Tonawanda News

Opinion

May 1, 2014

WALLACE: Anti-vaxxers are hurting us all

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Reviews of the claims in the article by the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences and others all found no link between the vaccine and autism. 

Unfortunately, the claims in the article were widely reported and the damage was done. Vaccination rates in the United Kingdom and Ireland dropped sharply, which was followed by significantly increased incidence of measles and mumps, resulting in deaths and permanent injuries. And it seems the U.S. is following suit.

The New England Journal of Medicine said that anti-vaccinationist activities have resulted in a high cost to society, “including damage to individual and community well-being from outbreaks of previously controlled diseases.”

Over the years, the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics have organized several panels of independent scientists – all concluded that there is no association between MMR and autism. 

Adding to the dissemination of false information are “celebrities” like Jenny McCarthy, who have gone on record saying there is a link to vaccines and autism.

McCarthy claims her son is autistic and has gone on national television spouting her claims that vaccines are linked to autism. 

The scientific consensus is that no evidence links the vaccine to the development of autism, and that the vaccine’s benefits greatly outweigh its risks.

Why are parents believing a former Playboy centerfold, actress and game show host over doctors, scientists and researchers? 

I understand that the increase in the rates of children diagnosed with autism is scary and parents are desperate to find a cause. But people can’t let fear cause them to grab on to false information, placing children at risk of acquiring serious, deadly diseases because of it. 

People can say, well if your child is vaccinated then you don’t have to worry. However, infants who may be too young to be vaccinated, children with compromised immune systems and others who may be unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, are very much vulnerable to the disease.

God forbid someone claimed autism was linked to the polio or small pox vaccines. Would we really want to see a comeback of those horrible diseases? 

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