The argument concerning vaccines and autism, started in 1998 with the publication of a fraudulent research study performed by doctor Andrew Wakefield, in a respected medical journal called The Lancet. The study claimed that autism was directly linked to the MMR vaccine. This claim produced fear and panic among parents, causing vaccination rates to fall significantly. In turn, this lead to the reemergence of many childhood illnesses. However, once Wakefield’s studies could not be replicated, his credibility was called into question. After “subsequent research found no supporting evidence of a correlation between the MMR vaccine and autism, the study was discredited.” (Dyer, 2010)
The use of the preservative thimerosal in vaccines is another major factor that has been highly debated in its relationship to the onset of autism. Its use became an issue in “1998, when the U.S. legislation mandated measuring mercury in al...
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...ulation.” (Hall, 2009) Clustering is particularly associated with these types of disease outbreaks because when herd immunity is compromised, diseases can spread easily. Clustering is often derived from groups of people, who live in communities close together, who share similar beliefs about vaccinations.
Unfortunately, “Parents today are overwhelmed with decisions regarding their children 's health and well being. They are inundated with media reports from profit driven pharmaceutical companies, anti-vaccine activists and outspoken internet and television personalities.” (Chatterjee, 2010) With all of this outside influence and input, parents are in need of trusted expert advice. For this reason, healthcare providers need to correct misconceptions, that allow parents to make educated and informed decisions, regarding their child’s health care needs and welfare.
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