The controversy of whether or not to vaccinate is a hazy one in which both sides provide compelling evidence. But what’s clear is that the benefits of vaccination are straightforward and greatly outweigh the risks. After looking at both sides, perhaps a better question is ‘when should I vaccinate?’
Vaccination almost completely nullifies the risk of contracting deadly diseases like smallpox, measles, and mumps to name a few. Compare the hundreds of thousands of cases in the years prior to vaccination with the handful of cases that arise today. There is overwhelming data that shows the drop-off that begins any year a new vaccine is widely distributed. New cases are almost immediately quelled and as long as the vaccine is routinely administered to new generations the threat of outbreak is almost zero.
This is where information becomes a bit muddled.
The Center for Disease Control asserts that if vaccines cause any side-effects they should be minor and temporary. They also clearly state that there is no link between vaccination and autism.
Well then, that was easy. Case closed.
If only it were that simple.
There have been many studies published on how certain vaccines can raise a child’s likelihood to become autistic or contract certain autoimmune disorders.
A recent study published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry states that the use of aluminum, a very common agent in vaccines as well as a known neurotoxin, can affect the development of synapses during critical periods in a child’s development and lead to an increased likelihood of new cases of autism.
Another study published in the Annals of Epidemiology states that newborns who receive the vaccine for Hepatitis B have their risk of autism tripled. There are also similar studies showing some link to asthma, multiple sclerosis and Type 1 Diabetes.
What can you do?
On the one hand it seems as though some vaccines, despite causing harm at certain times in a child’s development, might be harmless if taken at the right time. But on the other, the longer you wait the greater the chance of contracting the disease the vaccine might have prevented.
Asking your pediatrician the proper questions is your best defense against any potential risks. Every vaccine has its own history and temperament. Ask about the potential risks of a vaccine and if it’s a safe time for your child to receive it. We all want to keep our kids safe. But we’d also like to do so safely.