A Shot in the Dark

Just to warn folks – I know what I’m about to say is “controversial” and is liable to either lose me followers or whatnot.  Feel free to tell me what you really think and start a discussion – as always, my blog is my opinion… and so there, nyah.

A few weeks ago, a family friend asked my mother-in-law if we are getting the baby vaccinated, given that the Monster has Autism.

The answer is hell yes.

The Monster has all of his vaccinations, and in fact continues to receive them on-or-close-to schedule.  Likewise, the baby is getting his shots on-or-close-to time, per the advice of the pediatrician.  And that’s not going to change.

I know that there’s a lot of discussion in the community about the correlation between vaccination and Autism.  Please.  Correlation does not mean connection.  That’s like saying that I don’t eat ham because I’m Jewish, which is a correlation.  (I don’t eat ham because I don’t like ham.)  Evidence, to date, has not indicated a connection between the two, and until there is a concrete, proven medical study with a sufficient sample size that indicates the contrary, I have to believe that vaccines are, by and large, safe.

Of course there’s never a guarantee with medicine.  There’s warnings on aspirin, for crying out loud, about rare syndromes that can strike when you take it.  I’m fully willing to imagine that there could be factors where the vaccines interact with something genetic and can trigger the onset, but this requires research… and research is not “I’m not going to vaccinate my child on the thought that it’s possible.”

I’ll even go a step further.  I think that children without vaccines should not be in school and that there should be almost no exceptions to that rule.  They are a health threat to themselves and other children due to the fact that they could contract a disease that most of the other children are theoretically protected against – theoretically because, remember, no vaccine is 100% effective.  All you need to do is search ‘mumps outbreak’ for a good example – the college around the corner from our house, Loyola University, just had an outbreak of at least a dozen students with mumps a week ago, and students there are required to have the vaccine before enrolling.  (Loyola’s a private university.)  Can you imagine what would have happened if this had been the Baltimore City Public Schools, where there is a vaccination opt-out for “religious”, meaning non-medical, reasons?

Given the lack of credible research, my kids are getting their shots as they’re supposed to… and the baby seems none the worse for it.  And I do, loudly, frequently, continue to counsel my friends to get their children vaccinated.

2 thoughts on “A Shot in the Dark

  1. Even worse there is NO correlation between autism and vaccination. There is credible research. Large cohort studies have shown that if anything there is a modest PROTECTIVE effect of vaccination (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/12904145/) This rumor is being propagated nonetheless with devastating public health impacts, likely due to the correlation between vaccination times and age of onset of symptoms.

    • And this is why I like having friends who are more up on the state of medical research than I am. 🙂

      It’s good reinforcement to what I stated above, though.

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