Autism and vaccination

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Autism and Vaccination
Despite the fact that there is a rising number in the child vaccination rates in the United
States (US), many parents have become excessively disturbed that these vaccinations could be a
cause of autism epidemic. Equally, the increasing number of autism diagnoses all over the world,
mostly attributed to the increased awareness, has led to the speculation that child vaccination
could be a leading cause of autism. As such, a huge number of parents and caretakers have
developed fears concerning the likely etiological role that vaccinations might play towards the
development of autism among children. It is therefore important to carry out an analysis that will
show the relationship between vaccination and autism. As such, this article examines two articles
that tend to explain the existing relationship between autism and vaccination or immunization.
According to Doja and Roberts, autism is basically a neuro-developmental disease that is
prevalent among young children, involving behavior deficits (2006). As such, it can be identified
that autism disorder occurs among small children and could thus cause complications more so in
terms of the children’s communication, interests and behaviors. Notably, whereas an autistic
child with low functioning could possess below average cognitive ability and have an injurious
attitude, an autistic child with high functioning is most likely to possess a high level of cognitive
ability, high communication and verbal skills as well as develop strong relationship tie with
peers, family and teachers.
Essentially, the article by Gerber and Offit points out that in 1998, Wakefield, et al.,
published a report which aimed at proving that there was an existing positive relationship
between measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), and autism (2009). To illustrate, the article states that
Wakefield et al. carried a study which showed that several children developed autistic symptoms
just one month after being given the MMR vaccine. Comparatively, Doja and Roberts identifies
that Wakefield et al.’s study was done on 12 children that had normal development before
undergoing MMR vaccination (2006). Thus, this article states that after undergoing the
vaccination, the children were observed to have several abnormalities and complications such as
abdominal pains, diarrhea, food intolerance as well as bloating. Furthermore, Wakefield stated
that the children who undertook the MMR vaccination experienced behavioral difficulties that
depicted the existence of autism (qtd. in Gerber & Offit, 2009; Doja & Roberts, 2006).
Therefore, Wakefield et al.’s study identifies that there exists a relationship between the
administration of the MMR vaccine on children and the development of autism disorder.
Notably important, although Wakefield et al.’s study tends to conclude that there exists a
correlation between vaccines and autism, these two articles do not necessarily agree to that. In
fact, the article by Doja and Roberts points out that Wakefield et al.’s study lacks appropriate and
valid evidence that connects the MMR vaccination with autism (2006). Besides, there is also lack
of sufficient evidence linking the vaccines to the increase in the deterioration of children’s
immune systems (Doja & Roberts, 2006). That said, it is crystal clear that the article by Doja and
Roberts refutes the views of Wakefield et al. that indeed vaccines could be a triggering factor
towards the increasing cases of autism.
Likewise, the article by Gerber and Offit states that the inferences attained by Wakefield
et al. lacked a scientific foundation and thus it was important that further epidemiologic studies
be undertaken to eliminate parental fears (2009). Thus, it is worth noting that the two articles do
concur that Wakefield et al.’s study is quite misleading since it lacks proper scientific
foundations that can be used to show a cohesive relationship between vaccination or
immunization and autism disorder. Comparatively, scientific evidence shows that there is no
existing relationship between vaccination and autism disorder, neither is there a connection
between gastrointestinal disorders, thimerosal and autism (2009). Therefore, the two articles
jointly uphold the position that there is no real association between vaccination and the increase
in the number of children with autistic disorders in the US.
Ultimately, due to the lack of appropriate knowledge on the main factors behind autism,
parents in the US and all over the world have become increasingly frightened to take their
children for vaccination programs. As a result, this has led to the rise of preventable diseases
such as measles, smallpox and polio among others on young children. As such, the state of health
care delivery has been widely affected, making the need to provide health education wanting.
Thus, these documents aim at increasing the overall healthcare state by elucidating on the fact
that vaccination does not indeed cause autism. As such, these documents urge health
practitioners to listen to and advice parents appropriately on the issues about autism and
vaccination. Furthermore, the articles emphasize on the riskiness of lack of or delayed
vaccination to create awareness and education more so to the parents concerning issues
pertaining autism. Doing this will enable the parents to take their children for vaccination
programs thus increasing the overall health in the US.
Doja, A., & Roberts, W. (2006). Immunizations and Autism: A Review of the Literature.
Retrieved from
Gerber, S., & Offit, P. (2009). Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses. Retrieved

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