Does my kid really even need all of these vaccinations?
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our expert advisors, and many other reputable organizations agree that vaccines do not cause autism, there are still small but vocal groups who believe they do. And amid that conflicting information, some parents might opt not get their children vaccinated "just to be safe," because they worry about other possible reactions, or because of religious or other beliefs.
"But if you choose not to vaccinate your child, you are increasing his risk of contracting serious diseases that can lead to complications, hospitalization, and even death," says Dr. Fombonne. For example, after the MMR vaccine was first linked to autism in England, many parents stopped vaccinating their children -- and several children died during a measles outbreak in Ireland soon afterward.
For all the major childhood vaccinations (hepatitis B, rotavirus, DTaP, Hib, pneumococcal, polio, flu, MMR, chickenpox, hepatitis A, meningococcal), most experts agree that the many, many benefits from getting vaccinated far outweigh any possible side effects or risks.
If you have any questions about vaccines and autism or vaccine safety in general, be sure to address them with your pediatrician. A good doctor will listen to your concerns (not belittle them) and help you distinguish myth from fact so you can make the most informed decision for your child's health.
Copyright © 2008 Parents.com. Reviewed and updated 2012.
All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.