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Do Vaccines Cause Autism?

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The development of autism in children immediately after the MMR triple shot, or after a large amount of vaccines in a short time period, has generated concern as to whether or not there is a relationship between the two. There have been many parents including celebrities advocating for safer vaccines without toxicants. There is no medical proof, however, that vaccines cause autism.

Barbara Fisher, the founder for the National Vaccine Information Center said “My son was a bright, precocious, healthy two and a half year old child in 1980 when I took him in for his fourth DBT shot. He regressed physically, mentally, and emotionally, and became a totally different child. He was eventually diagnosed with multiple learning disabilities, an Attention Deficit Disorder, and had to remain in a classroom for the learning disability disabled throughout his public school.” Fisher’s organization, founded in 1982, convinced scientists to create a safer DBT vaccine and also encouraged vaccine laws to be passed. Fisher has set a precedent for other parents to start similar organizations, such as Generation Rescue.

Generation Rescue was originally a community of parents online that shared their stories about their children developing autism. One of the site’s main focuses is vaccine safety. After Jenny Mccarthy’s son received his MMR triple shot, he started having seizures and developed severe autism. She found the Generation Rescue website, and eventually became a spokeswoman and turned it into an organization for vaccine safety. She marched in Washington with 8500 families at the Green Our Vaccines rally. The intention was to raise awareness that 36 vaccinations in the first few years of life is "too many too soon"; that known toxic ingredients need to be removed from vaccines; and that children have been developing autism, ADHD, and other neurological disorders after they receive vaccines. “People have the misconception that we want to eliminate vaccines,” said Mccarthy. “Please understand that we are not an antivaccine group. We are demanding safe vaccines. We want to reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins.”

Many advocates for safer vaccines have said there are dangerous toxins in vaccines. It is true that there is thimeresol, which contains mercury, in some vaccines. However, it is not a proven fact that mercury causes autism. “The fact that mercury is a toxicant isn’t sufficient to claim that mercury in vaccines can lead to autism,” said Eric Fombone, M.D. in a 2010 Frontline interview. Some parents refuse to give their children vaccines with thimeresol. However, according to the Generation Rescue website, “Many vaccines contain other toxic substances including ethylene glycol (antifreeze), phenol (a disinfectant dye), benzethonium chloride (a disinfectant), formaldehyde (a preservative and disinfectant), and aluminum (another known neuro-toxin).”

There is another belief that there are too many vaccines given in the United States compared to other countries and compared to the 1980s. The CDC’s recommended vaccine schedules for 1983 and 2010 are completely different. In 1983 the recommended vaccine schedule suggested four vaccines within the first sixteen years of life, and two of them are in series. On the contrary the CDC’s 2010 schedule recommends eleven different vaccines, most of which are in series, in the first six years of life. There were far fewer vaccines given in 1983. Many advocates have started following the 1983 schedule. Joyce Michael, who is around age 70, said “When I was a child there was polio and other diseases, but the only vaccine I got was small pox.” It has also been noted that Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland all have far fewer vaccines on their vaccine schedules and they have lower rates of autism.
There are no proven facts that say that vaccines cause autism. In England, Andrew Wakefield published a medical study that proved the MMR vaccine causes autism in 1988. However, this was proved inaccurate and he no longer has a medical license. Britain, Denmark, the United States, and Finland all published medical studies that provided evidence suggesting there was no association between the MMR shot and autism. However, many find this hard to believe. Generation Rescue says “If you plan to get the MMR vaccine, ask your doctor to give it in three separate vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella.” There is also a belief that the development of autism after children receive their vaccines can be a coincidence. Three vaccine specialists, interviewed for Frontline in 2010, strongly believe that vaccines and autism have no relation to each other. “This vaccination is given at an age where often the first symptoms of autism emerge in typically little girls around fifteen or eighteen month of age,” says Eric Fombone, M.D. “There are a certain set of diseases that become apparent when children reach a certain age,” says Anthony Fauci, M.D. Paul Offit, M.D., said “Just because one event followed one another doesn’t mean they caused one another.”




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sunnyhunny This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 9:44 pm:
Same here, my dad's a chiropractor, and he doesn't quite follow all of the steryotypes of being all anti medical science and everything but he has always been very careful about what is put into the bodies of me and my siblings.  Whenever serious medication is an option, he does lots of research to know what it really is that we're pumping into our bodies, and the potential side effects.  He did a lot of reading on vaccines, and was given significant reason to believe that va... (more »)
 
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RallyRThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 19, 2010 at 2:56 pm:
I believe it's vaccines. Vaccines cause too many problems. My sister and I were never given vaccines for anything chicken pox, the flu, the normal baby shots. We're fine. I've only had one tetnis shot and I lived on a farm for ten years. I never got sick. My cousins had all of the shots for everything and live in the cleanest house without a speck of dust and are always sick because they have weak immune systems. I believe vaccines do more harm than good.
 
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