The definition of a vaccination is ‘an immunogen consisting of a suspension of weakened or dead pathogenic cells injected in order to stimulate the production of antibodies‘. This means that the body is able to fight off the full strength illness if and when we come into contact with it. What they do not realise is that they are not only putting the health and the lives of their own children at risk buy their almost religious distrust of the science they do not understand, but they are putting the lives of other children at risk too. There is a website that shows the harm caused by the failure to think critically about unscientific notions passed on by those with a vested interest in their propagation. Between 2006 and 2007 there were 1600 cases of measles in the UK which puts the lie to claims that the disease is far from being eradicated.
Let’s be clear from the start. If children are not vaccinated, the lasting effects of these illness are devastating. They have not been developed for the sake of it, they have been developed because theses diseases can be fatal. Having suffered from whooping cough and nearly dying when I was 6, I remember first hand how terrifying it is for a child not to be able to draw breath from coughing. I have been prone to chest infections and shortness of breath ever since. I was not given the inoculation for medical reasons (an inactive thyroid) and caught the disease from another child who could have had it but his parents did ‘not believe in vaccinations’. I don’t remember ever seeing that boy again. Needless to say, I have made sure that my son has had every inoculation needed he has suffered no ill-effects and is a happy, lively little boy.
Autism is a physical disorder which inhibits the sufferer’s ability to communicate and relate to their environment and those around them. A lot is still to be learned about the disorder but what is known so far is that it is something that people are born with. It is a cause of developmental problems not a symptom and it is not developed after birth or from external influences. What is also know is there are different levels and severities of the disorder. Autistica is the largest UK charity raising funds for medical research that will improve diagnosis, advance new treatments and discover the causes of autism.
Autism is a life-long brain disorder that is normally diagnosed in early childhood. Please note the emphasis on ‘diagnosed‘ People with autism have difficulties communicating, forming relationships with others and find it hard to make sense of the world around them. Autism is a spectrum disorder varying in severity and impact from individual to individual, ranging from those with no speech and severe learning disabilities to people with IQs in the average range who are able to hold down a job or start a family. People with autism may also have unusual patterns of language development, narrow interests and engage in repetitive and sometimes challenging behaviours. Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of autism in which speech development and IQ are normal, but in which social disability can be compounded by depression and mental health problems. Some people with autism demonstrate significantly challenging behaviours; most need specialist support and care. First identified more than 50 years ago, autism affects half a million people in the UK – tens of millions worldwide – and is one of the most common developmental disorders. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls. Autism affects people of all racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
As of yet, there are sadly no conclusive reasons for the causes of Autism but that is not to say there never will be. The more we know about it, the more we can learn how to treat individual cases but was is known is that the cause IS NOT vaccinations. How do we know this? Logic. The cases of autism did not decrease in direct proportion with the reduction in rates of vaccinations. Nearly all of the leading health organizations including the CDC and the NIH say that there is no relationship between vaccines and autism but there are some parents who think there is still more to the story; some grand deliberate cover-up. Every doctor with real qualifications and credentials will not deny the millions of lives that vaccinations have saved or the horrific and permanent effects they leave in their wake. There are those who claim that a mercury based preservative added to many vaccinations throughout the 1980s while others but the type of mercury used in thimerosal is generally cleared from the body within six weeks, which in theory would render it harmless. Mercury is, in fact, a neurotoxin, and the theory is that the recent leap in autism diagnoses can be directly tied to thimerosal. However, not being a chemist, and having only a basic memory of GCSE science I cannot begin to explain how this timorous link can be proven. Records have proven that they work but this will only continue if people use them. While parents are refusing to vaccinate their children we are losing our ‘herd immunity’.
Do Vaccines Cause Autism?:Two theories link autism and vaccines. The first theory suggests that the MMR (Mumps-Measles-Rubella) vaccine may cause intestinal problems leading to the development of autism. The second theory suggests that a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal, used in some vaccines, could be connected to autism. To find out more, read Do Vaccines Cause Autism? and Is Autism on the Rise?.
An investigation into the possible connection between the MMR vaccination was published in JAMA on March 7, 2001 and they found as follows.
Objective To determine if a correlation exists in secular trends of MMR immunization coverage among young children and autism occurrence.
Design, Setting, and Participants Retrospective analyses of MMR immunization coverage rates among children born in 1980-1994 who were enrolled in California kindergartens (survey samples of 600-1900 children each year) and whose school immunization records were reviewed to retrospectively determine the age atwhich they first received MMR immunization; and of autism caseloads among children born in these years who were diagnosed with autism and were enrolled in the California Department of Developmental Services regional service center system.
Main Outcome Measures Measles-mumps-rubella immunization coverage rates as of ages 17 months and 24 months and numbers of Department of Developmental Services system enrollees diagnosed with autism, grouped by year of birth.
Results Essentially no correlation was observed between the secular trend of early childhood MMR immunization rates in California and the secular trend in numbers of children with autism enrolled in California’s regional service center system. For the 1980-1994 birth cohorts, a marked, sustained increase in autism case numbers was noted, from 44 cases per 100 000 live births in the 1980 cohort to 208 cases per 100 000 live births in the 1994 cohort (a 373% relative increase), but changes in early childhood MMR immunization coverage over the same time period were much smaller and of shorter duration. Immunization coverage by the age of 24 months increased from 72% to 82%, a relative increase of only 14%, over the same time period.
Conclusions These data do not suggest an association between MMR immunization among young children and an increase in autism occurrence.