Vaccinations & Autism Concerns

Purpose of Vaccinations

Like most adults in the United States, I have received many vaccinations, including diphtheria, rubella, measles, mumps, and polio. These are diseases that are no longer a part of our daily lives due to vaccinations. The vaccination effort for polio has been a monumental success: in 1994 Polio was declared officially eradicated from the United States. If polio is eradicated from the world, no one will ever need to suffer from this debilitating disease again!

Unfortunately, many parents are now choosing to NOT vaccinate their children against these diseases. This is a dangerous choice; by choosing not to vaccinate their children, these parents are choosing to make their children vulnerable to terrible, deadly, and AVOIDABLE diseases.

Healthy children at play
Healthy children at play

Consequences of Not Vaccinating

A child who is not vaccinated against a disease is in danger of catching that disease. Furthermore, if one unvaccinated child catches a disease, and is then allowed to attend daycare or school, they can pass it along to other unvaccinated children, causing an outbreak where many children fall ill and are at risk.

Before vaccinations were mandated in the United States, outbreaks of diphtheria, rubella, measles, mumps, and polio were common and many children died or suffered from lifelong debilitating effects as a result. By choosing not to vaccinate a child, parents are raising the risk of widespread outbreaks once more.

Autism Concerns

"Vaccines are held to the highest standard of safety. The United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history. Years of testing are required by law before a vaccine can be licensed. Once in use, vaccines are continually monitored for safety and efficacy." - CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/basic/parents.htm

There is no evidence that connects vaccines with causing autism or any other chronic disorder. Some people continue to insist that vaccinating a child puts that child at risk of developing autism, but this is simply NOT TRUE. There is NO RISK of developing autism as a result of receiving vaccinations.  Rigorous scientific studies have conclusively proved that vaccinations do not cause autism; the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has summarized the results of many studies in this document.

Benefits of Vaccinating

Ensuring that your child receives his or her vaccinations is an essential part of protecting their health and lives.  Not only are you preventing your child from contracting a vaccine-preventable disease, you are also ensuring that they don't suffer from life-long after effects of the disease (such as paralysis in the case of polio).  Also, by not getting one of these diseases, they will not have to miss school to recover from them, and so have a better chance at academic success.  Making sure that your child is fully vaccinated is one of the most important duties of a responsible parent; this is one of the foundations for the healthy, successful life every parent hopes that their child will have.  

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