Yet Another Study Says The Vaccine-Autism Link Is – Wait For It – Nonexistent
Results of yet another study are being released this week that confirm that there is no link between autism and vaccinations. This one focuses on a specific worry parents may have – the sheer number of vaccinations their children are required to get.
Many parents worry about the amount of vaccinations they are giving their children, prompting some to come up with their own delayed vaccination schedule. This can be dangerous for obvious reasons. There is something to be said for parental instinct, but making up your own vaccination schedule when you are not a medical doctor is pretty bold. From Health Day News:
Although some parents worry about the sheer number of vaccines babies typically receive, a new U.S. government study finds no evidence that more vaccinations increase the risk of autism.
Looking at about 1,000 U.S. children with or without autism, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found no connection between early childhood vaccinations and autism risk.
Children with autism and those without had the same total exposure to vaccine antigens — the substances in vaccines that trigger the immune system to develop infection-fighting antibodies.
I understand that the sheer number of vaccines on a schedule would be troubling to parents. My pediatrician group followed a vaccination schedule that I guess some may label as “delayed,” but it basically just assured that children would receive no more than three vaccinations at once. I was comfortable with this – even if it was just a placebo. It’s amazing how terrifying those first groups of vaccinations can be to a new mother who has been reading about all of the vaccine/autism hype.
Evidently there is no scientific evidence to back up these fears:
A recent survey found that about one-third of parents thought children receive too many vaccinations in their first two years of life, and that the shots could contribute to autism.
But there’s no scientific evidence of that, said Dr. Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
He said it’s understandable that parents might worry. “You see your baby receiving all these vaccines. It looks like too much. It feels like too much,” Offit said.
But, he said, there’s no biological basis for the idea that vaccines “overstimulate” the immune system, and that somehow leads to autism.
One thing I am glad about is that the autism/vaccination link scare has spurred so much more research. Parents can make informed medical decisions about how to best care for their children based on scientific research. While I sympathize with parents who are desperate to find a reason “why,” I don’t think it helps anyone to push theories that have no basis in science.