Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


US government website for collecting adverse events after vaccination is inaccessible to most users

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 19 May 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2449

Rapid Response:

The writing is on the wall

If the fallout from the vaccine programme is unmeasured and damage common, where would this show? One answer might be the burden of special educational needs (SEN).

In an earlier Rapid Response I pointed to the possibility of a rate of 10,000 new cases of ASD in London a year based on a BBC report, which would represent around 10% of young children [1], no doubt falling heavily on the population of boys.

Yesterday, another statistic came my way. In an article in Schoolsweek from June we read [2]:

"Released last week, the government data shows pupils with special needs statements or Education Health and Care Plans who are waiting for a school place rose from 1,710 in 2016 to 4,050 this year – an increase of 2.3 times."

This is presumably for England. What might not be immediately obvious is that this not only a very large rise it is also a very large number. A similar rise next year would give an above 1% figure for all children entering the education system being on a waiting list for Special Educational Needs places, on top of those who are being accommodated within an already stretched system.

I also note the recently published study by Leslie et al [3]:

"Results...Subjects with newly diagnosed AN (anorexia nervosa) were more likely than controls to have had any vaccination in the previous 3 months [hazard ratio (HR) 1.80, 95% confidence interval 1.21–2.68]. Influenza vaccinations during the prior 3, 6, and 12 months were also associated with incident diagnoses of AN, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and an anxiety disorder. Several other associations were also significant with HRs greater than 1.40 (hepatitis A with OCD and AN; hepatitis B with AN; and meningitis with AN and chronic tic disorder)."

But irrespective of specific causes we seem to have no health officials interested or concerned to investigate the swelling and unsustainable burden of SEN engulfing our society, which is fundamentally a medical problem loaded onto the educational and social systems.

[1] John Stone, 'US government website for collecting adverse events after vaccination is inaccessible to most users' 29 May 2017
[2] Jess Stauffenberg, 'Pupils with special needs waiting for school place more than doubles',
[3] Leslie, Kobre, Richmand , Guloksuz, Leckman, 'Temporal Association of Certain Neuropsychiatric Disorders Following Vaccination of Children and Adolescents: A Pilot Case–Control Study',

Competing interests: No competing interests

19 July 2017
John Stone
UK Editor
London N22