If you’re getting your medical advice on vaccines from celebrities and Trump, you’re doing it wrong.
What if my kid gets autism from vaccines?
Then you would be the first.
Being a parent is really hard work. As parents we make decisions and choices for our children every single day on their behalf. Some of these judgement calls are easy. Don’t allow your kid to play in traffic, put a coat on the kid in the dead of winter, make sure they get to and from school five days a week, and vaccinate your damn kid.
Wait. That last one threw you didn’t it?
People actually still question the safety of vaccinations. Guys, deciding to protect your kids against life threatening diseases should not be this difficult. How is this topic still debate worthy?
Well, because We the People are a Nation that seems to be driven by fear and ignorance. A little over a decade ago Jenny McCarthy became the head expert on autism. Convinced that her son “contracted” autism post vaccinations, she made it her life’s work to “educate” the masses about the evils of vaccinations. I can not even begin to break down this kind of stupid for you all. Jenny McCarthy is not a scientist nor a doctor. She is a former Playboy Bunny and co-hosted a dating show on MTV for crying out loud, yet people still bought her malarkey. Apparently other B list celebrities are real gurus on autism as well. The list of anti-vaxxing celebs include Kristen Cavelleri, Toni Braxton, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Mayim Bailik, and frighteningly Donald Trump. Herds of concerned mothers and fathers began to really freak out as these B listers started bending the ears of anyone and everyone who would listen to their ridiculous hypotheses. Before we knew it everyone was drinking the Vaccines-Cause-Autism Kool-aid. What if their babies “got” autism from a shot? Was it really worth the risk.
The answer is simple. Yes.
Did they discuss this concept with pediatricians or others within the medical community? Nope. They got on the all knowing internet, found a few chat rooms full of other moms just like them and created a shit storm! Did not one of these parents stop and think to themselves, “Hmmmmmm. One primary characteristic of autism is the lack of verbal communicative abilities, which tend to really pick up after age two…right around when the final round of vaccines are given. Maybe…just maybe… a child begins to exhibit autistic symptoms around age three because that is when parents and professionals alike can begin to discern whether or not a language, communication and social gap is present. It isn’t because their twenty pound bodies have been pumped full of toxins, it is a developmental coincidence. Don’t believe me? Check in with the CDC or the medical community in general. Don’t trust them? Fine. Dial up Jenny McCarthy. That seems like a far more rational decision.
What came of this cycle of fear, ignorance and misinformation was the medical and scientific community having to defend life saving methods. Even after our knight in shining armor, Brian Deer, came and dispelled the works of the fool that is Andrew Wakefield the public continued to believe that there must be some cosmic link between autism and certain vaccines. The Lancet retracted the works of Wakefield, the majority of the contributors to the work immediately pulled their support, and the Lancet journal fully withdrew the article. Wakefield was barred from practicing medicine and not a single one of his “research studies” could ever be reproduced. Here we are, nearly twenty years later still having outbreaks of diseases that should be eradicated. Thank you very much Mr. Wakefield. You have really done a number on the public now haven’t you?
So what do I care? My kids are immunized, why can’t I just let other parents make choices for their own offspring? Well there is this little thing called “herd immunity.” By definition herd immunity is general immunity to a pathogen in a population based on the acquired immunity to it by a high proportion of members over time. This phenomenon is kind of important, especially to families with youngsters too little to properly vaccinate and families with kids who have compromised immune systems.
Vaccinations won’t give your precious angel autism but do you know what they will do? For starters they will make sure your children don’t suffer from mumps, measles, and pertussis. Vaccines have also made it possible for your family to live without the fear of smallpox wiping your whole gang clear off of the planet. There’s nothing fun about smallpox guys. Good news though! Anti-vaxxers don’t need to worry about this particular one anymore, because we don’t even give it and have not in decades. The disease that had a 30% chance of killing you is eradicated…because of vaccines. I don’t know about you, but I am tickled pink that smallpox has gone buh-bye.
The true causes of autism remain a mystery in the scientific and medical communities, although great strides continue to be made in terms of understanding this complex brain disorder. Although we cannot yet pinpoint what causes varying degrees of Autism Spectrum Disorder, we can be sure of a few very important things here.
- Vaccines will not and have never caused an onset of autism.
- Jenny McCarthy and her gang of fools are exactly that.
- There are plenty of issues to worry yourselves over as a parent. This is not one of them so please move on, and don’t resurrect this just because Trump is moving into the White House.