The answer to this is very simple: no. No, you shouldn’t skip or postpone certain vaccinations for fear that vaccines may cause neurodevelopment diseases. Every day, parents ask me if they should be worried about vaccinations, and I unequivocally say yes, they should be worried, but only if their child misses a scheduled vaccination. Vaccinations are critical to good health. Unfortunately, childhood vaccinations have become a controversial topic among the general public in the last two decades, if not in the medical community. Most of the controversy centers on the unfounded fear that vaccinations (especially the combined measles/mumps/rubella vaccine, or MMR) are linked to autism or other neurodevelopment disorders. No link has ever been found.
All the conjecture was caused by one very small published report in the 1990s led by Dr. Andrew Wakefield in London. He announced to the media that he believed the MMR vaccine damaged the intestines, allowing harmful proteins to leak from the gut into the bloodstream and make their way into the brain. Although his paper was published, an association between MMR and autism was not proven. Unfortunately, Dr. Wakefield’s announcement was enough to cause worldwide panic. That research has long since been discredited. Since then, ten large scientific studies have found no evidence linking vaccinations to autism or any other cognitive disorders. However, the rumors and misinformation simply won’t go away.
But during this period, another theory emerged: that autism was caused by thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used in many vaccines since the 1930s. Again, studies also have found no link between thimerosal and autism. However, in this case it hardly matters anymore because in 2001, thimerosal was removed from most childhood vaccines—not because of any link to autism but as a way to decrease children’s cumulative exposure to mercury. In fact, since the removal of thimerosal, the number of children with autism has continued to escalate.
From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.Find out more about this book: The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, an...The answer to this is very simple: no. No, you shouldn’t skip or postpone certain vaccinations for fear that vaccines may cause neurodevelopment diseases. Every day, parents ask me if they should be worried about vaccinations, and I... More