In the midst of a measles epidemic, autism and vaccines have long been suspected to be linked. The well-known autism advocacy organization, Autism Speaks, is strongly urging parents to get their children vaccinated. Within the last month, the measles outbreak has infected 102 people in 14 states.
ABC News published a statement given by the Chief Science Officer of Autism Speaks, Rob Ring. He revealed in his statement that vaccines are not the cause of autism and that parents should get their children the shots they need.
“Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism. We urge that all children be fully vaccinated.”
The idea that autism is linked to vaccines began in 1998. It was believed that the MMR vaccine could cause autism in children. MMR defends against measles, mumps, and rubella.
In 2010, the study by author Andrew Wakefield was considered “fraudulent” and he lost his medical license. It was discovered that he stood to make money from finding that vaccines can lead to autism.
According to a report by CNN, the message getting “louder and louder” to parents that they should vaccinate their children isn’t necessarily working. Parents don’t like anyone telling them what to do, especially the public. In fact, it might cause parents to “dig their heels in deeper” in their anti-vaccine beliefs when it comes to their kids.
The best way to convince parents to vaccinate is parent-to-parent conversations, the report states.
Doctors say they measles vaccine is 95 percent effective with one dose. Two doses make it 99 percent effective.
Parents leery of the measles vaccine for their children may feel more at ease to know that even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says no long-term negative effects are associated with it. Connect Amarillo adds what CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden says of the vaccine.
“We’ve had over 1 billion vaccines given. And the study after study has shown that there are no negative long-term consequences, ” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden says.
The measles outbreak has stirred debate among parents and physicians alike about the benefit of vaccinations. It’s been an even touchier subject with parents of autistic children — and those fearing the vaccines will lead their children to have autism.
Autism Speaks is a reputable organization. Will their message about getting measles vaccinations make a difference?