Whether it was a rumor made pervasive by a celebrity with zero medical experience or not, fact is, there are still many parents out there who worry about there being a connection to vaccinations and autism. (And a good portion of them don't vaccinate because of that.) But a new study out of the University of Sydney appears to have settled this debate once and for all, giving peace of mind to parents who question the medical decisions they make for their children (read: all of us).
The study, which is the most thorough to date, looked at seven sets of data involving over 1.25 million children and found that there was no evidence that linked vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough to the development of autism. "The data consistently shows the lack of evidence for an association between autism, autism spectrum disorders, and childhood vaccinations ... providing no reason to avoid immunization on these grounds," said the paper's senior author, Guy Eslick, who has no affiliation with a drug company.
This, of course, is particularly comforting information right now, when the measles virus has seen a recent resurgence.
Although the connection between autism and vaccinations, first published by gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield in 1998, has basically been disproven already, most parents typically have a gnawing voice in the back of their mind when they're putting their child through anything medical that's asking them if what they're doing is right. We, of course, all want what's best for our kids, but when we repeatedly hear a debate over and over (even if we know there is no debate), there's bound to be a little doubt in our minds, as there's nothing that can make us more vulnerable than our children. This study, thankfully, offers all of us complete peace of mind in knowing that we're not "causing autism" by immunizing our children to dangerous diseases.
There's really not much room for debate with cold, hard, scientifically proven facts.
Do you vaccinate your children? Why or why not?
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