Journalism for Magazines / Religion
According to the Autism Society of America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that for every 250 births, one infant will be autistic. That is quite a dramatic increase in the 94 years since autism was discovered. Additionally, boys are four times more likely to be susceptible to autism than girls. Almost a century has passed, and yet the source of autism has still not been found. Furthermore, many people, particularly parents, believe that vaccinations are to blame for this lifelong and incurable disability, and refuse to vaccinate their children due to fear of autism.
Autism is a brain disorder that obstructs the ability to communicate, interact, form relationships with others, and cause difficulty with going about day-to-day activities. Since the disorder, which can range from mild to extremely severe, tends to run in families, a strong genetic component is suspected. The main culprit that many parents fear is the relationship between autism and childhood vaccinations. However, medical scientists are skeptical of this link because parents of autistics often report that their children seemed healthy and normal in the first months or years of their life, but then regressed in their development as normal, functioning children.
The fear behind children receiving vaccinations is that autism or other types of disabilities will form. In the fall of 2003, a study was conducted to explore the question of whether vaccines were to blame for autism. The study was held by Dr. Anders Hviid between 1990 and 1996 and was later reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. During that time span, approximately 468,000 children from Denmark had vaccines, some of which contained thimerosal pertussis, a whooping cough bacterium. Dr. Hviid concluded that there was no link or relationship concerning autism between the children who received thimerosal pertussis in their vaccinations and those who did not.
Although thousands of studies have tested the theory of vaccination-related autism for over half a century, some parents refuse to have their children immunized. On occasion, these children later become extremely ill or even die since their immune system cannot handle illnesses such as polio, measles, hepatitis, and other possible life-threatening diseases. On the website WebMD.com, pediatrician Robert B. Johnston, Jr. stated that 35 percent of children who have received no vaccinations are at much greater risk of catching diseases than children who received immunizations. Even though this percentage may seem small, children are becoming deathly ill due to not having any vaccinations whatsoever.
Despite children being put at risk in order to receive vaccinations to prevent diseases, it is still a better choice then not immunizing a child. Regardless of studies and percentages, children have more of a chance to live a healthy life. There have been other links between illnesses, such as diabetes, and vaccinations, but the majority of parents put those statistics aside and decide to vaccinate their children. Autism is unfortunately increasing among children today, and whether this is due to childhood vaccinations or not, it is in the child’s best interest to be immunized in order to ward off death-causing diseases.