Over the past several years the debate has raged as to the connection between vaccinations and autism. Many consumer groups and authorities claim that there is an indisputable connection while others claim that there is no proven link. One argument against the medical authorities who claim there is no link, is that none of the studies have ever compared groups of children who were vaccinated to groups that have never had vaccinations.
Recognizing this apparent deficiency in studies, a consumer group. "Generation Rescue" commissioned an independent opinion research firm, SurveyUSA of Verona NJ, to conduct a telephone survey in nine counties in California and Oregon. The results of this survey were published in several online publications in October and November of 2007, including the Generation Rescue website and Rence.com.
In a release on September 25, 2007 Generation Rescue reported on the results of the independent survey. This survey was believed to be the first large scale study comparing groups of vaccinated children to unvaccinated children. In this study, parents of more than 9,000 boys age 4-17, were surveyed in nine counties in Oregon and California. The results showed that vaccinated boys were two and a half times (155%) more likely to have neurological disorders compared to unvaccinated young boys. Additionally, vaccinated boys were 224% more likely to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and 61% more likely to have autism.
The phone survey conducted by the independent group, SurveyUSA was set up to be the same as the methodology the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) used to determine the prevalence for neurological disorders in their CDC national phone survey.
Co-founder of Generation Rescue, J.B. Handley, whose son was diagnosed with autism, commented, "No one has ever compared prevalence rates of these neurological disorders between vaccinated and unvaccinated children." He continued, "The phone survey isn't perfect, but these numbers point to the need for a comprehensive national study to gather this critical information."
In Washington, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York, has been pushing for a national study of vaccinated and non vaccinated groups. She noted, "Generation Rescue's study is impressive and forcefully raises some serious questions about the relationship between vaccines and autism. What is ultimately needed to resolve this issue one way or the other is a comprehensive national study of vaccinated and unvaccinated children," said Congresswoman Maloney. "The parents behind Generation Rescue only want information. These parents deserve more than road blocks, they deserve answers. We can and should move forward in search of those answers. That's why I've introduced a common sense bill (Comprehensive Comparative Study of Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Population Act of 2006) that would require the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct a comprehensive, comparative study on the possible link between autism and thimerosal."