Vaccines don’t cause autism. Because science.

vaxnoautismNext time somebody says that vaccines cause autism, or that the link has not been studied extensively, hit them with this list of 99 scientific papers (including studies and reviews) showing no link between vaccines, vaccine ingredients and autism. Compiled by Nathan Boonstra, Allison Hagood, Luci Baldwin and myself.

  1. Albizzati, A., Moré, L., Di Candia, D., Saccani, M., Lenti, C. Normal concentrations of heavy metals in autistic spectrum disorders. Minerva Pediatrica. 2012.Feb;64(1):27-31
  2. Abu Kuwaik, G., Roberts, W., Zwaigenbaum, L., Bryson, S., Smith, IM., Szatmari, P., Modi, BM., Tanel, N., Brian, J. Immunization uptake in younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder. Autism. 2014 Feb;18(2):148-55. doi: 10.1177/1362361312459111. Epub 2012 Oct 8.
  3. Afzal, MA., Ozoemena, LC., O’Hare, A., Kidger, KA., Bentley, ML., Minor, PD.Absence of detectable measles virus genome sequence in blood of autistic children who have had their MMR vaccination during the routine childhood immunization schedule of UK.   Journal Medical Virology. 2006 May;78(5):623-30.
  4. Andrews, N., Miller, E., Grant, A., Stowe, J., Osborn, V., & Taylor, B. (2004). Thimerosal exposure in infants and developmental disorders: a retrospective cohort study in the United Kingdom does not support a causal association. Pediatrics, 114, 584-591.
  5. Andrews, N., Miller, E., Taylor, B., Lingam, R., Simmons, A., Stowe, J., Waight, P. Dec 2002; 87(6): 493–494.  Recall bias, MMR and autism.  Archives of Disease in Childhood.
  6. Baird, G., Pickles, A., Simonoff, E., Charman, T., Sullivan, P., Chandler, S., Loucas, T., Meldrum, D., Afzal, M., Thomas, B., Jin, L., Brown, D. Measles vaccination and antibody response in autism spectrum disorders. Archives of Disease in Childhood.2008 Oct;93(10):832-7. doi: 10.1136/adc.2007.122937. Epub 2008 Feb 5.
  7. Baron-Cohen, S. Autism and the technical mind: children of scientists and engineers may inherit genes that not only confer intellectual talents but also predispose them to autism. Scientific American. 2012 Nov;307(5):72-5.
  8. Berger, BE., Navar-Boggan, AM., Omer, SB. Congenital rubella syndrome and autism spectrum disorder prevented by rubella vaccination–United States, 2001-2010.   BMC Public Health.2011 May 19;11:340. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-340.
  9. Black, C., Kaye, JA. Relation of childhood gastrointestinal disorders to autism: nested case-control study using data from the UK General Practice Research Database. British Medical Journal. 2002;325(7361):419-21.
  10. Chen, W., Landau, S., Sham, P., & Fombonne, E. (2004). No evidence for links between autism, MMR and measles virus. Psychological Medicine, 34(3), 543-553.
  11. Christie, B. Scottish expert group finds no link between MMR and autism.British Medical Journal, 2002. May 11;324(7346):1118.
  12. Clements, CJ., McIntyre, PB. When science is not enough – a risk/benefit profile of thiomersal-containing vaccines.   Expert Drug Opinion Safety. 2006.Jan;5(1):17-29.
  13. Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines; Institute of Medicine. Stratton, K., Ford, A., Rusch, E., Wright Clayton, E. Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2012. (a review of more than ONE THOUSAND studies).
  14. Dales, L., Hammer, S. J., & Smith, N. J. (2001). Time trends in autism and in MMR immunization coverage in California.  JAMA, 285(9), 1183-1185.
  15. De Los Reyes, EC. Autism and immunizations: separating fact from fiction. JAMA Neurology. 2010;67(4):490-492. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.57.
  16. DeWilde, S., Carey, IM., Richards, N., Hilton, SR., Cook, DG. Do children who become autistic consult more often after MMR vaccination? British Journal of General Practice. 2001 Mar;51(464):226-7.
  17. Demicheli, V., Jefferson, T., Rivetti, A., & Price, D. (2005). Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 4. (a review of 31 studies)
  18. DeStefano, F. MMR vaccine and autism: a review of the evidence for a causal association. Molecular Psychiatry. 2002;7 Suppl 2:S512.
  19. DeStefano, F., Chen, RT. Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: No epidemiological evidence for a causal association. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2000 Jan;136(1):125.
  20. DeStefano, F., Bhasin, T. K., Thompson, W. W., Yeargin-Allsopp, M., & Boyle, C. (2004). Age at first measles-mumps-rubella vaccination in children with autism and school-matched control subjects: a population-based study in metropolitan Atlanta. Pediatrics, 113(2), 259-266.
  21. DeStefano F., Price CS., Weintraub, ES. Increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism.  Journal of Pediatrics. 2013 Aug;163(2):561-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.02.001. Epub 2013 Mar 30.
  22. DeStefano F., Thompson, WW.MMR vaccine and autism: an update of the scientific evidence.Expert Rev Vaccines.2004 Feb;3(1):19-22.
  23. DeStefano F., Thompson, WW. MMR vaccination and autism: is there a link? Expert Opinion on Drug Safety. 2002 Jul;1(2):115-20.
  24. DeStefano, F. Chen, RT. Negative association between MMR and autism. Lancet. 1999 Jun 12;353(9169):1987-8.
  25. DeStefano, F., Chen, RT. Autism and measles-mumps-rubella vaccination: controversy laid to rest? CNS Drugs. 2001. 2001;15(11):831-7.
  26. D’Souza J., Todd T. Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and the development of autism or inflammatory bowel disease: the controversy should end. Journal of Pedatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics.  2003 Jul;8(3):187-99. doi: 10.5863/1551-6776-8.3.187.
  27. D’Souza, Y., Fombonne, E., Ward, BJ. No evidence of persisting measles virus in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from children with autism spectrum disorder. Pediatrics. 2006 Oct;118(4):1664-75.
  28. Doja, A., & Roberts, W. (2006). Immunizations and autism: A review of the literature. The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 33(4), 341-346.
  29. Elliman, D., Bedford, H.   MMR: where are we now?  Archives of Disease in Childhood.   2007 Dec;92(12):1055-7. Epub 2007 Jul 11.
  30. Farrington, C., Miller, E., & Taylor, B. (2001). MMR and autism: further evidence against a causal association. Vaccine, 19(27), 3632-3635.
  31. Fombonne, E., & Chakrabarti, S. (2001). No evidence for a new variant of measles-mumps-rubella–induced autism. Pediatrics, 108(4), e58-e58.
  32. Fombonne, E., Zakarian, R., Bennett, A., Meng, L., & McLean-Heywood, D. (2006). Pervasive developmental disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and links with immunizations. Pediatrics 118(1) e139-e150; doi:10.1542/peds.2005-2993.
  33. García-Fernández, L., Hernández, AV., Suárez Moreno, V., Fiestas, F. Addressing the controversy regarding the association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. Revista Peruana de Medicine Experimental Salud Publica. 2013 Apr;30(2):268-74.
  34. Gentile, I., Bravaccio, C., Bonavolta, R., Zappulo, E., Scarica, S., Riccio, MP., Settimi, A., Portella, G., Pascotta, A., Borgia, G. Response to measles-mumps-rubella vaccine in children with autism spectrum disorders. In Vivo 2013 May-Jun;27(3):377-82.
  35. Gerber, J. S., & Offit, P. A. (2009). Vaccines and autism: a tale of shifting hypotheses. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 48(4), 456-461.
  36. Halsey, NA., Hyman, SL.  Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autistic spectrum disorder: report from the New Challenges in Childhood Immunizations Conference convened in Oak Brook, Illinois. June 12-13, 2000.   Pediatrics.  2001 May;107(5):E84.
  37. Hertz-Picciotto, I., Green, P., Delwiche, L., Hansen, R., Walker, C., & Pessah, I. (2010). Blood mercury concentrations in CHARGE Study children with and without autism. Environmental Health Perspectives, 118(1), 161-166. doi:10.1289/ehp.0900736
  38. Hensley, E. Briars, L. Closer look at autism and the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. Journal of American Pharmacist’s Association. 2003. 2010 Nov-Dec;50(6):736-41. doi: 10.1331/JAPhA.2010.10004.
  39. Heron, J., Golding, J., ALSPAC Study Team.  Thimerosal exposure in infants and developmental disorders: a prospective cohort study in the United Kingdom does not support a causal association.  Pediatrics.  2004 Sep;114(3):577-83.
  40. Hessel, L. Mercury in vaccines. Bulletin of the National Academy of Medicine. 2003;187(8):1501-10.
  41. Honda, H., Shimizu, Y., & Rutter, M. (2005). No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 46(6), doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01425.x.
  42. Hornig, M., Briese, T., Bule, T., Bauman, M.L., Lauwers, G., Siemetzki, U., Hummel, K., Rota, PA., Bellini, WJ., O’Leary, JJ., Sheils, O., Alden, E., Pickering, L., Lipkin, W.I. Lack of association between measles virus vaccine and autism with enteropathy: a case-control study. 2008. PLoS One, 3(9), e3140. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003140.
  43. Hurley, A., Tadrous, M., Miller, ES. Thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism: a review of recent epidemiological studies. Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2010 Jul-Sep; 15(3): 173-181.
  44. Hviid A., Stellfeld, M., Wohlfahrt, J., Melbye, M.   Association between thimerosal-containing vaccine and autism – No causal relationship found.JAMA.2003 Oct 1;290(13):1763-6.
  45. Insitute of Medicine (US) Immunization Safety Review Committee. Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autisms. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004.
  46.  Ip, P., Wong, V., Ho, M., Lee, J., Wong, W.  Mercury exposure in children with autistic spectrum disorder: case-control study.  Journal of Child Neurology. 2004. Jun:19(6):431-4.

  47. Iqbal, S., Barile, JP., Thompson, WW., DeStefano, F. Number of antigens in early childhood vaccines and neuropsychological outcomes at age 7–10years. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.2013 Dec;22(12):1263-70. doi: 10.1002/pds.3482. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

  48. Jefferson, T., Price, D., Demicheli, V., Bianco, E., European Research Program for Improved Safety Surveillance (EUSAFEVAC) Project. Unintended events following immunization with MMR: a systematic review.  Vaccine.  2003 Sep 8;21(25-26):3954-60.
  49. Jick, H., Kaye, JA. Epidemiology and possible causes of autism. Pharmacotherapy. 2003 Dec;23(12):1524-30.
  50. Kaye, J. A., del Mar Melero-Montes, M., & Jick, H. Mumps, measles, and rubella vaccine and the incidence of autism recorded by general practitioners: a time trend analysis. 2001. British Medical Journal, 322(7284), 460-463.
  51. Klein, K. C., & Diehl, E. B. Relationship between MMR vaccine and autism. 2004. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 38(7-8), 1297-1300.
  52. Lazoff, T., Zhong, L., Piperni, T., Fombonne, E. Prevalence of pervasive developmental disorders among children at the English Montreal School Board. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.2010 Nov;55(11):715-20.
  53. Lingam, R., Simmons, A., Andrews, N., Miller, E., Stowe, J., & Taylor, B. (2003). Prevalence of autism and parentally reported triggers in a North-east London population. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 88(8), 666-670.
  54. Madsen, K.K., Hviid, A., Vestergaard, M., Schendel, D., Wohlfahrt, J., Thorsen, P., Olsen, J., Melbye, M. A population-based study of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism. 2002.The New England Journal of Medicine, 347(19), 1477-82.
  55. Madsen, K.M., Lauritsen, M.B., Pedersen, C.B., Thorsen, P., Plesner, A.M., Andersen, P.H. & Mortensen, P.B. Thimerosal and the occurrence of autism: negative ecological evidence from Danish population-based data. 2003. Pediatrics, 112, 604-606. doi: 10.1542/peds.112.3.204
  56. Madsen, KM. Vestergaard, M.   MMR and Autism: what is the evidence for a causal association? Drug Safety. 2004;27(12):831-40.
  57. Makela, A., Nuorti, J., & Peltola, H. (2002). Neurologic disorders after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination. Pediatrics, 110(5), 957-963.
  58. Marin, M., Broder, KR., Temte, JL., Snider, DE., Seward, JF., (CDC). Use of combination measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).  MMWR Recommendations and Reports. 2010 May 7;59(RR-3):1-12.
  59. Marwick, C. US Report finds no link between MMR and autism. British Medical Journal.   May 5, 2001; 322(7294): 1083.
  60. Meilleur, AA., Fombonne, E. Regression of language and non-language skills in pervasive development disorders. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. 2009 Feb;53(2):115-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2008.01134.x. Epub 2008 Nov 27.
  61. Miller, E. Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and the development of autism – epidemiologic evidence against such an association is compelling. Seminars in Pediatric Infectious Diseases.2003 Jul;14(3):199-206.
  62. Miller, E., Andrews, N., Grant, A., Stowe, J., Taylor, B. No evidence of an association between MMR vaccine and gait disturbance.Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2005. Mar;90(3):292-6.
  63. Miller, L., Reynolds J. Autism and vaccination – the current evidence. Journals for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing. 2009 Jul;14(3):166-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6155.2009.00194.x.
  64. Mrozek-Budzyn, D., Kiełtyka, A. The relationship between MMR vaccination and the number of new cases of autism in children. Przeglad epidemiologiczny. 2008;62(3):597-604.
  65. Mrozek-Budzyn, D., Kiełtyka, A., Majewska, R. Lack of association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccination and autism in children: a case-control study. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2010 May;29(5):397-400. doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e3181c40a8a.
  66. Mrozek-Budzyn, D., Majewska, R. Kiełtyka, A. & Augustyniak, M. Lack of association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. Przeglad epidemiologiczny. 2011, 65(3), 491-495.
  67. Muhle, R., Trentacoste, SV., Rapin, I. The genetics of autism. Pediatrics. 2004 May;113(5):e472-86.
  68. Nelson, KB., Bauman, ML. Thimerosal and autism? Pediatrics. 2003. Mar;111(3):674-9.
  69. Offit PA. Thimerosal and vaccines–a cautionary tale. New England Journal of Medicine. 2007. Sep 27;357(13):1278-9. PubMed PMID: 17898096.
  70. Offit, PA., Coffin, SE. Communicating science to the public: MMR vaccine and autism. Vaccine. 2003. Dec 8;22(1):1-6.
  71. Patja, A., Davidkin, I., Kurki, T., Marku, J., Kallio, T., Valle, M., Peltola, H. Serious adverse events after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination during a fourteen-year prospective follow-up. 2000. Pediatric Infectious Diseases Journal. 2000;19:1127-34.
  72. Parker, S.K., Schwartz, B., Todd, J., Pickering, L.K. Thimerosal-containing vaccines and autistic spectrum disorder: A critical review of published original data. 2004. Pediatrics, 114, 793-804.
  73. Pichichero, ME., Cernichiari, E., Lopreiato, J., Treanor, J. Mercury concentrations and metabolism in infants receiving vaccines containing thiomersal: a descriptive study. Lancet. 2002 Nov 30;360(9347):1737-41.
  74. Peltola, H., Patja, A., Leinikki, P., Valle, M., Davidkin, I., & Paunio, M. No evidence for measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine-associated inflammatory bowel disease or autism in a 14-year prospective study. 1998. Lancet, 351(9112), 1327.
  75. Price, C. S., Thompson, W. W., Goodson, B., Weintraub, E. S., Croen, L. A., Hinrichsen, V. L., DeStefano, F. Prenatal and infant exposure to thimerosal from vaccines and immunoglobulins and risk of autism. 2010. Pediatrics, 126(4), 656-664.
  76. Richler, J., Luyster, R., Risi, S., Hsu, W. L., Dawson, G., Bernier, R., … & Lord, C. (2006). Is there a ‘regressive phenotype’ of Autism Spectrum Disorder associated with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine? A CPEA Study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36(3), 299-316.
  77. Rumke, HC., Visser, HK. Childhood vaccinations anno 2004. II. The real and presumed side effects of vaccination. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde.2004 Feb 21;148(8):364-71.
  78. Schechter, R., Grether, JK. Continuing increases in autism reported to California’s developmental services system: mercury in retrograde. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2008 Jan;65(1):19-24. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2007.1.
  79. Schultz, ST. Does thimerosal or other mercury exposure increase the risk for autism? A review of the current literature. Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis. 2010;70(2):187-95.
  80. Seagroatt, V. MMR vaccine and Crohn’s disease: ecological study of hospital admissions in England, 1991 to 2002.  British Medical Journal.  2005.  May 14;330(7500):1120-1. Epub 2005 April 18.
  81. Shevell, M., Fombonne, E. Autism and MMR vaccination or thimerosal exposure: an urban legend? Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences.  2006 Nov;33(4):339-40.
  82. Singh, VK. Rivas, WH. Detection of antinuclear and antilaminin antibodies in autistic children who received thimerosal-containing vaccines – mercury as in thimerosal-containing vaccines is likely not related to autoimmune phenomenon in autism.   Journal of Biomedical Science. 2004 Sep-Oct;11(5):607-10.
  83. Smeeth, L., Cook, C., Fombonne, E., Heavey, L., Rodrigues, L. C., Smith, P. G., & Hall, A. J. (2004). MMR vaccination and pervasive developmental disorders: a case-control study. The Lancet, 364(9438), 963-969.
  84. Smith, M. J., & Woods, C. R. On-time vaccine receipt in the first year does not adversely affect neuropsychological outcomes. Pediatrics. 2010. 125(6), 1134-1141.
  85. Solt, I., Bornstein, J. Childhood vaccines and autism – much ado about nothing? Harefuah. 2010 Apr;149(4):251-5, 260.
  86. Steffenburg, S., Steffenburg, U., Gillberg, C. Autism spectrum disorders in children with active epilepsy and learning disability: comorbidity, pre and perinatal backgound, and seizure characteristics.   Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 2003 Nov;45(11):724-30.
  87. Stehr-Green, P., Tull, P., Stellfeld, M., Mortenson, PB., Simpson, D. Autism and thimerosal-containing vaccines: lack of consistent evidence for an association.   American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2003 Aug;25(2):101-6.
  88. Takahashi, H., Suzumura, S., Shirakizawa, F., Wada, N., Tanaka-Taya, K., Arai, S., Okabe, N., Ichikawa, H., Sato, T. An epidemiological study on Japanese Autism concerning Routine Childhood Immunization History. Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases. 56, 114-117, 2003.
  89. Taylor, B. Vaccines and the changing epidemiology of autism. Child: Care, Health and Development Journal. 2006 Sep;32(5):511-9.
  90. Taylor, B., Miller, E., Farrington, C., Petropoulos, M., Favot-Mayaud, I., Li, J., & Waight, P. A. (1999). Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: no epidemiological evidence for a causal association. Lancet, 353(9169), 2026-20.
  91. Taylor, B., Miller, E., Lingam, R., Andrews, N., Simmons, A., & Stowe, J. Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and bowel problems or developmental regression in children with autism: population study. 2002. British Medical Journal, 324(7334), 393-396.
  92. Taylor, B., Lingam, R., Simmons, A., Stowe, J., Miller, E., Andrews, N. Autism and MMR vaccination in North London: no causal relationship. 2002. Molecular Psychiatry. 7 Suppl2:S7-8.
  93. Thjodleifsson, B., Davidsdóttir, K., Agnarsson, U., Sigthórsson, G., Kjeld, M., Bjarnason, I. Effect of Pentavac and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination on the intestine. Gut.2002 Dec;51(6):816-7.
  94. Thompson, WW., Price, C., Goodson, B., Shay, DK., Benson, P., Hinrichsen, BL., Lewis, E., Eriksen, E., Ray, P., Marcy, SM., Dunn, J., Jackson, LA., Lieu, TA., Black, S., Stewart, G., Weintraub, ES., Davis, RL., DeStefano, F., Vaccine Data Link Safety Team. Early thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological outcomes at 7 to 10 years. New England Journal of Medicine. 2007 Sep 27;357(13):1281-92.
  95. Uchiyama, T., Kurosawa, M., & Inaba, Y. MMR-vaccine and regression in autism spectrum              disorders: negative results presented from Japan. 2007. Journal of Autism and Developmental       Disorders, 37(2), 210-217.
  96. Uno, Y., Uchiyama, T., Kurosawa, M., Aleksic, B., & Ozaki, N. The combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines and the total number of vaccines are not associated with development of autism spectrum disorder: first case–control study in Asia. 2012. Vaccine, 30(28), 4292-4298.
  97. Verstraeten T., Davis, RL., DeStefano, F., Lieu, TA., Rhodes, PH., Black, SB., Shinefield, H., Chen RT. Safety of thimerosal-containing vaccines: a two-phased study of computerized health maintenance organization databases.   Pediatrics.2003 Nov;112(5):1039-48.
  98. Whitehouse, AJ., Maybery, M., Wray, JA., Hickey, M. No association between early gastrointestinal problems and autistic-like traits in the general population. Developmental Medicine and Childhood Neurology. 2011. May;53(5):457-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.03915.x. Epub 2011 Mar 21.
  99. MMR vaccine is not linked to Crohn’s disease or autism. Commun Dis Rep CDR Weekly. 1998 Mar 27;8(13):113.

Simplified searches:

The review papers (27 in total) can be found on this link:

111 papers which show vaccines, any vaccine ingredient and  the number of vaccines given do not cause autism can be found on this link:


Thanks for nothing, Gianelloni Family.

Your latest blog is crazy full of myths and misunderstandings about vaccines and measles.

1. It’s really not funny to mock a disease outbreak, especially one which is mostly affecting young babies and children.  How do you find humour in a virus that can sicken and disable the body’s defence systems to attack the brain?

Measles can kill quickly or it can kill slowly over many years.  This is why we take it seriously enough to vaccinate against it. Playing it down as if it is some innocent disease of childhood is worshipping the suffering of children. You find that funny, really?

2. The Daily Beast article which you focus on sources this newspaper story.   Your first error is in mocking the description of an outbreak being a mere 3 cases.

Take note:  the newspaper story actually says 3 MORE CASES of measles, not 3 cases.  If there were 5 hospitalizations, you can be damn sure there are many more than 3 cases.

So I looked it up for you.  As of 3 days ago, according to this Slate article there were 19 cases (and probably still counting).

Did you note this line in the article: “Many of the victims are children too young to be vaccinated or whose parents chose not to vaccinate them.”  Do you find that funny too?  

Irrespectively, an outbreak is defined as 3 or more cases linked in time or place.  In this case, if a person infected with measles occupies an area and then leaves, the air and surfaces can harbor the virus for up to 4 more hours, so anyone passing through that area can get infected.  Your unvaccinated child could pass through a shopping mall where an infected person had shopped hours ago, and still catch measles from breathing the air.

It really does only take a few cases to start an avalanche of cases.  90% of people who are not immune to measles will become infected if exposed, so the CDC is completely on point to declare that 3 or more cases is an outbreak.

3. So an outbreak can start out with 3 people, it could grow to be 1000 people.  But one thing is for sure and certain, if the anti-vaccine movement is allowed to grow, a measles outbreak will quickly spread amongst the unvaccinated and has the potential to hospitalize many and even kill some.

Consider the 2013 measles outbreaks in the US:   Out of 159 cases, how many were unvaccinated?  82%.  Plus another 9% had unknown vaccination status (which generally means unvaccinated).

So again we see that word. Unvaccinated. Still finding this funny?

4. By the way, you can’t catch measles from the vaccine.  Recently vaccinated persons are not disease spreading vectors as you assume.

Theoretically, any live virus vaccine can shed, but the MMR vaccine has NEVER been known to cause measles disease in another person.  Did that sink in? You cannot catch measles from the vaccine. So those measles cases which came from the doctors office were spread from a person infected and sick with wild measles.   An infected person or persons had been in the doctors office.  (Remember in 2008, how measles spread from Dr Sears waiting room?)

The idea that those vaccinated with MMR could be spreading measles is a ludicrous lie with no scientific or medical basis whatsoever.   The unvaccinated are actually responsible for outbreaks – indeed almost every outbreak in recent years has been linked to an unvaccinated person bringing in measles from overseas.

5.  So, measles was eliminated from America and many other developed countries but is now making a comeback thanks to mostly unvaccinated travellers who return and spread it largely amongst the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.  The most important cause of measles resurgence is low vaccination coverage.  So again, whose kids are more at risk?  Not only your unvaccinated kid but the kid next door with leukaemia who can’t be vaccinated.  This is getting funnier and funnier, really isn’t it?

6.  “Funny how we just can’t seem to eliminate measles within the United States”.   But yet they were eliminated, in fact they still are.  When the CDC says “eliminated”, they mean from endemic transmission.  Endemic meaning, regularly found in a certain area; native or restricted to that certain place.  Endemic transmission still no longer occurs – transmission is because of imported cases.   So what you are finding funny, is that measles is back thanks to unvaccinated people bringing it into the country from overseas.

Yes,  one booster was added to the vaccination schedule – thanks to continual monitoring, via those important things you mentioned:  Research. Statistics. Science. Logic.  It was determined that an additional booster was needed to ensure immunity was longer lasting.  So what’s the big deal?  You actually find science, research, statistics and logic funny too?  The irony of your whole argument is that the MMR is one of the most effective vaccines in terms of duration of immunity.

Vaccine immunity duration

7.  Measles can be deadly serious and Gianelloni Family wants to compare it to the common cold.  Her quote from Dr Mendelsohn explaining an adjusted rate of measles complications for developed nations has no basis.  In fact it cannot be found anywhere other than  Groan.  It needs to be said that Mendelsohn is widely regarded as a renegade quack.  So who are you going to put faith in – one renegade doctor’s stab-in-the-dark made up statistics; or the CDC, the WHO and every other major health body around the world who actually do public health surveillance and can verify their statistics?

Here are the real statistics:  30% of persons who catch measles will have severe complications.  1-2 out of 1000 will die.  The risk of encephalitis from measles is 1 in 1000. Anywhere from 4 to 18 people out of 100 000 will get the fatal disease SSPE many years after infection.  This is in DEVELOPED nations.  

8.  Gianelloni Family states that “1 in 50 kids with autism suffer from inflammation of the brain and the MMR vaccine package insert for the measles vaccine actually lists inflammation of the brain as a side effect from the vaccine. Go read the package insert. It’s called encephalitis. Caused by the measles vaccine. Not caused by the natural measles virus.”

It is beyond ridiculous that she claims encephalitis is not caused by the natural measles virus when it is a well-known and established consequence of the disease. She also tries to muddy MMR vaccine, inflammation and autism. Firstly, autism is not encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).   Secondly,  MMR vaccine does not cause autism.

Encephalitis has been reported approximately once for every 3 million doses of MMR vaccine.  In no case has it been shown conclusively that encephalitis was caused by a vaccine virus infection of the central nervous system. And to re-iterate, encephalitis is not autism.  Also,  the vaccine protects against SSPE, it cannot cause it.  Go re-read the package insert.  It does not say anywhere on there that the measles vaccine causes autism.  Perpetuating this myth is really funny to you as well, I guess?


Seeking literal meaning through the package insert is an exercise fraught with inevitable misinterpretation.  This article clearly explains the myths surrounding package inserts.

And, there are over 100 scientific papers indexed on PubMed that thoroughly debunk the vaccines-autism myth.

9. According to the CDC around 1 -2 deaths will occur for every 1000 cases of measles in the developed world.

This quote is pure fabrication:  “Data shows that one-third to one-half of the millions of deaths in children across the world, caused by measles, are due to undernutrition, not undervaccination”

It cannot be found anywhere apart from the Gianelloni family’s own blog.  Now, I bet she finds making stuff up funny too.  But I don’t.  When it comes to children’s lives,  I find twisted quotes to be drop dead serious.

So I took the liberty of finding the real quote which she butchered and made it sound like something else entirely:

“Pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, measles, HIV/AIDS and malnutrition are the primary killers of children in the developing world.  Measles, killed over 500,000 children in 2003, more than any other vaccine-preventable disease. The measles death toll in Africa is so high – every minute one child dies – that many mothers don’t give children real names until they have survived the disease. Measles weakens the immune system and renders children very susceptible to fatal complications from diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition”

So, the upshot of that is, measles is deadly and so are complications of measles.   Measles leads to complications. Malnutrition does not lead to contracting measles.  If there is no measles around, there are no complications of measles to die from.  Let’s take a look at how funny those measles deaths in developing countries really are:

“Immunization activities have had a major impact on reducing measles deaths. Since 2000, more than one billion children in high risk countries were vaccinated against the disease through mass vaccination campaigns ― about 145 million of them in 2012. Global measles deaths have decreased by 78% from an estimated 562 400 to 122 000”.

Laugh out loud funny, isn’t it,  Gianelloni Family?

10.  Gianelloni Family thinks that Big Pharma has created the anti-vaccine movement.  Interesting.  The public health cost of measles is actually far greater than the vaccine cost.  So how exactly is Big Pharma profiting from prevention?  Funny, much?


11.  How are unvaccinated children a threat, she asks?  Dr Larry Palevsky – who believes that getting sick is a good thing because those oh-so-helpful viruses and bacteria are assisting you with a ‘toxin purging opportunity’ –  is another quack.  But she will keep finding the lone wolf doctor with a crazy view, as if that’s the view of every expert on the planet.  Doctors who don’t believe in vaccination are in the extreme minority.

Here is why unvaccinated children are a threat:

Why is MY unvaccinated kid a threat?

Gianelloni Family deeply misunderstands (or misrepresents) community immunity (or herd immunity), a scientific principle accepted by virtually every scientist on the planet.  Any parent who honestly wants to understand the issue of why they may be endangering others by not vaccinating should read the book “Deadly Choices”.  Review of it here.   It goes into great detail about how when vaccination rates drop, rates of disease goes up.  Immunity from  measles vaccine, if given according to the vaccination schedule, lasts well into adulthood.  If everyone who CAN vaccinate DOES vaccinate,  that’s enough to ensure lifelong immunity.

12.  Dear Pharma, she says: “You created an entire generation of sick children.”  Erm, how?  Citation, please? For all of the erroneous claims that vaccines cause x, y, or z problem (SIDS, allergies, autoimmune diseases like MS or type 1 diabetes, autism, etc.) there have been many major studies conducted which found  no association with vaccines. This is one of the most common lies of the anti-vax movement – that somehow we are causing an epidemic of chronic illness because of vaccines.   Really, nothing else in our lives has changed apart from the vaccination schedule?  Every large well-designed study has found that there is no increased incidence of autism, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or allergies because of vaccination. 

Dear Gianelloni Family.  Wake up.  Wake the hell up and stop making excuses for why you are sheltering under the protection of herd immunity.  You’re not fooling anyone.   You are not an expert in infectious disease, epidemiology, immunology, virology, or any of the other myriad disciplines that come together to forge the basis of the science of vaccination. To accept your erroneous claims against the weight of hundreds of thousands of experts in these fields who have produced study upon study, does indeed put everyone at great risk, including your own children.