Are Autism and Vaccines Linked?

The truth behind the MMR Vaccine and Autism.

Many people are claiming that autism and the mumps, measles, and rubella vaccine are linked. Autism is a neurological disorder that alters the function of the brain. Autistic children are adverse to environmental change and are often seen making rhythmic movements such as clapping and rocking back and forth. Autism has become more common over the past few years along with the MMR vaccine. Many are saying the MMR must be causing the increase in autism but some scientists say that the increased awareness of autism could be contributing to the sharp increase from 5 out of 100,000 to 1 out of 1,000. Also, people who would have been diagnosed as mentally retarded or learning challenged during the 1960's would now be diagnosed as autistic. In 1998, a man named Andrew Wakefield ran a test on 12 autistic children. His study showed a link between the MMR and autism. Since publication, the number of people getting vaccines has decreased greatly. This is nonsense, though. People should still get vaccinated because there is no concrete evidence to prove the link between the MMR vaccine and autism, and scientists have other plausible reasons for autism in children.
There is no evidence against the use of the MMR vaccine. One man, Andrew Wakefield, ran an experiment that was published in the February 1998 edition of The Lancet. This experiment included 12 autistic children all with bowel disease and all with traces of the MMR vaccine in their bowels. Wakefield claimed that the MMR vaccine must have caused the bowel disease and autism in the children. The bowel disease could have impended absorption of essential vitamins and nutrients, leading to autism. But Wakefield's work was flawed. No scientists have ever been able to recreate his results and many have tried. Andrew Wakefield made errors in the way he collected data and had a limited number of people studied. He misrepresented facts and changed the medical histories of the children. (Autism and Vaccines)

People who argue that they should not vaccinate their children may say that their children began showing signs of autism just weeks after receiving the vaccine. The children would become less social and begin acting very different. The parents argue that the vaccine must have caused these changes in their children. But that is not true. Some scientists believe that autism is contributed to at least 15 genes. If it was only one gene, the chances of a second child getting autism in a family would be 25-50% but it really is more like 2-6%. (" Autism and Genetics"). A study on twins found that when one twin has autism, there is a 75% chance the other one does as well. Also, in the November of 2000 scientists were able to find what could be the 15 genes that cause autism. (" Autism and Vaccines"). Others also believe that autism could be caused by epilepsy. It has been found that 25% of autistic children also experience seizures as children. (" Autism and Vaccines").

In conclusion, the MMR vaccine does not cause autism in children and people should continue to vaccinate their children. The link between autism and the MMR vaccine is not real because the man who discovered the link was a fraud who created false data, and autism could be caused by other things such as genetics and seizures. People need to stop creating these rumors that the vaccines are not safe because if people stop getting vaccines, there could be a public health crisis and many people would get sick and possibly die.

Works Cited

“Autism and Andrew Wakefield.” Aap. American Academy of Pediatrics, 30 Oct. 2013.

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“Autism and Genetics.” Tech museum of Innovation. Department of Genetics. 16

Apr. 2013. Web. 26 Mar. 2014

“Autism and Vaccines.” Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issuses & Contoversies.

Facts on File News Services, 10 Apr. 2006. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.

“New Theories Linking MMR Vaccine Link to Autism Discovered.” PRWeb Newswire 19

July 2012. General Reference Center GOLD. Web. 21 March 2014.