Despite the fact that the Center for Disease Control found no link between vaccinations and autism, the debate goes on. To be honest, I see why. So many parents of kids on the spectrum claim that their child was fine until they went in for a shot. It's a scary possibility for any parent to consider. No one wants their child to batttle any kind of hurdle, especially one that could make social and educational development difficult. Still, the facts are the facts. I think part of the reason people refuse to accept that vaccinations are safe is because they don't really understand what they risk by NOT giving their kid one. This amazing video by Penn & Teller (yes, the comics/social commenators) breaks it down expertly. (But I must warn you, it's filled with profanity.)
I've never seen anyone deconstruct the anti-vaccine argument like this. It's pretty convincing. After watching this, every parent will want to make sure their kids' shots are up to date.
Of course, it's more than a little brash. It is Penn & Teller after all. They aren't known for their subtle approach to anything. It's great the way they break down the argument in such a simple way. It's something everyone can understand. And even if you don't agree with them, you can't deny they do have some valid points. These inoculations were created for very important reasons.
Some anti-vaccine parents are mainly concerned about the MMR leading to autism. Yet others have taken it further, steering clear of all vaccines. I can't imagine putting my child at risk for polio, diphtheria, meningitis, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, whooping cough, roto virus, small pox, tetanus. Penn's questions sum it up perfectly. "We have vaccinations against all of them. Which side do you want your child to stand on?"
It really boils down to two things: whether you think there really is a risk of developing autism or, if you do believe it, is the possibility of your child getting a deadly, painful, preventable disease worth the risk.
Do you vaccinate your kids? Why or why not?
Image via Corbis