A woman infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. (WHO)

A study of the first five children vaccinated in an early clinical trial of a human coronavirus vaccine in Melbourne has reported a “series of autistic disease events” in some of the children following the vaccination. The vaccine, CmVax®, has been tested in the first phase of clinical trials in six countries but is yet to be approved. Researchers have been warned to be cautious in interpreting the findings after samples of the nasal spray shown to protect against coronavirus infections were then used to develop vaccines for other viruses.

The 2014 first wave of cases in Australia of the coronavirus, and the October 2018 first wave of the Syrian refugee crisis reported to affect 125,000 people, have both been linked to person-to-person transmission, and there is no vaccine or antiviral therapy for either of these situations.

Further evidence for a causal association between CmVax® and autism was found to come from two individual cases in Australia, one in Germany and two in the United States. This indicates that children in Australia had previously been exposed to other viruses before being vaccinated, likely causing a spontaneous antibody response.

Further research from the study suggests that although particular serotypes of the virus which cause both the acute respiratory infections and the suspected childhood syndromes, SARS and SARS-related coronavirus infections, remained unchanged in vaccinated children, the serotypes that showed increased resistance to the vaccine were found in other vaccinated children.

The research, which was published in Circulation, is considered important because of the large number of children tested. Children aged six to 11 years who received three doses of the vaccine in the pilot phase of testing were tested between 2010 and 2016, and all had a routine hospital visit for respiratory illnesses or for additional testing.

The first concern is that the vaccine was used for new uses before being adequately studied. Laith Nasser, the leader of the study, said, “We don’t really know what long-term risks these children may face.”

“It would be very difficult to know just how many other cases of autism may have occurred in those children which also had the vaccine.”

The second concern is that further study should continue to look for a causal association between vaccines and autism. One group of immunologists looking into this issue has suggested that if vaccination decisions are based on suspicions rather than findings, they should be more cautious in considering their results.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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