The MMR vaccine does NOT cause autism. At least the evidence presented was not strong enough to sway a special court last week.
These cases revolved around the theory that the MMR vaccine plus other shots were the trigger for autism. Still pending are cases that argue that vaccines that once contained mercury may have caused autism if the mercury reached and damaged brain cells, and cases that argue that the MMR vaccine alone is to blame.
Controversy over the MMR vaccine/autism link has been raging for years, and will continue to cause anxiety for some parents.
The MMR is one vaccine designed to prevent three serious and potentially deadly contagious diseases–measles, mumps, and rubella, otherwise known as German measles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the MMR be given to infants between 12-15 months, and a second dose before age 6.
Public schools in the United States require proof of MMR and other vaccinations before a child may enter school. The good news is that the incidence of previously common childhood diseases have fallen considerably due to the availability of vaccines.
That’s part of the reason for our complacency. We’ve lost sight of the horrific nature of these diseases and when it comes to communicable diseases, we all have a stake in the matter. So with fears about vaccines on the rise, some preventable diseases are as well.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, vaccine-preventable diseases include:
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Japanese Encephalitis (JE)
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Rubella (German Measles)
Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Nobody wants to see a resurgence of these previously common horrors. Nor do parents want to be responsible for causing autism.
Parents must make difficult decisions; often with no clear-cut answers. We educate ourselves, we weigh the evidence, and we do the best we can. Those childhood vaccinations we so take for granted have forever changed the landscape and saved us from needless suffering and loss.
So the questions is this… should parents be forced to vaccinate their children against their wishes? Take the poll and voice your opinion below.