Tuesday, February 9, 2016

No link between vaccines and autism?

There's a reason Andrew Jeremy Wakefield is retired

Is it truly safe for our children to be injected with life-threatening diseases?

Article summarizing the issue and presenting findings in layman's terms.
Initial study rebutting initial claims of a link between vaccination and autism.

The Journal of Pediatrics has found no link between vaccinations and autism in its latest study. The study was carried out using data gathered between 1994-1999, alleviating any concerns that data collection could have been biased in some way. The study was conducted by the Center for Disease Control and utilized the histories of 1008 children who received vaccinations during the time period, 256 of whom had been diagnosed with autism, along with 752 who had not. Researchers used a metric of antigens present in the subject's body; a component of vaccines which emulate antibodies in order to "teach" an immune system to fight viruses.
The controversy began with the study conducted by a Dr. Andrew Jeremy Wakefield, a British former surgeon and medical researcher. Wakefield's study found that in addition to autism, there was a link between the MMR vaccine and bowel disease (no pun intended!). Earlier studies that failed to reproduce Wakefield's results cast a shadow on these controversial findings, and this latest CDC has cemented for many that there is, in fact, no link.
Still, others were thoroughly convinced by the initial study. Medical Journal Pediatrics found that between the years of 2006 and 2009, the number of parents who decided to forgo vaccinations for their children quadrupled. Already this affects of this shift of thought are becoming evident - the 2012 outbreak of whooping cough was the worst in the U.S. in 50 years. The 2014 Ebola outbreak was the largest in history, and took many lives in the United States. A rubeola, aka measles outbreak began in Disneyland California of last year, prompting Mexico to tighten its border with Southern California. Humorously, Rubeola is defined as "A viral infection that's serious for small children but is easily preventable by a vaccine."

So what do you think?
Do you plan on vaccinating your children?
Is protection from rare diseases really worth autism or other developmental disabilities?
Should the medical community have the authority to decide for everyone, or is it up to the parents?
Do their personal freedoms outweigh the risk posed to everyone else?

5 comments:

  1. I grew up always being told by my parents that vaccines are absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy community, so I'm pretty surprised that so many parents are leaving their children unimmunized. The article from NBC explained that there was "an almost four-fold increase between 2006 and 2009 in the percentage of parents who delayed or skipped vaccinations",a big difference. In a sense, I feel like these parents, who are afraid of possible health risks from vaccines, are forgetting about how much of a positive difference that vaccines has actually made. Vaccines have saved us from many diseases,and even if there was a small health risk associated with them, I still think the good outweighs the bad. These articles show important discoveries that would hopefully inform misguided parents about vaccine safety.

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  2. It was also very important to my family that I get a vaccination. Coming from a parents point of view about the "rumor" of any child becoming autistic from vaccines, is quite terrifying, but not to a point where one should cease to give their child a vaccination. "Experts say that by delaying certain vaccinations, parents may be putting their children -- and those of others -- at a far greater risk..." Why would you want to put your child in risk of contracting a deadly disease? In the future I will vaccinate my child no matter what "rumors" there are about vaccinations. I think the protection from diseases is important and if my child got autism from the vaccines, so be it I would rather have a mostly healthy autistic child than one that could possibly contract a deadly disease. I believe the parents should be able to decide because it's their child and they have full responsibility over the child.

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  3. I come from a family with a lot of medical background, my mother and both grandmothers working/worked in the medical field. It was always very important to my family, and me, to get vaccines. I definitely plan on vaccinating my children. There is no connection between autism and vaccines. None whatsoever. The reason why this became a rumor was because around the time children got vaccines, a little while later just happens to be the age that symptoms of autism occur. However, there have been new medical advances that find even earlier symptoms of autism, so the rumor has been completely debunked by that, and numerous studies. The first "study" done on this was by Andrew Wakefield, who created a hypothesis, found no evidence of a connection between the two, altered his "evidence" to support his claim. Needless to say, Wakefield lost his medical license and the paper he wrote has been discredited many many times. There is NO link, so yes, I would vaccinate my children. Yes, it should be decided by the medical community NOT the parents, because it also affects other people's health, not just their children's.
    -Arianna Richwood

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  4. I am definitely planning on vaccinating my kids in the future, and I think it's extremely illogical for parents to put aside getting their children vaccinated. Since "vaccines actually help the immune system to defend the body," as mentioned in the article, this not only makes their kids more prone to getting diseases, but also poses as a dangerous threat to others who interact with these kids. Protection from rare diseases is definitely worth the low to no risk of a developmental disease, especially since vaccinations are now seen to have no relation to autism.

    Although I strongly support vaccinations, I still think it should be the parent's decision as to whether or not their child gets vaccinated. The medical community shouldn't have the authority to control something that could affect a child's health, but hopefully these studies will convince more parents to take the necessary measures to keep their child, as well as others, healthy.

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  5. If I have kids, I plan on vaccinating them. Even if there were a link between vaccines and autism, I would rather my kids have a developmental disorder than for them to die from polio at the age of 8.

    I believe that it is the parent's decision to choose whether to vaccinate their children, but I feel like if you decide to have children, you have to bear the responsibility to take care of them, which means to research the things you do to them. It doesn't take that much research to discover that vaccines don't cause autism.

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