Yes, but these doctors and scientists had to think outside the box for her to get diagnosed. 50 years ago I’m sure her doctors were sure of their science and that’s why she didn’t get diagnosed.
        While there are good doctors and scientists out there, there are a good portion who stick to what they already know, and never veer outside this information.
        Yes, we need more people in science, but they need to be out of the box thinkers. Otherwise they’re just perpetuating the doctors are gods and we just need to listen to them myth. Just because you’re intelligent doesn’t mean you’re smart.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Thx because I have a friend with so many lung problems yet not asthma…will mention it. Have heard there could be some pancreas only CF variations too.

      • Izzy says:

        SloaneY – They most certainly did NOT have to “think outside the box.” They simply had to wait until they had enough information – the mutation was specifically identified. It’s called “progress.” They knew from her childhood that she exhibited symptoms that tracked closely with CF. She was not diagnosed because her mutations had not yet been identified. Once they were, doctors were able to properly diagnose her. Instead of just guessing. The doctors who originally thought she had CF were both smart and intelligent. So were the ones who thought to test her years later, knowing they had more information to work with. So please don’t insult them by lumping them in with anti-vaxx idiots.

      • Izzy says:

        @Who ARE these people – yes, there are CF mutations that involve the pancreas. It does usually affect the lungs as well, but to varying degrees.

        Re: your friend – if they can’t figure it out, there are many different possibilities. A good pulmonary specialist should start the screening process and once ruling out the more common ones, start looking at rare diseases like CF, Alpha-1, etc.

  19. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    “I want to know the truth to the link between autism and vaccines.”

    *points to mounds of scientific paperwork with results, figures, tables, and percentages that really explore the topic.

    “Lol no, I want like an easy to understood video that’s maybe an hour or two long and uses flashy graphics by a discredited scientist who’s work no one can reproduce”

    Smh, maybe next time people are ‘researching’ they can type in ‘Anti-Vax Mom + child catches Measles’ and then after reading a few pages swap out measles for mumps, whooping cough, etc. ‘Anti-Vax Mom Regrets’ also pulls up just so many results too, you know to help people with their ‘research’.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Helpful tips 😉
      They can also look up “confirmation bias” while they’re at it.

    • hogtowngooner says:

      +1 to both of you. I said something similar upthread to what WhoARE said regarding confirmation bias.

      I always giggle a bit when people do all this online research and come up with these quacked out “sources.” They don’t even read them, they just see something that validates their point and use it as ammunition, and refuse to believe they’re wrong. I always believe they’re not interested in learning, they’re interested in feeling superior to the rest of us “sheeple.”

  20. artpunk44 says:

    I cannot believe we’re living in the year 2016. This is truly mind-boggling. Science? Has he heard of it? The entire anti-vaxxer movement is dangerous and needs to be put to bed.

  21. Ams says:

    I think saying one side knows conclusively is a bit of a stretch given the ongoing debate within medical community but I do appreciate the link!

    Like I said, about to have my first kid so I’m just curious. While I was aware of the vaccine-autism issue I didn’t have a real stake in it until now. And it is easy to get lost in conflicting reports … And scary to think you’re going to do something that harms your child permanently.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Talk to your doctor on your next visit. Until then, don’t get medical advice from strangers on blogs or anyone without biomedical training. We have some pretty scientifically informed people on Celebitchy, but read the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and also find the vaccination schedules issued for all ages by the National Institutes of Health. Do not worry about Big Pharma … they produce these low-margin products because it’s the most efficient and expert way to reach millions. A rare socially beneficial government-industry partnersip. Vaccines can save your baby’s life…you yourself were vaccinated. Get the shots, use a car seat properly, and enjoy.

    • drnotknowitall says:

      Hi AMS, I am an MD. I am not a primary care provider (pediatrician) as I have sub-specialty in pediatric psychiatry. I am also a parent. Here is the advice I give the parents who ask me about vaccines:

      1. Find a pediatrician prior to the delivery of your child, because your child will recieve their first vaccination right after birth, HepB. Then over the next two months, there will be six additional vaccinations. Those vaccinations are repeated several times over the course of the first year. The one everyone is most concerned about is the MMR, which stands for Measles, Mups and Rubella. You have a whole year before your child has to get that one. But I would begin the dialogue with your selected pediatrician now if you have concerns about any of the vaccines.

      2. Do not let anyone dismiss you or make you feel foolish. You are a parent. You have every right to question what you put into your child’s body. Your primary care provider should be supportive and informative, not judgemental. If you find them to be judgemental, find a new one. Our job is to provide you with the proper information so that you can make the best informed decision. Although I do recommend vaccinating, I don’t push it. I suggest it because I know what the ramifications are if the child is not vaccinated. That said, it is still entirely the parents’ right and choice.

      3. You can find many studies from extremely reputable organizations that will answer a good many of your questions: CDC, AAP, etc.

      4. Make your choices as an informed parent, not an afraid parent.

      5. Never have your child vaccinated when they are feverish or have just gotten over a viral infection. Often it is a nurse who will administer the vaccine and the nurse may not know or not even ask if the child has recently been ill.

      6. Don’t watch this movie (see point #4). Fear is the driving force behind parenting and often fear can be a good thing in terms of being aware of situations and such. But making medical decisions based on fear (instilled from a book or a movie) is not what any parent should do.

  22. Amaria says:

    In some alt-med communities, the MMR b*****it is already passe – the current trend is that autism is metabolic and can be cured with diet and other mumbo-jumbo (including banana mash suppositories, I kid you not). Poor children…

    • Izzy says:

      Unfortunately also probably stemming from Wakefield’s BS. Part of his original ploy was to “discover” a “new metabolic disorder specific to autistic children.” Oh, and make $50 million developing a special test for it.

    • drnotknowitall says:

      There is no research to support this. But, a good diet is always a positive. I am having the same arguments with the Paleo diet people. Yeah, good diet = healthy person. Will it cure your arthritis? No.

      • Izzy says:

        Yep. But one comment about how a food might help lower inflammation, and suddenly it’s a “cure.” Never mind the fact that you would have to eat 500 lbs of it per week to cure whatever, and also, that’s not how any of this works. I’m always delighted when they find something with an anti-inflammatory property, because they can study it, figure out how it works, and turn it into a viable medical treatment. Then Dr. Oz and other shills come along, and my eyes roll out of my head in annoyance.

    • drnotknowitall says:

      Izzy, it is crazy how some people can profit from this nonsense. I remember when everyone was trying to make gabapentin into a magical mood stabilizer and there was literally no evidence to support this. Nor were patients responding in any way that would support this. Then we find out that many in my field were being paid off to prescribe this medication. Dr. Oz is an unethical person.

  23. Saks says:

    The fact that people believe in what Jenny McCarthy and Robert DeNiro say, instead of believing in what worldwide renowned scientists have proven is just beyond me.

  24. Eljsabetta says:

    Ok, even if you think it can be true (which I don’t), it still doesn’t make a lot of sense to me in terms of logic… As in today, we are sure that our children CAN and PROBABLY WILL get a bunch of deadly diseases if we don’t vaccinate them, but then you don’t vaccinate because there is a POSSIBILITY not yet proved about autism. I… can’t see how that makes sense, I mean, you may be sick vaccinating, you WILL BE SICK AND DIE if you don’t. It’s a no-brainer. And even if you say “I wasn’t vaccinated and I’m fine”, that’s only possible because most people do vaccinate and therefore even if you are not safe, the disease is not full on active. If everybody stops vaccinating altogether, it would be a different story.

    • SpunkyMama says:

      I agree with you and how many diseases/illnesses have been around that we are just now discovering. I get it they can mutate and change, but that means they had to have existed before and to say that this one thing is the cause seems really strange. Didn’t Kelly Preston say that she believed their son got autism because of cleaning products? I know it’s scary, I have 4 kids, so I understand the fear. The reality is if today they came out with a vaccine to prevent autism, would everyone then be for vaccination? See how this whole thing can be spun?

      • drnotknowitall says:

        No, I believe he was supposed to have had Kawasaki disease, which cannot possibly be confused with autism spectrum disorders. No one knows what causes it. Some have speculated that environmental factors may trigger a condition that already exists but is inactive, but there is no proof or even good evidence for that assumption. Could the carpet cleaner have caused Kawasaki disease in her son? Maybe? But as with so many diseases and disorders, there is simply not enough evidence (or even any) to make that leap.

        Then again if you had a bunch of parents from all over the world who seemed to think that carpet cleaner and Kawasaki were related, then as medical professionals, we would have to seriously investigate this. And if no evidence linked the two, then the next step would be to investigate the medical history of as many affected children as possible, as well as their daily activities and such. Because we would have to explain why these parents have made this connection – so many parents, from so many different backgrounds and locations.

        With autism, we have done the research that shows no connection between the MMR. But we have not investigated this phenomenon of why so many parents make this connection.

      • Lucrezia says:

        Wait, what? There’s a bunch of studies looking at attitudes towards vaccination and why people continue to think vaccines cause autism. I don’t have access to pub-med or science direct on this computer, but 2 minutes on google scholar and I found a bunch of relevant articles.

        It’s not just specific to autism/MMR, there has been panic over DPT and the flu vaccine

        People who refuse the MMR vaccine but not other vaccines perceive the information provided by health professionals to be poor

        This one is interesting. They gave different groups different types of public health messages about vaccines (info sheet saying there is no evidence of a link between MMR and autism; info sheet describing the consequences of M, M and R; pictures of kids with M, M, and R; a graphic story describing a child nearly dying of measles and a control group with no info). None of the interventions made the parents more likely to vaccinate. Conclusion: public health messages might be a waste of time.

        That was just on the first page of the results.

      • drnotknowitall says:


        Not those who refuse vaccines, but those who have had a child develop autism within a short time of being vaccinated via the MMR. I think the daily habits, allergies, diets, and such of those children should be examined.

  25. jsilly4e says:

    I know it can be scary when you’re pregnant and planning that first doc visit with the immunizations. But meet with your pediatrician (a bunch in fact if you haven’t picked one yet) way before you go into labor. You can discuss extending the scheduling of vaccinations with them as well. I planned on doing that, however, when I spoke with my son’s pediatrician he had 3 children and another on the way and he had all his children on the recommended schedule and they even got their vaccines at the same office. It really helped us make the decision to do it by the recommended guidelines. Our 6 year old is fine, thriving and healthy. I would do the same if I got pregnant again. But speak with actual doctors.

    Just adding this although I didn’t see this added here. I saw someone mention on another site chicken pox is a harmless childhood disease under this DeNiro topic. In regards to Chicken Pox parties, etc. my sisters had the chicken pox and they were out of school for a couple of days and had one or two on their foreheads and chins. I on the other hand had them from head to toe. And I mean that literally, They were on my scalp, in my ears, on my eyelids, by my lips, neck, armpits, arms, hands, between my fingers, in my bellybutton, in my vag*na (didn’t want to get mod for that), all down my legs, in between my toes and on the soles of my feet. I was out of school for almost two months. I was in and out of the hospital and doctors offices. I had to sleep (didn’t really sleep just cried all night) in a tub for the entire time. My mother would prop me up on a chair with a pillow and take turns with my dad sitting on the toilet in the dark so I could get some relief. It was the most painful thing I every went through in my life and I gave birth. I would never wish that on an adult let alone a child. My parents both worked and my mother had to stop. The school started an investigation on to why I was out so long. So I’m against the belief that it’s just better to get it over with and people don’t know what they could be doing to their children.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Very true, people often forget the severity of how badly something can effect a human body. Some people only get a little rashes and some people are scarred or deafened by chicken pox.

  26. Izzy says:

    This is one of the few topics that can REALLY piss me off. It’s actually rare for me to get going. But here it is again, and here I am, all het up. So, since I work in a field that involves actual science, and am currently conducting actual, validated scientific research which has been accepted for presentation at one of the largest medical conferences in the US, I’mma recap what I’ve said about this before:

    Wakefield doctored the data and medical charts of his TWELVE test subjects. This was actually later admitted by some of the research assistants at the hospital where he conducted unnecessary tests on children including endoscopies and spinal taps. His fudging included characterizing the onset of autistic traits in some subjects AFTER their vaccines, while omitting the parts of their medical records which clearly showed the traits were noted by specialists before their vaccines. OOPS.

    Wakefield deliberately concealed and failed to disclose financial conflicts of interest. In fact, he was working with the father of one of his test subject to develop a special test for a new metabolic disorder that he claimed he was going to discover through his research. He was also working on a new MMR vaccine. GMAFB. I’m presenting a poster session on epidemiology and I have to put a conflict statement on it. This guy gets published in one of the most prestigious medical journals and he FORGETS to disclose?!

    A huge follow-up study involving tens of thousands of autistic subjects could not replicate his findings. Neither could any other study which attempted to replicate it.

    An anti-vaxx group commissioned its own study to prove the vaccine-autism link. Unfortunately (for them), the study FAILED TO FIND ANY LINK. Their own study proved them wrong.

    Can we please get back to real, actual science now?

    • Snowflake says:

      Thank you! I’m hot too.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Same. I try to bite my tongue a lot but the ability of people to not comprehend something purely factual/logical/scientific drives me up the wall.

      Just so tired of stupid people holding us back as a country.

      This isn’t a debate. One side is right and one side is wrong.

  27. HeyThere! says:

    I want to take a moment to ask people to not rubber neck when they see a child or teen that is having a difficult time in public, to not stare at them, PLEASE! I have worked with children that have all sorts of extra needs and it’s so rude to stare!!! My husbands family is awful about it. I still have to remind my husband to not stare!! It’s not helping and can give the family and child more anxiety. Please don’t stare.

    • Lucrezia says:

      I’m sorry you feel that way. And I’m not trying to argue with what you say happens, I’m only saying this because I hope it’ll help the next time it happens … but I have to wonder if you’re maybe misinterpreting other people’s reactions?

      We’re programmed to respond to a screaming child – in case it’s ours and it’s being eaten by a lion or something. Then, once you’ve looked, there’s a moment or two to process what you’re seeing (is the child injured, should I call an ambulance? Is the parent doing something evil?) and come to the right conclusion. Once you’ve figured out what you’re seeing, there’s a very fine line between rudely staring and doing the eye-slide, pretend-they-don’t-exist thing. Which is equally rude. Finally, some of them could be trying to catch your eye to give you that nod-of-the-head, mutual-recognition-of-an-awkward-moment, moral support thing. Or even just waiting to see if you need help.

      Even if they really are just rubber-necking, if you can convince yourself that they’re stuck in one of the above stages it’d probably make you more relaxed about the whole situation. I really think it’s one of those things where it’s easier to change your own perception and reaction than to change what someone else is doing. (Note: not easy, just easier. I think getting starers not to stare is going to be nigh-on-impossible. Changing your own reaction to that staring is just extremely difficult.)

      Anyway, I hope you get a solution!

  28. Ams says:

    Oh yeah I don’t plan on not vaccinating at all didn’t mean to imply that. I’m just curious on all the sides (I’m a lawyer don’t worry about me taking internet advice! I just love this blog) but on that note, I don’t like anything that doesn’t have concrete proof. I wish they could vaccinate for more while pregnant, like with tdap vaccine!

    And someone earlier mentioned that injecting chemcials into anyone can produce negative reactions or possible long term problems- which i find to be a fair point… And makes me want to spread process out as much as possible.
    Still think it’s stupid to fire a patient….your doctor can not dictate to you what to do. The cdc schedule for vaccines basically just tells you to get them between birth and age 6. It allows for a lot of spacing/prolonging of the process. If you don’t want to give your kid 4-5 shots at 24 Months, the cdc guidelines support that decision….

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Your doctor can protect the health of every other patient in the practice by firing parents who refuse to take sound medical advice. If I had my way, doctors would have to report non-vaccinating parents to Public Health and the school system, too. Doctors serve health, not parents. They’re not servants.

      • nn says:

        Yes, let’s put innocent children in danger because their parents didn’t vaccinate them, that sounds like a great idea!
        Use your thinking head and realize some people cannot get vaccinated for various different reasons, in any case sending the lynch mob on them isn’t the right way to go about things.
        You sound like the frickin’ gestapo.

    • Nicole says:

      The doctors entire JOB is to give medical advice. They go to school, bust their butts all to get a license. If you don’t want to listen to medical reason than don’t ever see a doctor. But to be frank yes doctors can and SHOULD fire patients if they wont listen to medical advice and said refusal endangers other patients. This is not a new thing. Doctors serve the public and part of that is supporting the many over special snowflakes that think they know more medically than they do

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      You have the right to choose a dangerous medical decision and your doctor has the right to refuse his services to you at risk to his other patients.

      What’s wrong with that?

  29. Snowflake says:

    You should NOT have the right to not get a vaccine when the lack of one affects the people around you! I am so p@seed. He cuts the woman oft when she’s trying to present a different point of view. Maybe we should not have treated the bird flu and let people die. Maybe we should have skipped the polio vaccine, we could have had a lot more crippled people. The benefit of vaccines far outweigh the risks. And you Should Not have the option of endangering public health by not getting one.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      I just wanna say … for all the talk about special snowflakes…you truly seem to be one! : )

    • Courtney says:

      The vast majority of adults are not up to date on their vaccines, per the CDC. Adults are not getting needed boosters and not getting new vaccines introduced since they finished school.

      We want to talk about science and responsibility, but only when it concerns other people’s children, and not ourselves.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        We’ve posted links to the adult vaccination schedules (CDC) in many previous discussions. I would think most of us taking the time to explain the science have taken the time to update our own immunity too. I’d post links but am out sick due to some improper food handling/transit sanitation (best guess). 😷😩

    • Magnoliarose says:

      I think this attitude comes from people not absorbing the realities of life before vaccinations existed. There is a reason we don’t have certain diseases anymore.
      There is no way I would allow my children in a school with anti vaxxers. It’s not fair and it’s dangerous.
      People often mix up personal liberties and public responsibility. They persist even when confronted with facts.
      I am all about organic living and alternative medicine but I’m not down with willful ignorance in the face of facts. Some people in the natural community are extreme and unreasonable.

  30. Sara says:


  31. drnotknowitall says:

    I am a medical professional, a pediatric psychiatrist. I would like to weigh in here. I think the problem with what DeNiro is saying is that he is saying it in the context of this film. As a result, all of his statements are read in that context. But if you actually read his words, I don’t think he is entirely wrong on several points that he makes

    First off, let me state that I am entirely pro-vax. It makes me very nervous when these types of movies or books appear because we can expect a whole host of parents not providing proper medical attention to their children as a result. As a medical professional and a parent, a bunch of un- vaccinated children frightens the hell out of me.

    As to his comments.

    1. He wants vaccines to be safer. Vaccines are generally very safe and there is no research that has shown any connection between neurodevelopmental disorders and the MMR. But, if you ask any medical professionals about any NEW medications (first generation) and that includes updated versions of vaccines, most will tell you to wait (if possible) until the second generation to take it. That is just common sense.

    2. He does bring up an interesting issue that is something people should indeed be researching. To paraphrase, he says something along the lines of “there are some people who just can’t take shots” or medication. He is not wrong. He may not understand the mechanics of it or if it applies to the autism spectrum in general or to his son in particular, but he is not entirely wrong.

    Consider that it has been common knowledge for a long time that a person with an egg allergy cannot get a flu vaccine or must do so with proper precautions. In recent years, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics (and other orgs) has retracted that caveat and in fact has recommended that regardless of severity, an egg allergy should not be a reason to avoid a flu vaccine (there are guidelines, but that is the gist).

    Humans are complex creatures who have incredibly complicated hard wiring and who as individuals can vary vastly in their reactions to anything and everything. It is quite possible that certain sensitivities and allergies or even a predisposition can be triggered by anything. To say with absolute certainty that a child is not reacting to a substance given the child’s history before and after the substance is introduced requires aggressive research. Does that mean vaccines cause neurodevelopmental disorders? No, there is no research to support this. But does it mean that there are some children whose physiological makeup opens them to a variety of problems when a new substance (of any sort) is introduced (including vaccines)? Well, I am not entirely 100% certain. Moreover, is it possible that there is another factor, combined with a new substance, introduced at roughly around the same time, that may in some children activate an already preexisting condition? I don’t know. Do you? No one in my profession (with whom I have spoken on this topic) seems to know either.

    What I am trying to say (and perhaps I think he is too) is that we already know that vaccines are safe and are necessary not just for each child, but for the health of the community. But what we have not yet investigated is why there is a belief among so many parents that there is a connection with their child’s onset of autism and vaccines.

    Believe me, I have had many parents in my office saying the same exact thing. They all say it. “My child changed overnight.” This many parents having this same reaction leads me to conclude that these particular children should be studied closer. Let me give you hypothetical of what I mean. Let us assume that a child has un-diagnosed lactose intolerance. Let’s say that child has an unusual amount of milk within 24 hours of getting the MMR, and within days appears to behave differently (I would imagine not “overnight”). Is there a relationship between these two events? These are the kind of questions we should be asking.

    What is the reason that so many parents have a belief that their child’s autism and the MMR vaccine are related? If we can resolve this issue, we can avoid this type of confusion and provide parents with as many answers as possible so that they can properly vaccinate their children. To simply dismiss all of these parents is not only heartless, but also negligent. Something is giving them this impression. These are not all uneducated or unintelligent people. These are parents from all walks of life. Finally, if we can give them comfort in our answers so that they know they are not responsible for what has happened to their child, that too is a plus in my book.

    But I think laughing at them or judging them is unfair. They are wrong, but something is going on where they are making this connection. We need to determine what that is and if whatever that is turns out to be nothing, then at least we can tell them that. Right now, we simply cannot say so.

    • Greenieweenie says:

      +1, this is exactly my sense. We live in such a weird age…social media has expanded our contact across subcultures and groups, and the way we react to some of this exposure can be weird. I am of the same mind: when you see some strongly held belief, you need to investigate the conditions under which this belief is formed. You don’t need to prove/disprove whatever someone believes, but it is just good research to try to study the whys and whens.

      • drnotknowitall says:

        Exactly. This many parents from this many backgrounds are experiencing some sort of phenomenon in which they see a direct change in their child shortly after vaccination, yet studies have found no relationship. Therefor, we must expand the studies to determine what else could be a factor that also occurred around the time of vaccination that either alone or combined with the MMR triggered a reaction. The MMR alone has been studied and there is no connection between these disorders and the vaccine. But what about the vaccine and something else that was introduced during the same time period? It took us a long time to learn about Aspirin and Reye’s. Aspirin alone does not cause Reye’s in children. It is ONLY under certain conditions in which this happens and for which there is a demonstrable link. For example, never give your child Aspirin if they have a fever.

        So while vaccines are safe, perhaps some other factor is in play with the affected children that is also introduced or is present around the same time, causing the parents to connect the MMR and the onset of autism, yet totally overlooking what would otherwise be innocuous.

  32. MAC says:

    I am surprised by his comments he just seems to me to be a parent in pain looking for answers.
    That being said what he is saying has dangerous complications. Very dangerous ones.

    I know a couple who have three children. The second child (is a girl) was diagnosed first then the first born was diagnosed soon after. They choose to have a third child who is has autism.

  33. Dangles says:

    i wish you people would get as wound up about greed in politics as you do about this and the abortion debate.