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The Link Between Autism And Immunization

946 words - 4 pages

A recent spike in the number of diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders has also brought to light the controversy that exists concerning the link between autism and immunizations. In a piece published by CNN, Jenny McCarthy depicts her son’s recovery from autism. In it, she claims that autism is an entirely environment illness, and states that vaccines are a major trigger of the disease. A Newsweek article printed in 2005 discusses the search for a cure for autism, citing the many methods parents have used in an attempt to treat their children—including a wheat and dairy free diet, and a controversial treatment method that strips the body of metals called chelation. Again, it was brought up that the osteopath who prescribed these methods, Mary Ann Block, felt that toxins from vaccines were the roots of autism. These claims continue to be purported, despite countless studies that have argued the exact opposite. Two 2007 articles, one from the Duke University medicine website, and one published by CBS, state that vaccinations are not linked to autism—specifically, the MMR vaccine, and the preservative thimerosal that can be found in some others. The CBS article cites evidence from studies done on pregnant women given the Rh vaccine, which contains thimerosal, a preservative supposedly linked to the development of autism. In the study, it was found that the children with autism had received no more exposure to thimerosal prior to birth than children without autism. The article also raises concerns about the reoccurrence of disease outbreaks due to the lack of vaccination. A piece run in The Daily Beast also brings about this point, as it explains how Maryland school officials are suing parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. The article states that the biggest side effects of immunization are neurological, such as numbness and weakness, and once again, there seems to be no evidence of a link between vaccines and autism.
A study was conducted to determine whether or not receiving immunizations containing thimerosal was associated with the development of autism. Researchers examined the records of children born in Denmark between January 1st, 1990, and December 31st, 1996, making note of vaccination information and diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders. Approximately 95.6% of the 467,450 children born in this period received at least one whole-cell pertussis vaccination. In examining the difference between children who received the vaccination containing thimerosal, and those who received the vaccination without, the researchers found no significant difference in the development of autism between the two groups. They concluded that there is no association between Autism and thimerosal received through vaccination, once again refuting the rumor of this link.
Over recent years, the number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder has surged. Because of this, autism awareness has increased and the disease has...

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