Jackie - posted on 06/08/2010 ( 76 moms have responded )
The End of the Autism/Vaccine Debate?
Medical experts hope the retraction of the 1998 study that scared parents and started the controversy will finally help people feel at peace with immunizations
On playgrounds and at playdates, it's hard to have a conversation about childhood immunizations without the word autism popping up. In fact, a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics showed that one in four parents is concerned that vaccines can cause autism. It's no wonder when the Internet and television airwaves are full of personal stories that raise a question about the link. But the study that started the autism vaccine scare was recently retracted by the prestigious journal that published it 12 years ago, and the lead researcher had his medical license pulled. Given these developments, some experts hope we have finally reached the end of the debate.
In 1998, a British gastroenterologist, Andrew Wakefield, M.D. and his colleagues published a paper in the British medical journal The Lancet suggesting that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine might cause symptoms associated with autism. "Wakefield had a case study of eight children who had received the MMR and then developed symptoms of autism," says Paul Offit, MD, chief of infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "He also believed they had abnormal intestinal tracts and proposed a syndrome -- linking intestinal inflammation from receiving the MMR with the development of autism."
Though Wakefield acknowledged in the paper that "he could not say whether the MMR caused autism," says Dr. Offit, "it opened the door for the notion that a vaccine could cause autism. It was the Royal Free Hospital, an excellent hospital in London, it was published in the oldest medical journal, and it was off to the races." In England, thousands of parents refused to vaccinate their children, resulting in hundreds of hospitalizations and three deaths in Ireland from measles.
I personally let my daughter have every vaccine they wanted to give her on time. I figured the doctors knew better than I. I also would rather my daughter be protected from the kids that went UN-vaccinated because parents refused the very immunizations that have saved millions and the same immuniztions that we take for granted simply because most of our generation has never seen what Polio can do to somebody first hand. Or whooping cough or measles and mumps. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if my daughter had come down with anything like that and I could have prevented it. On the other hand, I don't know what it like to play the other side of the fence. Im just speaking fro my personal opinion.
I know that this can get heated so lets play nice ladies. I'm just curious if you did or did not get the vaccines due to the Autism link. If you didn't will you change your minds now or do you have other reasons?