It has always been very funny to me that anti-vaccine types who believe, desperately, that thimerosal causes autism (because mercury) are quick to blame the MMR vaccine for autism as well. MMR never had thimerosal in it, so it must be that it causes autism some other way. Anti-vaccine activists bend over backwards to find evidence that fits their theory, not the other way around. One such piece of work is Tony Bateson, he’s been looking for autistic children who are unvaccinated:
“WIth Britain’s annual birth rate of 600,000 upwards this meant that 60,000 a year for forty years, 2.4 millions may not have had paediatric vaccines! Astonishing then that I could not find even a handful of unvaccinated people who were autistic out of that vast pool.”
He reiterates this demand for unvaccinated autistic children in comments on science blogs:
“Of coourse it is extremely difficult to find an environmental cause for autism when an enormous barrage of dollars is directed towards frustrating that search. For my small part I have relentlessly searched for autistic people who are not vaccinated without ever finding one who is unequivocally so. I do not mean just amongst my neighboours and acquaintances I mean amongst hundreds of autistic families I know (I was Vice Chairman of the UK National Autistic Society and knew hundreds) and as a prolific writer, broadcaster and website owner, I made contact with thousands. Just where are the unvaccinated?”
“Autism is decidely not congenital. Autism is not present in unvaccinated peoples nor in the unvaccinated population of the UK.”
Such conviction to his beliefs. He must truly believe it.
“For heavens sake where do they all come from? Look it is simple – there are no autistic people in populations where there has been no vaccination! Over three million kids have not been vaccinated in the UK where vaccination is optional and parents have chosen not to vaccinate. More than ten years of aggressive searching in this group has failed to find autistic people! Like the Amish, like Homefirst there are no autistic people in this group.
Let the vaccine lobby explain what the prevalence of autism is in unvaccinated groups. That is the only evidence worth having. Wake up America.”
The only person who needs to wake up is Mr. Bateson. He writes for Age of Autism, right? Kim Stagliano, who writes and is an editor at AoA has a child who is not vaccinated and is autistic. So, there you go, Mr. Bateson, that’s one. Shall we continue?
One of the reasons why we scientists and reasonable people can say without a doubt that autism is not caused by vaccines is because we’ve compared rates of autism in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. To do so, we required to find unvaccinated with autism, otherwise we wouldn’t have a rate of autism in that population. (Zero divided by any number throws out an error in any statistical package… And in math, you cannot divide zero.) Mr. Bateson could go to any of those researchers, email them, and just ask for the numbers of unvaccinated autistics. In a perfect world, the fool would just pick up those papers and look at the tables.
But that would be a reality-shattering proposition for him, I suppose. Like any other anti-vaccine activist, he comes off at the kind of person who would crumble into a heap of goo at the sight of evidence conflicting with his reality.