So, about three days ago I had a mandatory physical required to play golf at Polytechnic High School. I had to get an HPV shot that would ensure I do not carry the HPV virus and give it to someone else.
I got the chance to see all the vaccines I have had in my entire life. Later that night I watched an episode of the cancelled “Penn and Teller B.S” on the issue of anti-vaccination. Believe it or not, some people believe that not giving your kid vaccinations is a good idea.
Apparently, after the drastic rise of Autism in America many un-educated un-informed parents think that vaccines might cause Autism. The rise is attributed to the fact that the definition of Autism has widened but lets go over the whole argument.
This controversy started due to an article published in a U.K. medical journal The Lancet. The article was written by Dr. Andrew Wakefield who was payed by a law firm to write the grossly un-scientific article because the law firm was looking to sue a vaccine company for money. He was fired for misconduct, but it was too late.
The anti-vaccine craze spread to the U.S and unfortunately we aren’t very good at science so some of us accepted it. The movement has support now from former Playboy model Jenny Mccarthy whose own son has Autism.
A main argument from the anti-vaccine movement is the ingredients in the vaccine which supposedly causes Autism. The only ingredient that the movement claimed to be harmful was taken out in 2001, which is called thimerosal. On the CDC website, it claims that this ingredient has no link to Autism. Having a child with Autism is a difficult thing, however, and I can understand why many parents are now beginning to become opposed to vaccines. They need something to blame because they do not have a well child and vaccines make some sense on a basic level.
What the parents supporting this movement need to understand is that since 2007, 111,907 children have died from not being vaccinated against preventable diseases and 0 cases of vaccines being linked to Autism have happened.
Penn and Teller preform a demonstration in the episode where they lay out two groups of 110 children represented by bowling pins. Assuming that vaccines cause Autism (They don’t) one pin is knocked over due to vaccines. However, the second group represents children who have not been vaccinated and instead of having 1 Autistic child out of 110 the children(bowling pins) succumb to Chicken pox, Measles, Mumps, Flu, Hepatitis and Small Pox.
Even IF vaccines causes Autism, the number of children who would die from common diseases would far outnumber the children with Autism. So please, vaccinate your kid and kids make sure to get vaccinated.
Correction: the HPV virus is what the HPV vaccine is designed to prevent, rather than the Herpes virus.