Autoimmune Diseases

Powerful Essays
Autoimmune diseases afflict roughly 5% of the population of developed countries.1 That is to say, one in 20 people in Europe and North America already have a particular kind of autoimmune disease. By definition, an autoimmune disease is a malfunction of the immune system in which the body targets itself. The world has seen an increased frequency of many different kinds of autoimmune diseases in the recent past, and occurrences are steadily on the rise. The incidence of type 1 diabetes increased by 23% between 2001 and 2009.2 Research has shown that vaccines may play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases, and some has even suggested causative links.
There is as much counter evidence on the notion that vaccines may cause autoimmune disease as there is evidence supporting it, as it is a very controversial subject not only among scientists, but also in popular media today. Though there is little doubt among the scientific community about the effectiveness and benefits of particular vaccines, it is important to strive for improvement. Understanding the relationship between autoimmune disease and vaccines will not only help to save lives, but also will pave the way for future discoveries and help to further advance science and contribute to scientific knowledge. Do vaccines cause autoimmune disease?

It is the case that an increased frequency of autoimmune diseases has corresponded with an increased use of vaccines over the past couple of years, which has led many to draw links between certain vaccines and autoimmune diseases. This fact in itself may be considered an argument in support of the idea that there is a link between autoimmune disorders and vaccines. However, looking at the matter from a biological viewpoint, many ...

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...sorders. HealthDay News, (2012).

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15. Nachamkin, I. et al. Anti-ganglioside antibody induction by swine (A/NJ/1976/H1N1) and other influenza vaccines: insights into vaccine-associated Guillain-Barre syndrome. J. Infect. Dis. 198, 226-233 (2008).

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