Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?

By: Maggie FIsk

Intro


In the United States, one out of every 88 children have been diagnosed with autism. In the past decade the rate of autism has gone up by 78%. Experts disagree on the cause of autism. Some believe that it has always been in existence, but it has simply not been diagnosed correctly. Others contend that it is a genetic disorder. There are some who believe that autism is caused by the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. It is this belief that has caused great concern among parents with young children. But, the preponderance of the evidence points to autism being a genetic disorder with the symptoms appearing at the age of two. (Autism and Vaccines)

Genetics

Researcher believes that autism is a genetic disorder. One reason for this belief is that generally if a child is diagnosed with autism some sibling and at least one parent will be found to have similar traits. More specifically twin studies often show that is one twin has autism the other does too. This supports a genetic cause of autism as twins share vary similar genetic makeup. (Autism and Vaccines)

MMR vaccine V.S. autism

Many people believe the MMR vaccine causes autism. This belief arose because autistic symptoms generally appear at the age of two, which is the same time the MMR vaccine is given. Andrew Wakefield (a doctor in London) wrote a paper on how the MMR vaccine causes the appearance of autism (behind the headlines). His claim has been proven wrong throughout many studies. The vaccine has never been proven harmful. The fear about the vaccine is causing a decline in parents getting their child vaccinated for MMR and this will have a severe continuance of MMR becoming more common. (Autism and Vaccines)

Wrap Up

Based on current research it is unlikely that autism is caused by the MMR vaccine. Infact most studies show it is far more likely that autism is a genetic disorder. While it is understandable that people could blame the MMR vaccine this mistake could have negative consequences in our society. Specifically without people receiving proper vaccinations against diseases. Measles, mumps, and rubella could increase causing severe illness and possible death. All of this could be avoided if people waited for research before drawing conclusions.

Work Cited

"Behind the headlines: Has the MMR link to autism been disproved?" GP 15 Feb. 2008: 17. General Reference Center GOLD. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

"Fear-mongering on vaccines endangers public health." USA Today 19 Sept. 2011: 08A. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

Autism and vaccines.”issues & controversies . Fact on file news services, 10 Apr. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.

Baily, Ronald. “Foul shot? Autism and the MMR vaccine.’ Reason Oct. 2006: General reference Center GOLD. Web. 20 Ma. 2014