Vaccine Safety Studies: Where Are The Unvaccinated?

The gold standard in safety studies is the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (RDBPCS). This is the kind of study they do in clinical trials. To make sure drugs are safe. Before you take them.

This is the most effective way to assess the risk of ‘something’: by comparing the ‘exposed’ group to the ‘unexposed’ group, and examining their health outcomes. The only problem is, clinical trials for vaccines don’t use the gold standard. 

They don’t use the silver or bronze standard either. In fact, they don’t even use an ‘unexposed’ group. Even our retrospective studies don’t have an ‘unexposed’ reference group.

Maybe I’m wrong. Surely, there’s got to be a completely ‘unexposed’ group somewhere, or else how can we be reassured that vaccines are as safe as they say they are?

Let’s take a walk down Vaccine Safety Study Lane, shall we?

1. Association Between Estimated Cumulative Vaccine Antigen Exposure Through the First 23 Months of Life and Non–Vaccine Targeted Infections From 24 Through 47 Months of Age, Glanz J, et al. JAMA. 2018; 319(9):906-913. 

Notes: Comparing health outcomes for different ranges of antigen exposure. The lowest antigen exposure reference group is 0-198 antigens. So, no unvaccinated group.

Full study here—->Taylor, et al
Notes: 5 case-control and 5 cohort studies. Studies were included that looked at either MMR vaccination, cumulative mercury (Hg) or cumulative thimerosal dosage from vaccinations. No individual study had an unvaccinated control reference group. 

3. Patterns of childhood immunization and all-cause mortalityNatalie L. McCarthy, et al. 2017

Full study here —–> McCarthy, et al

Notes: Study compares mortality rates between children following the ACIP recommended vaccine schedule against children considered “undervaccinated” which are children missing at least one dose. Curiously, 3.3% of the “undervaccinated” group received no vaccines but they are not examined distinctly from the “undervaccinated” group. So, no unvaccinated reference group.

4. Prenatal and Infant Exposure to Thimerosal From Vaccines and Immunoglobulins and Risk of Autism. Cristofer S. PriceWilliam W. Thompson, et al. 2010

Notes: This study wanted to examine the relationships between prenatal and infant ethylmercury exposure from thimerosal-containing vaccines and or immunoglobulin preparations and ASD, but it forgot to include unvaccinated kids. No unvaccinated reference group.

5. Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism. DeStefano, et al. 2013.

Notes: They tried to evaluate the association between autism and the level of immunologic stimulation received from vaccines administered during the first 2 years of life, but forgot to keep the ZERO exposure group all by itself in its own cute little section. The reference groups are: 0-25 antigens, 0-125 antigens, and 0-311 antigens. And then for an even more sensitive analysis, their reference group for a single day exposure was 0-25 antigens, 0-25 antigens, and 0-100 antigens (compared to kids with 3000-6258 antigens). Sadly, this was another missed opportunity. No unvaccinated reference group.

6. Number of antigens in early childhood vaccines and neuropsychological outcomes at age 7-10 years. Iqbal S, et al. 2013

Full Study —-> Iqbal, et al

Notes: They used a publicly available dataset to evaluate the association between antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides from early childhood vaccines and neuropsychological outcomes at age 7-10 years. Lowest exposure reference group is <100. So, no unvaccinated group.

7. On-time Vaccine Receipt in the First Year Does Not Adversely Affect Neuropsychological Outcomes. Michael J. Smith 2010

Full Study —–> Smith, et al

Notes: Comparing timely (within 30 days of recommended schedule) to untimely (children who did not meet that criteria). There is no unvaccinated group.

I’m not giving up. Hey, I’ll keep looking. I’ll add more and more, because I really want to find at least ONE safety study. Send me your favorite safety study: