Right now, many parents are making decisions about vaccinations. Public schools tend to require that all students be vaccinated against certain diseases before that child is allowed to attend school. Parents can rest assured that another panel of scientists has confirmed the finding that the M. M. R. vaccine does not cause autism.
The vaccine that has caused so much debate is the M. M. R. vaccine. This is the shot that protects children against getting three very serious, and potentially deadly, diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. A panel of scientists that were assembled by the Institute of Medicine have confirmed, once again, that the M. M. R. vaccine does not cause autism.
The article written by Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues in 1998, that insisted that the M. M. R. vaccine actually caused autism, has been discredited. Ten of the twelve authors of that article have renounced it. A British journalist named Brian Deer found that the Wakefield study actually altered facts about the patients that were in the study, perhaps in order to make their claims appear more plausible.
Unfortunately, there are people who still believe that the M. M. R. vaccine causes autism, perhaps because there are celebrities who go on television and insist that this misinformation is true. There is a group called SafeMinds that is convinced that the Institute of Medicine excluded important research, or that they had not done enough research into the connection between the M. M. R. vaccine, and autism.
This has been responded to by the chairwoman of the panel of scientists who recently confirmed that autism is not caused by the M. M. R. vaccine. Dr. Ellen Wright Clayton points out that the group of scientists looked at more than 1,000 peer-reviewed articles. Out of those articles, the group did not see any adverse effects caused by vaccines.
In short, allowing your child to get vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella is not going to cause your child to have autism. Your child either had autism before this vaccine was administered, or your child did not have it at all. The vaccine is not actually causing autism.
On the other hand, if you choose not to let your child have the vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella, there is great potential that your child will catch those diseases. All of those diseases are highly contagious.
According to WebMD, measles, can result in complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis, permanent brain damage, and death. Complications from mumps include encephalitis, meningitis, and in some cases, problems with fertility. Complications from rubella include swollen glands and high fevers. Pregnant mothers who catch rubella can pass it onto their baby, (which causes other problems).
Image by Nathan Forget on Flickr