The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention have never wavered on their stance that the vaccination schedule for children is absolutely essential and has proven to be safe. Jenny Swank, writing for Nation Swell, reports that fewer parents are opting for the recommended vaccinations for children based on their belief that the vaccinations may harm their kids. Because of that, outbreaks of measles, mumps, and whooping cough are increasing in America.
In order to protect others who may be too young or ill, 90% of the community should be vaccinated. But when opposing parents cluster in certain areas of the country, outbreaks follow. The results are not pretty. In 2011, 15 states' vaccination rates fell below 90%. As a result, the US saw its biggest outbreak of measles since 1990. Hundreds of cases, including 58 in a New York non-vaccinating community, occurred at the cost of $10,000 a patient.
Why are parents refusing the vaccination schedule?
The authors of a recent Academy of American Sciences report say, "Over the past two decades, a combination of fraudulent scientific studies, irresponsible reporting, and well-meaning but misinformed citizen activists has led to a steady increase in the proportion of parents who have concerns about the recommended childhood vaccine schedule. While overall vaccine uptake rates in the United States remain high, these concerns have resulted in a significant expansion in the number of parents who are delaying, and in extreme cases even refusing, vaccines for their children."
How can this change? Education has not been effective as of yet. A scare campaign, showing children suffering with the diseases that the vaccines would prevent, is not working according to Pediatrics – the official journal of the American Pediatrics Association. Other public health campaigns say they have been successful. So the search for ways to get the message out that vaccinations are a good thing continues. Perhaps, in the end, it will be the mom's trusted pediatrician who is the best argument.
One of the most-often mentioned reasons that many do not want to risk having their children follow the vaccination schedule is the belief that the vaccinations might cause autism. Just this week , a meta-analysis study was released that added to the large body of work already accumulated proving that vaccines do not cause autism. The CDC has little hope that this announcement will have any effect on the parents who will not change their thinking in regard to the dangers of vaccines. This, in the face of the growing measles epidemic.
Rebecca Savastio, reporting for Guardian News and Media, writes that the study shows there is no connection between mercury and thimerosal and autism. This fear of vaccines began when a doctor in 1998 falsified a study that showed a link between autism and autism spectrum, and vaccines. Now even celebrities are on their bandwagons to convince parents not to give their children the vaccination.
Not only does the study show that there is no link, but it also shows that there is a reduced risk of autism in children who have received the vaccination schedule.