I try and be open-minded both in life and on this blog. But it's sometimes hard to do that. There is a big rift in the autism community over whether vaccinations cause autism. In the past, I've stated that I personally don't believe they do, although I'm open to the idea that a very small percentage of children are affected. However, I'm a big supporter of immunizations. I think the benefits from them far outweigh the risk. I also wish people would study other environmental factors to see if anything else could be causing the rise in autism rates (and allergy rates and autoimmune disease rates).
The main study that the anti-vaccine people would point to was one conducted by Andrew Wakefield. Dr. Wakefield had his medical license stripped from him last year because it was found that he had falsified the data in that study. Even more damning information came out earlier this month when it was found that lawyers that were suing vaccine companies had paid Dr. Wakefield about $675,000 before his study was released.
The effects of kids not receiving their immunizations have been noticeable. In the Los Angeles area where I live, there have been outbreaks of measles and whooping cough. Have the reduced immunization rates led to reduced cases of autism? My guess is no. The autism rates still appear to be rising.
For me, it's really hard to keep an open-mind on this issue!