Will Vaccinations Cause Autism In My Child?
For a small child, vaccinations can be a frightening and painful experience. It's not all that much fun for mothers, either, but it can become overwhelmingly daunting for them when rumors begin to fly that certain vaccines may do more harm than good.
Are vaccinations really safe? Are you putting your baby at risk when you try to protect her from disease? New vaccines always bring with them an uncomfortable amount of uncertainty, and even long-trusted immunization procedures can suddenly come under scrutiny for new reasons. Nevertheless, most vaccines are a good idea, despite a degree of uncertainty.
The Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine (MMR) was approved and licensed by the FDA in 1967, and it has been used worldwide ever since. In the U.S., proof of MMR vaccination is generally required for school entry, and some states require a second dose after the original vaccination. It would seem that a vaccine that has been around for this long would be safe for your child. However, recent headlines have suggested that there might be a connection between the MMR vaccine and the onset of autism. So, should you now worry that this trusted vaccine will cause autism in your child?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there is no proof that autism is linked to MMR. The fact is, autism is usually diagnosed in children at around the same time that most kids receive the vaccine. This coincidence in timing has made it appear to some parents that their child's autism was caused by the MMR vaccine. A 1998 study lent credibility to such fears by suggesting the link. According to the CDC, however, numerous subsequent studies conducted worldwide have failed to find any link between the vaccine and autism. In addition, many other authoritative organizations have come to the same conclusion. Britain's Health Protection Agency (HPA) has confirmed the safety of MMR, and has expressed concern over the decline they've seen in the number of children vaccinated.