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?