The Link Between Autism and Immunization

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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 Dukehealth.com 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 th... ... middle of paper ... ...nce promoters, and corroborate the doctor’s claims that autism is not linked with immunization, and in fact, refusal to vaccinate your children will be doing them more harm than good. Works Cited Baker, J. P. (2007, May 3). Does the MMR Vaccine Cause Autism? - DukeHealth.org. Retrieved November 20, 2013. Boyles, S. (2007, May 16). Study: No Thimerosal Vaccine-Autism Link - CBS News. Retrieved November 20, 2013. Hviid, A., Stellfield, M., Wohlfahrt, J., & Melbye, M. (2003, October 1). Association Between Thimerosal-Containing Vaccine and Autism. The Journal of the American Medical Association. Kalb, C. (2005, February 28). When Does Autism Start? Newsweek. Kuchment, A. (2007, November 15). Vaccinate Your Kids--Or Else. The Daily Beast. McCarthy, J., & Carrey, J. (2008, April 4). Jenny McCarthy: My son's recovery from autism - CNN.com. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
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