Autism, Vaccination and Immigrants – Yet another Clear Correlation An Update

Posted on Aug 9, 2017 in Medical Rewind

Hear what Dr. Buttar and Robert Scott Bell have to say about this article on the  May 15, 2017 Medical Rewind Show.

MinnesotaBy Edward Yazbak MD

A recent measles outbreak has recently been reported in Minnesota.

According to the MN State Department of Health, there have been 51 confirmed measles cases (48 children and 3 adults) as of May 10, 2017.

Forty seven cases were unvaccinated, one case had 1 dose of MMR vaccine and two cases had 2 doses of MMR. The vaccination status of one case was unknown.

There was no mention of hospitalization or death.

Forty six cases were Somali Minnesotan.

The previous measles outbreak was in 2011 when 26 cases were reported.

Wolff and Madlon-Kay discussed that 2011 measles outbreak in their publication titled “Childhood vaccine beliefs reported by Somali and non-Somali parents”.

They reported that: “Somali parents were more likely than non-Somali parents to have refused the MMR vaccine for their child (odds ratio, 4.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-18.0). Most of them refused vaccines because they had heard of adverse effects associated with the vaccine or personally knew someone who suffered an adverse effect. Somali parents were significantly more likely to believe that autism is caused by vaccines (35% vs. 8% of non-Somali parents). Somalis were also more likely to be uncomfortable with administering multiple vaccines at one visit (odds ratio, 4.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-11.9) and more likely to believe that children receive too many vaccines.”

The authors concluded that: “Statistically significant differences in perceptions and use of vaccines were reported by Somali and non-Somali participants. Somali parents are more likely to believe that the MMR vaccine causes autism and more likely to refuse the MMR vaccine than non-Somali parents. These beliefs have contributed to an immunization gap between Somali and non-Somali children.”

The complete publication is available at


On January 21, 2011, I published my original review: Autism, Vaccination and Immigrants – Yet another Clear Correlation” It was later translated to Russian.

Here it is, as previously published.


Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) seem more common among young Somalis in Minnesota and among immigrant communities in several western countries.

At least as late as 2003, Ethiopian-born immigrants to Israel had no recorded cases of autism.

[That is correct: Not a single one!]


The medical literature contains several reports of a higher prevalence of autism among immigrant communities worldwide.

The earliest report I could find was published on March 6, 1976 in the Australian Medical Journal. According to Haper and Williams, relatively more New South Wales children who had at least one foreign-born parent whose native language was not English, carried a diagnosis of infantile autism. The authors attributed the behavioral changes to environmental stresses, adjustment difficulties and a confusing language environment leading to de-compensation of an already vulnerable child.[i]

Autism was a purely psychiatric disorder at the time. Just nine years earlier, Bruno Bettleheim had published his widely read The Empty Fortress: Infantile Autism and the Birth of the Self, where he promoted his sad and offensive “refrigerator mother” theory of autism.