July 16, 2018

Do Childhood Vaccinations Cause Autism?

vaccine shots

New research refutes previous claims that childhood immunizations cause autism

It’s the ongoing dilemma for new parents trying to decide if vaccinations is what is causing so many kids to show up with autism these days. Some doctors say yes, childhood vaccinations do cause autism, while others say there is not a link.

Many relied on vaccination researcher Andrew Wakefield. In 1998, he performed a study that linked vaccines to autism, but this week a prominent British medical journal accused him of fraud.

With further research, they are finding that Wakefield doctored the results of his original research. Many hope that this latest discovery will destroy his reputation and put an end to the anit-vaccination movement. Although they know people will still continue to take Wakefield’s side in this matter.

In his report, Wakefield showed 5 out of 12 kids had developed problems before they were even vaccinated. Another 3 children were said to have autism, when they didn’t have it at all.

Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said, “This scared people and it’s hard to unscare them. Until medicine can step up and say, ‘We understand the cause of autism,’ they may never be assured.” Offit went on to say it’s amazing how much damage one man can do.

In 1998, Wakefield made news following his publication that linked the measles-mumps-rubella to autism. Most of the small observations that were done were wrapped in hypothesis and there wasn’t even a full medical study performed. The idea exploded, however, as it gave parents something to grab onto.

Following that publication, immunization rates in England went from 92% to 73%, with some parts of London going as low as 50%. Although the United States also bought into the new theory, the immunization rates weren’t quite as dramatic as that of England.

Gradually other researchers began to test Wakefield’s hypothesis and they failed to confirm the link between autism and vaccines. It wasn’t until 2009 that the first claims that he had doctored the report came forward. Finally this last year the publication was pulled by the Lancet.