Evidence That Vaccines Can Cause Autism

Annals of Epidemiology
Vol. 19, No. 9 ABSTRACTS (ACE)
September 2009: 651-680
p. 659

CM Gallagher, MS Goodman, Graduate Program in Public
Health, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, NY

PURPOSE: Universal newborn immunization with hepatitis
B vaccine was recommended in 1991; however, safety
findings are mixed. The Vaccine Safety Datalink Workgroup
reported no association between hepatitis B vaccination
at birth and febrile episodes or neurological adverse
events. Other studies found positive associations between
hepatitis B vaccination and ear infection, pharyngitis, and
chronic arthritis; as well as receipt of early intervention/
special education services (EIS); in probability samples of
U.S. children. Children with autistic spectrum disorder
(ASD) comprise a growing caseload for EIS. We evaluated
the association between hepatitis B vaccination of male
neonates and parental report of ASD.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study used U.S. probability
samples obtained from National Health Interview Survey
1997-2002 datasets. Logistic regression modeling was used to
estimate the effect of neonatal hepatitis B vaccination on
ASDrisk amongboys age 3-17 years with shot records, adjusted
for race, maternal education, and two-parent household.

RESULTS:Boyswho received the hepatitis B vaccine during
the first month of life had 2.94 greater odds for ASD (nZ31
of 7,486; OR Z 2.94; p Z 0.03; 95% CI Z 1.10, 7.90)
compared to later- or unvaccinated boys.Non-Hispanicwhite
boys were 61%less likely to haveASD(ORZ0.39; pZ0.04;
95% CIZ0.16, 0.94) relative to non-white boys.

CONCLUSION: Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates
vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine had a 3-fold greater risk
of ASD; risk was greatest for non-white boys.


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