Myth #: Vaccines Aren’t Worth The Risk
Despite parent concerns, children have been successfully vaccinated for decades. In fact, there has never been a single credible study linking vaccines to long term health conditions.
As for immediate danger from vaccines, in the form of allergic reactions or severe side effects, the incidence of death are so rare they can’t even truly be calculated. For example, only one death was reported to the CDC between 1990 and 1992 that was attributable to a vaccine. The overall incidence rate of severe allergic reaction to vaccines is usually placed around one case for every one or two million injections.
Thimerosal And Autism: What’s The Link
Thimerosal was removed from most vaccines by 2001 . That’s because researchers worried that children were being exposed to too-high levels from receiving multiple vaccinations in a short timeframe. This decision was based on what levels were considered safe for methyl mercurythe kind in fish, which is structurally very different from the ethyl mercury found in thimerosal. Although scientists suspected that thimerosal was much safer than methyl mercury, they decided to remove it anyway, just to be super-careful.
However, a large study published in Archives of General Psychiatry in 2008 found that cases of autism continued to increase in California long after 2001, when thimerosal was removed from most vaccines. “If thimerosal in vaccines were causing autism, we’d expect that diagnoses of autism would decrease dramatically after the chemical was removed from vaccines,” says Eric Fombonne, M.D., director of the psychiatry division at Montreal Children’s Hospital and a member of the National Institutes of Health advisory board for autism research programs. “Not only did cases not decrease, but they continued to rise. That tells us that something else must be responsible for rising rates of autism in this country.”
A series of many studies in other countries and populations drew similar conclusions. “Thimerosal was removed from vaccines in Canada in 1996 and in Denmark in 1992,” says Dr. Fombonne. “Autism is still on the rise in those countries as well.”
A Fraudulent Study From 1998 Continues To Have Negative Impact On Health
This past week, Dr. Mark Green, M.D., who was recently elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Tennessee declared: Let me say this about autism, I have committed to people in my community, up in Montgomery County , to stand on the CDCs desk and get the real data on vaccines. Because there is some concern that the rise in autism is the result of the preservatives that are in our vaccines. As a physician, I can make that argument and I can look at it academically and make the argument against the CDC, if they really want to engage me on it,”
As a clinician dedicated to serving people with autism and their families, I am both appalled and disheartened that a physician and future member of Congress has once again promulgated the “vaccines cause autism” narrative that has led to so much misinformation and fear regarding vaccinating toddlers and preschoolers against deadly diseases. Moreover, these shameful comments demonstrate why this lie has proven extremely difficult to overcome.
Not knowing what causes autism creates a knowledge vacuum that can be readily filled with the certainty that people, such as Dr. Green, who know vaccines cause autism and who argue that the CDC, federal government, Big Pharma, and the media are in an evil cabal to cover up the truth.
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Should My Kid Get Vaccinated
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many other reputable organizations agree that vaccines do not cause autism, there are still small but vocal groups who believe they do. And amid that conflicting information, some parents might opt not get their children vaccinated“just to be safe,” because they worry about other possible reactions, or because of religious or other beliefs.
“But if you choose not to vaccinate your child, you are increasing his risk of contracting serious diseases that can lead to complications, hospitalization, and even death,” says Dr. Fombonne. For example, after the MMR vaccine was first linked to autism in England, many parents stopped vaccinating their childrenand several children died during a measles outbreak in Ireland soon afterward. And a recent measles outbreak in the United States has infected hundreds of people.
For all the major childhood vaccinations , most experts agree that the many, many benefits from getting vaccinated far outweigh any possible side effects or risks.
Vaccines Save You Money
Vaccines are an investment in your family’s health and financial future. Diseases like measles, mumps and rubella can take a steep financial toll on a family. A sick child can rack up significant medical bills, force parents to take time off work and pull kids from school.
The evidence is clear. There is no link between Autism and vaccines.
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Not Vaccinating Your Kids Puts Everyone In Danger
These anti-vaxxers’ actions have serious health consequences for kids everywhere.
The anti-vaccine movement caused the worst measles outbreak in 20 years, according to a 2015 Center for Disease Control report. The United States erradicated Measles in 2000 and Whooping Cough in 1976, but have now made a comeback.
Vaccines Dont Cause Autism So What Does
Despite a flurry of research on autism spectrum disorder, the syndrome remains mysterious to most Americans. But experts say the answers are starting to come into focus.
Autism was once considered the kiss of parenting death, as Dr. Lawrence Diller, an expert in childhood developmental disorders and author of the influential book Remembering Ritalin, put it.
Before autism came to be seen as a spectrum of disorders ranging in severity, a diagnosis meant that the parent would have no relationship with their child, Diller said.
Those affected by autism have difficulties communicating and interacting with others.
With milder cases diagnosed as part of autism spectrum disorder , autism isnt a parenting death sentence anymore. But with rates of the developmental disorder doubling over the past decade, would-be parents still dread it. Researchers have hustled to provide some answers.
Related News: Measles Spreads in California Due to Clusters of Unvaccinated Kids »
The discoveries theyve made can, for the nonscientist, seem to increase rather than whittle away at the mystery of autism.
Its due in part to the many unanswered questions about this disorder that debunked research blaming vaccines for autism has continued to sway some parents.
One scientific certainty, reached after reviewing decades of studies on the effects of routine childhood vaccinations, is that the measles, mumps, and rubella, or MMR, vaccine is not linked to autism .
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Vaccine Ingredients Do Not Cause Autism
- One vaccine ingredient that has been studied specifically is thimerosal. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative used to prevent germs from contaminating multidose vials of vaccines. Research shows that thimerosal does not cause ASD. In fact, a 2004 scientific review by the IOM concluded that the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosalcontaining vaccines and autism.Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism external icon
Since 2003, there have been nine CDC-funded or conducted studies that have found no link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and ASD. These studies also found no link between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and ASD in children. Learn more about the CDC Studies on Thimerosal in Vaccines pdf icon.
Even before studies showed that thimerosal was not harmful, there was a national effort to reduce all types of mercury exposures in children. As precaution, thimerosal was removed or reduced to trace amounts in all childhood vaccines between 1999 and 2001. Currently, the only type of vaccine that contain thimerosal are flu vaccines packaged in multidose vials. There are thimerosal-free alternatives available for flu vaccine. For more information, see the Timeline for Thimerosal in Vaccines.
Besides thimerosal, some people have had concerns about other vaccine ingredients in relation to ASD. However, no links have been found between any vaccine ingredients and ASD.
Beyond Vaccines: 5 Things That Might Really Cause Autism
ByRachael Rettnerpublished 7 January 11
The idea that vaccines cause autism received yet another blow this week, with a new article in the British Journal of Medicine declaring the 1998 study by Andrew Wakefield, which originally found an autism-vaccine link, an “elaborate fraud.” The article is the latest criticism of a theory that has been widely discredited. But if vaccines are off the table, what does cause autism?
While scientists are still investigating the issue, they say the disorder likely has a number of causes involving both our genes and our environment, or some combination of the two. For instance, people may have underlying genetic susceptibilities to autism that are triggered by something they encounter in the environment.
Making things even more complicated is the fact that autism, which is characterized by problems interacting and communicating with others, is not a single disorder, but a range of disorders that may have various causes.
“People are going to manifest the disorder in different ways, and that could be because there are different sets of genes, different sets of environmental factors,” that contribute to how the disorder presents itself, said Alycia Halladay, director of research for environmental sciences for Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy organization that funds autism research.
Here are the latest findings and ideas from scientists about what might really cause this mysterious condition.
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Talking About Vaccines: Autism
Claims that vaccines cause autism have led some parents to delay or refuse vaccines for their children. The most common claims are that autism is caused by MMR vaccine, vaccines that contain thimerosal, or too many vaccines. Many scientific studies have been done to test these claims. None has shown any correlation between vaccines and autism.
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Why Are Autism Rates Increasing
The biggest question about autism is why the diagnosis rate is increasing so quickly.
It has more than doubled since 2001, now affecting one in 42 boys and one in 189 girls.
Broader diagnostic criteria account for some of that growth, experts say, but not all. In fact, ASD is still probably underdiagnosed in less affluent communities, experts said.
A recent analysis found that changing diagnostic and reporting criteria account for 60 percent of the increase in autism rates. In other words, the disorder may not be increasing quite as fast as the numbers indicate, but it is still on the rise.
We believe that there is a very real increase in autism cases that cannot be fully attributed to changes in diagnosis and awareness, Wang said.
Autism has a genetic component, but genes alone cant account for the increasing prevalence of the disorder. And how exactly autism risk works remains unclear, at least for the layperson.
In about 1 in 3 sets of identical twins, one twin develops autism and the other does not. A recent study found that even in siblings who both have autism, the genetic fingerprints of the disease are not the same.
Clearly, autism isnt passed on the way hair color or eye color is. About 100 genes have been tied to autism or to its hallmark behaviors, but no one gene mutation causes the disorder.
There must be an environmental component as well, researchers agree but what is it?
What picture of autism can we draw from these seemingly unrelated findings?
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Myth #: Vaccines Can Infect My Child With The Disease It’s Trying To Prevent
Vaccines can cause mild symptoms resembling those of the disease they are protecting against. A common misconception is that these symptoms signal infection. In fact, in the small percentage where symptoms do occur, the vaccine recipients are experiencing a body’s immune response to the vaccine, not the disease itself. There is only one recorded instance in which a vaccine was shown to cause disease. This was the Oral Polio Vaccine which is no longer used in the U.S. Since then, vaccines have been in safe use for decades and follow strict Food and Drug Administration regulations.
Timing Of First Symptoms
Using a sophisticated movement analysis, videos from children eventually diagnosed with autism or not diagnosed with autism were coded and evaluated for their capacity to predict autism. Children who were eventually diagnosed with autism were predicted from movies taken in early infancy. This study supported the hypothesis that very subtle symptoms of autism are present in early infancy and argues strongly against vaccines as a cause of autism.
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Vaccines And Autism Timeline: How The Truth Unfolded
The idea that vaccines cause autism received yet another blow this week, with a new article in the British Journal of Medicine declaring the 1998 study by Andrew Wakefield, which originally found an autism-vaccine link, an “elaborate fraud.”
MyHealthNewsDaily brings you a play-by-play look at the events that have unfolded over the years since the study that ignited the controversy.
What About All Vaccinations Combined
Researchers have also looked to see if all the vaccines required before age 2 somehow together triggered autism. Children receive 25 shots in the first 15 months of life. Some people feared that getting all those shots so early in life could lead to the development of autism, but there is no evidence that this is true.
But the CDC compared groups of children who received vaccines on the recommended schedule and those whose vaccines were delayed or didnât get them at all. There was no difference in the autism rate between the two groups.
In 2004, the Immunization Safety Review Committee of the Institute of Medicine published a report on the topic. The group looked at all the studies on vaccines and autism, both published and unpublished. It released a 200-page report stating there was no evidence to support a link between vaccines and autism.
Still, studies continue to look at the issue. In 2019, the largest study to date looked at almost 660-thousand children over a course of 11 years and found no link between the vaccine and autism.
Indian Journal of Psychiatry: âThe MMR Vaccine and Autism: Sensation, Refutation, Retraction, and Fraud.â
Offit, P., and Moser, C., Vaccines and Your Child: Separating Fact from Fiction, Columbia University Press, 2011.
American Journal of Medical Genetics: âComorbidity of Intellectual Disability Confounds Ascertainment of Autism: Implications for Genetic Diagnosis.â
BMJ: âHow the Case Against the MMR Vaccine Was Fixed.â
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Is There A Connection Between Vaccines And Autism
Is there a connection between vaccines and autism? Parris
No, there is no connection between vaccines and autism.
Autism is a condition that affects the brain and makes communicating and interacting with other people more difficult. The cause of autism is unknown. But genetics, differences in brain anatomy, and toxic substances in the environment are thought to contribute to children developing the condition.
So how did the idea that vaccines play a role get started? Much of the blame lies with a study published in 1998 that suggested that the MMR vaccine, or infection with the naturally occurring measles virus itself, might cause autism. Since then, numerous scientific studies have shown that there is no link between vaccines or any of their ingredients and autism. And the research used in that study was found to be false, the doctor who wrote it lost his medical license, and the medical journal that published it retracted the paper .
Even with the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe and effective, some parents still decide not to have their children vaccinated or to delay vaccinations. But this is extremely risky because vaccine-preventable diseases like measles are still around. An unvaccinated child who gets one of these preventable diseases could get very sick or even die, as could other people around the child.
Myth #: Vaccines Contain Unsafe Toxins
People have concerns over the use of formaldehyde, mercury or aluminum in vaccines. It’s true that these chemicals are toxic to the human body in certain levels, but only trace amounts of these chemicals are used in FDA approved vaccines. In fact, according to the FDA and the CDC, formaldehyde is produced at higher rates by our own metabolic systems and there is no scientific evidence that the low levels of this chemical, mercury or aluminum in vaccines can be harmful. See section III of this guide to review safety information about these chemicals and how they are used in vaccines.
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Autism And The Mmr Vaccine
What is Autism?
Autism is a complex biological disorder of development that lasts throughout a person’s life. People with autism have problems with social interaction and communication, so they may have trouble having a conversation with you, or they may not look you in the eye. They sometimes have behaviors that they have to do or that they do over and over, like not being able to listen until their pencils are lined up or saying the same sentence again and again. They may flap their arms to tell you they are happy, or they might hurt themselves to tell you they are not.
One person with autism may have different symptoms, show different behaviors, and come from different environments than others with autism. Because of these differences, doctors now think of autism as a “spectrum” disorder, or a group of disorders with a range of similar features. Doctors classify people with autism spectrum disorder based on their autistic symptoms. A person with mild autistic symptoms is at one end of the spectrum. A person with more serious symptoms of autism is at the other end of the spectrum. But they both have a form of ASD.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development , part of the National Institutes of Health , is one of the NIH Institutes doing research into various aspects of autism, including its causes, how many people have it, and its treatments.
Why do people think that vaccines can cause autism?
Should my child have the MMR vaccine?