We worry about our kids getting vaccines. Some of us believe they could cause autism. Some of us just aren't sure and so the fear of our kids getting whatever the vax is for outweighs the fear of autism. Because there is no known cause or cure, there are just far too many questions, concerns, and theories. And if you trust studies, there is a new one out telling us that there is no connection between the number of vaccines our children get and the risk of autism. This includes the number of vaccines given at one visit, as well as the total number within the first two years of life.
But the researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention also found that even though most kids get more vaccinations today than in years past, those vaccines don't have as many substances in them to "provoke an immune response."
It's still a little confusing for the skeptics.
What they are essentially admitting is that, yes, there was some bad stuff in our vaccinations years ago that maybe could have created a disorder of some type in some children. But not today. And we know that now because of how far we've come in studying this. What happens 10 years down the road, though, when they discover something they weren't able to today?
I'm not saying I'm a believer, but I am a questioner. Like I said, too many unknowns, too many concerns, too many theories.
Frank DeStefano, director of the Immunization Safety Office of the CDC, worked with a team to really look at the vax histories of around 250 kids who were on the spectrum and compared them to 750 typical kids. They studied how many antigens each child was given and if that affected the risk of autism. An antigen is something in a vaccine that produces antibodies to fight off infections. DeStefano said:
The amount of antigens from vaccines received on one day of vaccination or in total during the first two years of life is not related to the development of autism spectrum disorder in children.
DeStefano and his team weren't surprised with these finding because kids -- all people -- are exposed to antigens all the time from bacteria and viruses. It's interesting to note that the number of antigens were once several thousands (in the late 1990s). Now there are 315.
Professor Ellen Wright Clayton, who has studied vaccine safety said:
I certainly hope that a carefully conducted study like this will get a lot of play, and that some people will find this convincing. The sad part is, by focusing on the question of whether vaccines cause autism spectrum disorders, they're missing the opportunity to look at what the real causes are. It's not vaccines.
I think we just hope those real causes are discovered soon. I also wonder what Congress is thinking right now.
What do you think of this study? Do you think there is a link between the number of vaccines a kid gets in one visit or during first two years affects risk of autism?
Image via Mel B./Flickr