IOM says not enough evidence to reject vaccine-autism link - Mothering Forums
Vaccinations > IOM says not enough evidence to reject vaccine-autism link
Mirzam's Avatar Mirzam 07:22 AM 02-21-2013





2004: 'The committee does not conclude that the vaccine does not cause the adverse event merely because the evidence is inadequate to support causality. Instead, it maintains a neutral position, concluding that the “evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship."... [A] relationship between immunization and a particular adverse event may be found to be biologically plausible at the same time that the epidemiological evidence is found to be inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship.' (This particular entry can be read on page 2-3 of the report's Executive Summary)

prosciencemum's Avatar prosciencemum 09:03 AM 02-21-2013

Here's the full listing of IOM reports on Vaccine safety:{6F4ACEDB-41C5-4AC5-BBDE-39D9A343A8D3}


I'm curious why the last one was 9 years ago (in 2004). Going to dig deeper. :)

prosciencemum's Avatar prosciencemum 09:05 AM 02-21-2013

Interesting that the blog Mirzam links to didn't pick out this quite from the 2004 report on Immunizations and Autism: 




The committee concludes that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism. The committee also concludes that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. The committee further finds that potential biological mechanisms for vaccine-induced autism that have been generated to date are theoretical only.


Direct link to where that is:


So they say the evidence favours no link between autism and MMR or autism and thimerosol and there are no proven biological mechanisms by which vaccines could cause autism. 

prosciencemum's Avatar prosciencemum 09:07 AM 02-21-2013

Oh here's a report from 2013 from the IOM on vaccine safety:


The conclusion:





This report is the most comprehensive examination of the immunization schedule to date. The IOM committee uncovered no evidence of major safety concerns associated with adherence to the childhood immunization schedule. Should signals arise that there may be need for investigation, however, the report offers a framework for conducting safety research using existing or new data collection systems.



So we're done debating now right? Or will you all now dismiss the IOM as a good source of information? 

Dakotacakes's Avatar Dakotacakes 09:29 AM 02-21-2013

This facebook graphic from unvaccinated America, and summary by the editor of an anti vaccine book, the vaccine epidemic is not really accurate.  If you go to the primary source and read the institute of medicine reports you get a very different view of what they said.  I just read the page numbers they cite in the 2004 report and then went to the page of the actual 2004 report.  There evaluations are not what is implied by the graphic or the article fwiw.

Rrrrrachel's Avatar Rrrrrachel 01:04 PM 02-21-2013

Yeah this is incredibly misleading.

Taximom5's Avatar Taximom5 07:20 PM 02-21-2013

No, it's not misleading.  Saying that the body of evidence "favors" rejection of a causal relationship is not the same thing as saying, "the evidence proves that there is no link."    Vaccines can be linked to autism without being the single, direct cause.  If a previously healthy child with a predisposition to vaccine reaction has vaccine-induced seizures that result in brain damage with every symptom of autism, you can argue whether the vaccine or the predisposition to reaction "caused" the autism, but the fact is, you're looking at vaccine-linked autism.


Besides, we all know that the "body of evidence" is flawed, the same way the tobacco manufacturers' "body of evidence" that supposedly showed that cigarettes didn't cause cancer was flawed.


"There is inadequate evidence to reject a causal relationship" means that a causal relationship is possible, and has been observed, and not disproved.


But you can keep insisting that there is no link, if that somehow makes you happy.

Rrrrrachel's Avatar Rrrrrachel 08:43 PM 02-21-2013
It's a quote from a now out of date report.

Here's a direct link to the 2004 report. The quote above is from the 2001 report.
MissCee's Avatar MissCee 12:21 AM 02-22-2013

Thanks for sharing this Mirzam. I found this particular quote from the report very un-nerving:




The committee's conclusion did not exclude the possibility that MMR could contribute to autism in small number of children, given that the epidemiological studies lacked sufficient precision to assess rare occurrences. Thus it was possible that epidemiological studies would not detect a relationship between autism and MMR vaccination in a subset of the population with a genetic predisposition to autism.

prosciencemum's Avatar prosciencemum 03:20 AM 02-22-2013

I think I start to see the problem in interpretation of these reports.


 You will never get a scientist to say "we've proven there's no link between X and Y". This is because there are always measurement errors, or sample variance which could hide small links. No matter how good the study, the best result is "within the bounds of the study we've detected no link between X and Y". Actually a statement that the "evidence favours no link between X and Y" from a scientist, is a pretty strong statement about a lack of a link. 


 So some of you may never be satisfied by this. I am starting to understand that. But there is room for only vanishingly rare links these days (ie. the inability to exclude the possibility in a "small number of children" from the snippet MissCee quotes). 

Rrrrrachel's Avatar Rrrrrachel 07:46 AM 02-22-2013
Yeah, the statement that evidence favors rejection of a causal link is the strongest negative statement the IOM makes.