Instigator / Pro

DTaP vaccines for children under 6 months of age may cause autism.


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Debate details
Publication date
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Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
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Contender / Con
The DTaP vaccine is known as the Generic Name: Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Pertussis Vaccine Adsorbed.
The CDC recommends. (
"Give infants and children 5 doses of DTaP. Give one dose at each of these ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 through 18 months, and 4 through 6 years. Use DT for infants and children who should not receive acellular pertussis-containing vaccines."
The debate can be won by the CON if they can demonstrate that there is a reputable study focusing on the DTaP vaccine, and specifically on the ages 6 - 7 months and under; as it related to autism.
Statements made by organizations like the CDC are not evidence on their own and need to be corroborated. The debater will need to demonstrate their study is reputable, which includes elements like the quality of the journal article, testing methodology, volume, number of times cited, etc. The judges will give weight to the quality of the references/articles and determine if they are persuasive.
Debaters are permitted to use findings within studies, provided that full reference to the citation is given such that the context can be understood and rebuffed if required.
Both debaters may agree to forfeit rounds, by passing on a round and that will not be judged against them
This is not a debate about efficacy, the politics of vaccines, or a vax anti-vax stance. This should be a very easy debate to win. The evidence is either available or it is not.
I think I have bit off more than I can chew here. Let's see.
Round 1
Thank you TheJackle for accepting this debate.  I have established that to win this debate Con must demonstrate some form of reputable study that statistically presents DTaP administered under 6 years of age does not cause autism in children.

I look forward to looking at your material.

I started this debate because I could not find any studies about DTaP and infants as it relates to autism.  I made a dozen calls, to various public health agencies who could not provide information.  I called Irish, Canadian, Australian and US health agencies and departments, and the answer I received was "It is well established that vaccines don't cause autism".   Yet no one could provide a single study about the most popular and highest dose at the youngest age, DTaP.

This is a debate I would like to lose.  I will also address debate comments, and outside contributors.   So  TheJackle,  over to you.

Here are 12 studies that are directly applicable.  I tried to get the entire article where possible, however the abstract was sufficient in all cases to demonstrate that there is no association between vaccines and autism, which would include DTaP.  I have included a relevant snippet of each article to demonstrate the relevance.

No causal relationship between DTaP and Autism is found.

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.

The lack of conclusive evidence linking adverse events to multiple immunizations or other “schedule” exposures suggests that the recommended schedule is safe. 

Using logistic regression models of the prevalence data, we found no significant effect of thimerosal exposure used either as a continuous or a categorical variable. Thus, thimerosal exposure was unrelated to the increasing trend in pervasive developmental disorder prevalence. 
Findings of this meta-analysis suggest that vaccinations are not associated with the development of autism or autism spectrum disorder.
The risk of autism and other autistic-spectrum disorders did not differ significantly between children vaccinated with thimerosal-containing vaccine and children vaccinated with thimerosal-free vaccine 
 This article reviews recent controversies surrounding immunizations and ASD, and concludes that there are no data to support any association between immunization and ASD.
The body of existing data, including the ecologic data presented herein, is not consistent with the hypothesis that increased exposure to Thimerosal-containing vaccines is responsible for the apparent increase in the rates of autism in young children being observed worldwide.
With the possible exception of tics, there was no evidence that thimerosal exposure via DTP/DT vaccines causes neurodevelopmental disorders.

Given the large number of statistical comparisons performed, the few associations found between thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological development might be attributable to chance.
In our study of MCO members, prenatal and early-life exposure to ethylmercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines and immunoglobulin preparations was not related to increased risk of ASDs.
..... increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines during the first 2 years of life was not related to the risk of developing an ASD.

Round 2
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--> @DrSpy
There's no way to change the character limit now. You and your opponent might agree to an extension to be posted in the comments or something, but no judge is obligated to read it.
--> @Ragnar, @TheJackle
Is there any way we can increase the character limit If my opponent agrees. He has dropped an impressive quantity of studies, and I will need the space to address them.
--> @DrSpy
Back when I was in school with full easy access to academic journals, I would have jumped at this.
Anyway, best of luck to you.
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