Do Vaccines Cause Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder which is part of a family called Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The proportion of children with a diagnosis of ASD is increasing dramatically around the world. Although part of the increase is undoubtedly due to physicians being better and more specific at making the diagnosis of ASD, many people believe the actual number of children with autism is also increasing. Hypotheses on the potential cause of this increase have mostly focused on childhood exposures.
Worldwide, vaccines are given to a large proportion of children. Each year, some children who receive vaccines go on to develop autism. The development of autism is usually apparent beginning around one year of age, a time at which vaccines are ofter given. Due to this temporal relationship, some have theorized that specific vaccines, a component of vaccines, or the sum of all vaccines may cause ASD in some children.
Many of these hypotheses about the relationship between vaccines and ASD have been studied scientifically, using the same epidemiological methods that established the relationship between smoking and lung cancer.
No study has shown any relationship between any vaccine, vaccine component, or combination of vaccines and ASD.
As a result many organizations, including the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have released statements supporting the rejection of the hypothesis that vaccines cause autism.
We at Jackson Pediatrics believe that vaccines are extremely safe, and that the risk of un-immunized children acquiring a vaccine-preventable disease is much higher than the risk of any vaccine-related
adverse event. Additionally, we believe it is a parent's social responsibility to immunize their children in order to protect the rest of the community.
Of course, we realize that parents may have different views on this subject. Our relationship with you and your children is very important to us, and we will work with you and support you whatever health-related decisions you make regarding your child.
For an excellent discussion of this issue, we recommend this report from the television show "Frontline" on PBS.
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Healthy, happy children are our passion, and if you have any concerns for your child we would love to speak with you and schedule an appointment for your child.