23 April 2011
Autism and Vaccines
More than twelve years ago a dangerous trend was started by an article written by Dr. Andrew Wakefield stating that vaccines might cause autism in children. Autism is a severe and devastating disorder characterized by repetitive habits and impaired social interaction and communication abilities. The article led to many parents choosing not to have their children vaccinated. Not soon after Wakefield’s publication, there were dramatic increases in the outbreaks of the illnesses, such as Pertussis (Whooping Cough) and Measles, that the boycotted vaccines were created to prevent. These outbreaks led to over 25 studies exploring the potential link between vaccines and autism, none of which found a statistically significant correlation between the two. (Final Word 2-3) Even though it is clear that there is no link between autism and childhood vaccines, many parents still refuse to have their children vaccinated. These parents believe that they should have the right to choose whether or not to have their child vaccinated, those who disagree argue that parents should not be allowed to (have the right to) put others at risk for the deadly diseases the vaccines are meant to eliminate. With the evidence presented, there is obviously no scientific link between vaccines and autism and no reason to fear having your child vaccinated.
The 1998 study performed by Wakefield claimed that the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine and the preservative thimerosal had the ability to cause autism. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the MMR vaccine and thimerosal are dangerous. (Baker) In January of 2010 Britain’s General Medical Council performed an investigation into the research methodology and ethics of Andrew Wakefield. The council discovered that Wakefield was paid over $675,000 by a law firm hoping to sue the companies who make the MMR vaccine. Nearly all of Wakefield’s data in his study...
Cited: “…And the ‘Final Word’ On the Role of Vaccines as A Cause Of Autism.” Child Health Alert [No Volume/Issue] (2010):2-3. Web 7 Apr. 2011
Baker, Jeffrey P. "BAKER RESPONDS." American Journal of Public Health 98.8 (2008), 1350-1351. Web 13 Apr. 2011
“Court Finds No Link Between Vaccines And Autism” Child Health Alert [No Volume/Issue] (2009):2-3. Web 7 Apr. 2011
Meadows, Michelle. "IOM Report: No Link Between Vaccines and Autism." FDA Consumer 38.5 (2004): 18-19. Web 11 Apr. 2011
Mnookin, Seth. “Autism And The Affluent” Newsweek 157.2/3 (2011):11-11. Web 7 Apr. 2011
Van Tine-Reichardt, Julia. "Vaccine Fears and Facts." Prevention 56.12 (2004): 115-16. Web 13 Apr. 2011
" '98 study linking vaccines to autism 'an elaborate fraud '." USA Today [No Volume/Issue] (2011) Web 11 Apr. 2011
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