Many dedicated physicians, scientists, and public health officials have spent a great deal of time studying the best way to protect infants and children from acquiring and spreading very serious infections. As a result, physicians are given an optimal schedule that has been tested for safety and effectiveness. Adhering to this schedule, that is routinely re-evaluated and updated, has been the best way for physicians to protect as many people as possible from spreading infections, getting very sick, or dying from bacterial and viral illnesses. Following a standard schedule also reduces the incidence of human error that can occur with administering the vaccines on a schedule that is “indiviudalized”. These errors also can increase the chances for dangerous infection to occur. Nationwide, physicians consistently see an increase in number of infectious outbreaks in areas where there are significant numbers of children not immunized according to the recommended vaccine schedule. Our phyisicans wholeheartedly believe in following the vaccine schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
, the Advisory Committe on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
,and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Infants are particularly vulnerable to certain types of infections (especially bacterial) because their immune systems are not “experienced enough” to provide adequate protection. As a result, if a baby does get infected, then there is a greater chance for that infection to cause significant disease in the child, and, to spread to others. If babies are not too young to be permanently injured or killed from a virus or bacteria, then they are not too young to be vaccinated to prevent diseases.
From the moment of birth, infants pass from a sterile environment inside the mother’s womb to a world full of potentially harmful germs. The immune system needs to act immediately and to begin making antibodies to protect against thousands of germs within the first week of life alone. There may not be agreement between experts as to how many germs a baby’s immune system can handle at one time, but it is considerably more than what they will ever get from vaccines. One analogy that puts thing into perspective says “worrying about too many vaccines is like worrying about a thimble of water getting you wet while you are swimming in an ocean”.
The fact that science has yet to determine exactly what causes autism leaves the door open for people to make “associations” that are not, in fact, scientifically based. Since most cases of autism are diagnosed at the same time most children are receiving their routine vaccinations, many people have associated vaccine administration with the development of autism. We know that during the same time period the number of vaccines routinely adminsitered to children has increased, there has also been an increase in the number of autism cases identified. Because of this, many people have gone as far as to say there is actually a causal relationship between vaccines an autism. However, during this same time period, there has been an increase in use of microwaves, an increase in the amount of wireless devices, an increase in the intake of fast food and processed foods, an increase in the number of chemicals used in our environment, an increase in the amount of sugars we take in, and an increase in the use of vitamins and supplements. Since these things are true, why has all of the attention, and blame, been given to vaccines?
There are a number of well designed and implemented studies, specifically created to investigate if vaccines cause autism, that have been published in rebutable peer reviewed journals. These studies have failed to show a connection between vaccines and autism.
The public fear of vaccines potentially causing autism has helped to distract attention away from continuing efforts to further investigate what truly causes autism. There are a multitude of studies that support the fact that autism involves problems with the development of the nervous system that starts in the womb. Additionally, an increasing number of studies are identifying early signs of autism that are often present early in infancy. Finally genetic studies clearly show that there is a genetic component to autism. Hopefully, there will soon be more clarity on the causes of autism.