Update: CDC has reconfigured its page and added back the "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism" claim. See the page here.

After a court challenge questioning the scientific support behind the claim that "vaccines do not cause autism," the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has removed that headline from its website.

The blockbuster change was made quietly last August, and went largely unnoticed, with no public announcement.

The CDC Vaccine-Autism page goes on to state in many different ways that parents should not be concerned about vaccines and autism, and "there is no link," while at the same time acknowledging a link cannot be ruled out.

In a Question and Answer post, CDC says "more research is needed" on the question as to whether vaccines can trigger autism in children with "mitochondrial disorders." Scientists say many people have mitochondrial disorders but do not know it.
More research is needed to determine if there are rare cases where underlying mitochondrial disorders are triggered by anything related to vaccines.
According to CDC, mitochondria are like tiny power houses of almost all cells in the body, turning sugar and oxygen into energy needed to function.

Read CDC vaccine safety information here.

CDC Immunization Safety Official Acknowledged Possible Vaccine-Autism Link

In an interview with me in 2014, CDC's head of immunization safety, Dr. Frank DeStefano, acknowledged it's possible that vaccines rarely trigger autism in some children, and said "somebody" should do research to identify why that might be. However, there is no easily-found record of CDC encouraging or funding any such research.

Listen to Dr. DeStefano's interview here, and read a transcript.

CDC and The Department of Justice Secretly Settled and Paid a Landmark Vaccine-Autism Claim

In 2008, CDC secretly settled and paid a landmark vaccine-autism claim, acknowledging that vaccines triggered autism in a child named Hannah Poling, while publicly telling parents and the rest of the public there was no link. Poling's father is a pediatric neurologist. In paying the claim, CDC demanded the case be sealed. But the news leaked out.

Hannah developed autism quickly after a doctor's visit where she received five shots-- - nine doses of vaccines. She quickly came down with a fever, seizures and severe health problems.

Read more about Poling's story here

The Government's Own Expert At The Time says Vaccines Can Cause Autism, After All

We only learned recently that the government's own one-time lead expert in defending vaccine-autism claims in court, the world renowned pediatric neurologist Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, changed his expert opinion based on new science and concluded vaccines can-- and do -- cause autism, after all, in "exceptional" cases.

In a sworn affidavit, Dr. Zimmerman says that when he informed the government (through Department of Justice attorneys who defend vaccine companies in court) that vaccines can cause autism, the government fired him as an expert witness and misrepresented his opinion in court to use against cases alleging vaccine-autism injuries.

Dr. Zimmerman had treated Hannah Poling, the daughter of his colleague Dr. Jon Poling, and said the science he learned, in that case, was part of how he came to understand that vaccines can cause autism.

Read Dr. Zimmerman's affidavit here.

CDC Senior Scientist Gave a Sworn Statement saying He and His Colleagues Committed Scientific Fraud to Coverup Vaccine-Autism Link

In 2014, a senior CDC scientist, Dr. William Thompson, blew the whistle and said he and his colleagues covered up a vaccine-autism association, particularly among African-American boys, identified in a study published in Pediatrics.

Thompson testified in a sworn statement that he was present when his CDC colleagues and coauthors met and literally threw some of the data into a trash can. He says he saved original copies and put them in a safe, believing they had committed a crime by destroying the material. Others at CDC deny it.
At the bottom of Table 7 it also shows that for the non-birth certificate sample, the adjusted race effect statistical significance was huge. All the authors and I met and decided sometime between August and September '02 not to report any race effects for the paper. Sometime soon after the meeting, we decided to exclude reporting any race effects, the co-authors scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study. The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room and reviewed and went through all the hard copy documents that we had thought we should discard and put them in a huge garbage can. However, because I assumed it was illegal and would violate both FOIA and DOJ requests, I kept hard copies of all documents in my office and I retained all associated computer files. I believe we intentionally withheld controversial findings from the final draft of the Pediatrics paper.

From sworn statement by CDC's Dr. William Thompson
After the controversy, CDC insiders say the agency quickly sought reanalyses to try to counter Dr. Thompson.

At the same time, propagandists who write on point with the vaccine industry, such as Seth Mnookin, Dr. Gorski of ("Respectful Insolence"), and authors at Snopes, Vox, Wikipedia and even The Washington Post attacked and controversialized Dr. Thompson, implying the well-regarded CDC scientist was actually an anti-vaccine nut.

Read more reporting on vaccine safety and other medical issues here.

Dr. Thompson and the controversy, along with secretly recorded audiotapes, are the subject of the documentary VAXXED.

VAXXED has largely been censored from the Internet, and controversialized by propaganda groups such as Media Matters, which is aligned with the interests of the vaccine industry, and smears scientists and journalists who are off the narrative.

VAXXED was also widely attacked by authors and publications on point with the vaccine industry, such as Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times, and

Though Dr. Thompson, one of the study's authors, admitted or claimed he and his colleagues had committed scientific fraud, the journal Pediatrics declined to retract the questioned study, or even note the fraud what one of the authors was claiming.

A Pediatrics spokesman told me, when I asked, that since Dr. Thompson's CDC co-authors had denied committing scientific fraud, there was no need to retract the article.

The journal said it did not contact or interview Dr. Thompson about his claims.

A CDC post about the controversy acknowledges the study's findings that found an association between vaccines and autism, without addressing Dr. Thompson's data and claims. But the official CDC position theorizes that the apparent association was just coincidental.
The findings revealed that vaccination between 24 and 36 months was slightly more common among children with autism, and that association was strongest among children 3-5 years of age. The authors reported this finding was most likely a result of immunization requirements for preschool special education program attendance in children with autism.

CDC on 2004 study controversy in which a co-author admitted fraud
Read more on the study from CDC and the controversy at the link below:
  • CDC Statement: 2004 MMR and Autism Study
  • CDC Blocks Dr. Thompson's testimony
  • Read the correction of a story regarding government vaccine expert and vaccine inventor Dr. Paul Offit, who made false claims about a CBS report exposing industry ties to Every Child By Two and other groups.
  • Read the CBS story Dr. Offit made false claims about.
Watch the video here.

Read the account below of "Informed Consent Action Network" (ICAN) regarding its lawsuit to stop CDC from claiming "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism."

ICAN, through its attorneys led by Aaron Siri, has been relentless in its legal demands and actions to compel the CDC to remove its blanket claim that "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism" from its website.

We are excited to report that the CDC has finally capitulated to those demands! It has removed this claim from its website! CDC's Autism-Vaccine Page

Old Version vs New Version CDC Web

Old Version vs. New Version
The more than three-year journey for how ICAN, and its legal team, achieved this result is a story of determined persistence. Here are the highlights.

ICAN's Opening Salvo (Oct. 12, 2017 - Dec. 31, 2018)

The journey began with a letter sent to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on October 12, 2017. That letter explained why the CDC cannot scientifically claim that "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism" on its website. ICAN then ended with the following demand:
"Please confirm that HHS shall forthwith remove the claim that 'Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism' from the CDC website, or alternatively, please identify the specific studies on which HHS bases its blanket claim that no vaccines cause autism?"
To put HHS and the CDC (an agency within HHS) on their heels, mere days after sending this letter, ICAN also sent a FOIA request on November 1, 2017, demanding: All reports, scientific studies, and any other documents the CDC relied upon to support the assertion "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism" located on its website

The CDC quickly called ICAN's counsel, Aaron Siri, regarding this request. After some negotiations, the CDC formally responded on November 7, 2017, stating that "A search of our records failed to reveal any documents beyond the records hyperlinked in the specific web site" to support the claim that vaccines do not cause autism.

The CDC had thus revealed a truth, one that HHS could not run from in its response to ICAN's letter. On January 18, 2018, HHS responded to ICAN's October 12th letter. In that letter, HHS provided a list of studies it said supported the conclusion on its website that "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism." All of the studies cited related either to a single vaccine, MMR, or to a single vaccine ingredient, thimerosal. None of these studies support the claim that vaccines given during the first six months of life do not cause autism. Given that HHS failed to support its claim that "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism," ICAN responded by letter dated December 31, 2018 wherein ICAN asserted that "HHS cannot scientifically claim that 'Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism'" and "must therefore remove this claim from the CDC website until it can produce the studies to support the claim."

ICAN's Pincer Maneuver (Jan. 1, 2019 to June 18, 2019)

In order to keep the pressure on to force the CDC to be honest with the public, during the first six months of 2019, ICAN submitted numerous requests for communications among key personnel within the CDC relating to autism. Some of these requests sought emails going back decades. The key players within the CDC with regard to vaccines and autism now knew we were watching, and that we would have their unvarnished, internal emails related to autism.

ICAN Drops the Gauntlet (June 19, 2019 to Dec. 30, 2019)

Now that ICAN had gathered the proof in the form of evidence and admissions it needed to hold the CDC's feet to the fire, on June 19, 2019, ICAN demanded that the CDC produce copies of the studies it relies upon to claim that all the vaccines given during the first six months of life "Do Not Cause Autism." These vaccines include DTaP, HepB, Hib, PCV13, and IPV. ICAN also demanded that the CDC produce studies to support that the cumulative exposure to these vaccines during the first six months of life "Do Not Cause Autism."

ICAN, of course, already had the CDC's admissions on these points from its prior FOIA request in November 2017, the HHS letter exchange, and the CDC's internal emails. The CDC had nowhere to hide and no way to dissemble. As expected, it responded to ICAN's request with the same list of studies involving MMR or thimerosal. Not a single study supported that DTaP, HepB, Hib, PCV13, and IPV do not cause autism.

ICAN Battles the CDC in Court (Dec. 31, 2019 to March 5, 2020)

ICAN then put the pressure directly on the CDC. Instead of walking away after the CDC effectively admitted it did not have the studies ICAN sought, ICAN sued the CDC in federal court. The suit focused on the CDC's claim that "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism" on the basis that the CDC had not specifically listed the precise studies that it asserts support that claim.

This lawsuit also quoted from the deposition of Dr. Stanley Plotkin, the godfather of vaccinology, who admitted under oath that he was
"okay with telling the parent that DTaP/Tdap does not cause autism even though the science isn't there yet to support that claim."
After a lot of wrangling between ICAN's counsel Aaron Siri, and the Department of Justice, which was representing the CDC, the CDC finally capitulated and signed a stipulation that was entered as an order of the court on March 2, 2020in which the CDC identified 20 studies as the universe of support it relies upon to claim that DTaP, HepB, Hib, PCV13, and IPV do not cause autism.

Here is a summary of the vaccines these studies cover:
1 relating to MMR (not a vaccine ICAN asked about);· 13 relating to thimerosal (not an ingredient in any vaccine ICAN asked about);· 4 relating to both MMR and thimerosal;· 1 relating to antigen (not a vaccine) exposure; and· 1 relating to MMR, thimerosal, and DTaP. Incredibly, the one study relating to DTaP on the CDC's list was a recent review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), paid for by the CDC, which conducted a comprehensive review looking specifically for studies relating to whether DTaP does or does not cause autism. The IOM concluded that it could not identify a single study to support that DTaP does not cause autism.

Instead, the only relevant study the IOM could identify found an association between DTaP and autism. In other words, the only study the CDC listed that actually looked at any of the vaccines given to babies during the first six months of life concluded that there are no studies to support that DTaP does not cause autism.

Yet, the CDC chose that study as one of the few that supports its claim that "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism"! This reality is truly incredible because, when it comes to autism, vaccines are the one suspected culprit that the CDC claims to have exhaustively investigated but, yet, the CDC could not provide a single study to support its conclusion that the vaccines given during the first six months of life do not cause autism. The CDC regularly complains that those raising concerns about vaccine safety are unscientific and misinformed. It is therefore truly stunning that when we asked the CDC for studies to support its claim that "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism," the March 2, 2020 stipulation and order made it abundantly clear that it was the CDC's own claim that "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism" that was unscientific.

ICAN's Coup de Grâce (Mar. 6, 2020 to Aug. 26, 2020)

And now for the coup de grâce. ICAN's demands at the end of 2019 and over which it took the CDC to court in early 2020 were for the studies the CDC "relied upon" to claim that Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism. ICAN now had a court ordered stipulation that specifically listed the twenty studies the CDC "relied upon" to support this claim - none of which supported that the vaccines given during the first six months of life do not cause autism.

To assure that the CDC understood ICAN was never, ever, ever, letting this issue go, on March 6, 2020 (days after concluding the federal lawsuit) ICAN submitted the following FOIA demand to the CDC: "All studies supporting the claim that DTaP does not cause autism" and days later requested "Studies created or retained by CDC to support the claim that DTaP does not cause autism." The difference between this and ICAN's prior requests is subtle but powerful.

Instead of asking for the studies, the CDC "relied upon" to support that DTaP does not cause autism (as it did previously), ICAN was now seeking the studies that in fact support that DTaP does not cause autism. In response to this request, the CDC could not list its MMR or thimerosal studies - its hands were tied. It understood there was nowhere left to hide its unsupported claim that "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism." And it knew that ICAN would again take it to court, and this time the outcome could be even harsher.

The CDC Capitulates

On the heels of the foregoing, and dozens of related demands regarding autism that ICAN continued to press, in the dead of the night, and without any fanfare or announcement, on August 27, 2020, the CDC website removed the claim that "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism" from its website!

The CDC had finally capitulated to the truth! Compare for yourself the CDC's autism-vaccine webpage on August 26, 2020 versus August 27, 2020. You may be wondering why we waited until now to announce this amazing news. Well, ICAN and its legal team have been so busy fighting on dozens of vaccine related fronts (mandatory MMR vaccines, flu shot requirements, improper COVID vaccine trials, etc.) that we only realized the CDC's vaccine-autism claim had been removed when we recently turned back to that front! Like a Mayan temple hidden in plain sight for hundreds of years, ICAN only recently discovered the CDC's silent capitulation.

The Future

The most recent data from CDC shows that 1 in 36 children born this year in the United States will develop autism. This is a true epidemic. If the CDC had spent the same resources studying vaccines and autism as it did waging a media campaign against parents that claim vaccines caused their child's autism, the world would be a better place for everyone.

To their credit, parents with autistic children have never backed down. In the face of incessant brow beatings by public health authorities, studies have found between 40% and 70% of parents with an autistic child continue to blame vaccines for their child's autism, typically pointing to vaccines given during the first six months of life. These parents know what they experienced, what their parental instincts tell them, and no amount of shaming can change that truth. With the removal of the claim that "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism," it is ICAN's sincere hope that our public health authorities have turned or will soon be turning the corner on this issue.

That they will fund independent scientists to conduct the desperately needed studies of autism and the cumulative impact of the vaccines given during the first six months of life. The cries of parents who know that vaccines caused their child's autism should no longer be ignored. The science must be done. And ICAN will continue to fight to make sure that that it is done.


The CDC's website does continue to claim that "Vaccine ingredients do not cause autism" and so ICAN's fight continues! Our next step will be to force the CDC to admit whether or not they are also making this claim for aluminum adjuvants used in vaccines. And if so, to produce the studies to support this claim. (See ICAN's white paper on aluminum adjuvants and autism here.)

Of course, whether one or more ingredients, like water used in vaccines, does not cause autism is not really the issue. The question is whether the vaccine, the product itself as formulated, causes autism. And we now know that the CDC finally understands that it can no longer claim that "Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism."