Vaccines and Autism

Updated on February 20, 2011
M.L. asks from Portland, OR
21 answers

I know this is a controversial issue but moms what do you think? Do vaccines cause autism? Why or why not? What are you experiences? Thank you and God bless

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So What Happened?

I've done A LOT of research and will continue too. I appreciate you all for your imput. Tat2edmom what's your deal? I didn't ask you to stop what you are doing to answer question. If you are so tired of answering it then simple-don't answer it!! I'm not an uneducated mom asking for you guys to make a decision for my child I am simply asking opinions, isn't that what M. pedia is for in the first place? Thanks ladies.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

This is NOT a controversial issue. It is a completely settled one (they do not cause autism) which for some reason some people refuse to accept.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Nope-they don't. the entire study that the concept was predicated on has been proven a fraud.

What they do cause is resistance to life threatening illnesses. Illnesses that are making a comeback due to above mentioned study.

10 moms found this helpful

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answers from Atlanta on

No, no they don't. Google your question and read the latest findings that came out a few months ago completely debunking the study and the doctor who originally came out with this. Vaccines don't cause autism, but vaccines do prevent death from some pretty nasty diseases!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Bellingham on

I'm sorry, but I am SO tired of answering these questions. If you really want to know, type in "vaccines" in the mamapedia search engine. You will find plenty. This question has been asked a million times in many different ways, but it always ends the same. Pro-Vax parents vs. Vax-cautious parents. Arguments. It's silly and childish. And I, for one, am tired of it. Do YOUR research and decide whats best for YOUR child. Make an informed decision. (And Mamapedia does not count as research, although it can be a place to start and find links to research...) Sorry if that came out b*tchy, but I am tired of arguing with other moms, who (hopefully), like me, just want what's best for their kid(s).

OP (Alice)....
WOW...What's my deal?? I don't want to sit around and argue with people about vaccination. This is the 2nd time you have asked this basic question! Did you not get enough opinions then?? I agree, mamapedia is a good source of advice from other moms, but this is simply not a subject that can be answered simply. And there's tons of misinformation out there. (Which is obvious reading all the responses!!) It's really hard to debate with people who believe false information so strongly. You can't use logic with the illogical. You probably can already guess my stance on the issue, but if you really want my opinion (which you probably don't, since I think you saw my reply as an attack on you, which it wasn't intended to be.) But if you do...
I believe that vaccination has chemicals, toxic metals, and other possibly harmful things that can "trigger" autism in those kids with a genetic predisposition. So, no, not every kid that gets vaccines with get autism, but some who are "sensitive" do. My younger brother has autism, so therefore, I believe there is a chance that my son has that genetic predisposition. We also have lots of ADHD and OCD in our family. So we are very careful about vaccination. If you do not have any genetic history of allergies, autism, or other neurological disorders, then your kid is probably safe. Most kids are fine after vaccination, but you can't say all are. And doctors don't yet know how to tell who is "sensitive" or not...and until they figure that out, it will be russian roulette for who gets sick, and who is healthy. There are risks both ways. I also want to point out that the diseases we vaccinate for are not always deadly. It is a common misconception. How many of you moms had chickenpox? I did. I'm fine. Approximately 1 in 1000 cases of measles is life threatening. It isn't very common, There are about 50-100 cases in the US reported each year. So, in the US, there is 1 case of life threatening measles every 10 years! Mumps is not very common, only 250 cases each year. There are occasional outbreaks. It is not serious for kids, and only causes issues in teen/adulthood. I will vaccinate my child before he's a teen.
Rubella is very rare and mild. The only time it is serious is in pregnancy, when it can cause birth defects. My DS is never around pregnant women, and I don't plan on having another baby soon. He will be vaccinated before school. I just think you should look at the risks and benefits of each individual vaccine and then decide for yourself.
Also....Autism is probably 15-20% of why I selectively vaccinate on a delayed schedule....It's really a small piece of a much bigger picture. Some of the serious listed side effects of vaccines are Guillan-Barre Syndrome, swelling/inflammation of the brain, brain damage, seizures, nerve dysfunction, heart inflammation, intussusception, arthritis, bleeding disorders, severe allergic reactions, and MUCH more. There are also many possible long term effects which have never been studied, but there may be a link to MS, Alzheimer, adhd, and other mental disorders.
So I hope, if you read all that, that you do not take my post offensively, I was just frustrated at being ridiculed constantly for my decision to selectively vaccinate my child. Sorry if it sounded catty. : D

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

When I posed the ? to my ped three years ago, (when the debates were still going strong and the main Dr.'s study had not been debunked). She walked me through why vaccines DO NOT cause autism. She also told me about how when she was a resident she saw so many kids die from diseases we have vaccines for-simply because their parents chose not to vaccinate. That also means those kids that are not vaccinated are creating potential harm for other kids they come in contact with, (say a baby is to young to have gotten the MMR, but is exposed to a child who has it at McDonald's).

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My son has autism. We are working with a homeopath to help with some of his symptoms. I have heard both sides of the debate. I have listened to both sides of the debate. The best answer I have ever heard comes from my homeopath. She said something along these lines:

Children who are at greater risk for having allergies or asthma are also at greater risk of getting autism from a vaccine. It has little to do with the vaccine. It has everything to do with the fact that the child's immune system is already attacking things (or may already be attacking things) that are completely harmless. By putting a vaccine into the child, the immune system goes completely out of whack. So vaccines themselves are not the "cause". Instead, each body's reaction to the vaccines are different. If your child has a possibility of a very sensitive immune system, then your child might have an adverse reaction to the vaccine. That adverse reaction could be autism.

That helped me quite a bit. That, and research.

My daughter was born in September, and on the day she was born, it was recommended that she receive a Hepatitis B vaccine. Hep B is transmitted either in breastmilk or through sexual contact. (There is a slight chance of transmission through blood as well.) Well, I do not have Hep B, and she was a day old, therefore not really sexually active. I declined the vaccine for her. I had to sign several papers to do so. I also asked that she stay with me all the time so she not come back with a band-aid because someone forgot to look at the paperwork. Are there other vaccines she'll be getting? Most likely. But again, research. Find out the causes of the illnesses and see whether your child is at risk.

When she is a bit older, we can talk together and make an informed decision about whether or not she will get the Hep B vaccine. As of now, my answer is no.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Truthfully, my thoughts go a little deeper than your question. I simply don't think there is ever a good reason to inject anything, especially anything manmade (synthesized) into the blood stream. Blood carries everything to every organ. Blood is our lifeline. My two cents.,,

I included a link below if you're interested.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Good Greif!

There is no research to do. There is no connection, there never was. Let it go, because kids like mine need for you to stop spreading this garbage so that real research will benefit them. MILLIONS of autism reasearch dollars have now been wasted on trying to do decent, real, respectable, emperical, reproducable science, and geuss what? Not a single solitary scrap of eveidence exists to support this huge missinformation intertia that has taken on a life of its own and people who are so deep in this pool that they just can't admit they are wrong now. What a horrible injustice and waste of good dollars that my family, and millions of others, walk to raise every year.

Just let it go. Vaccinate your children. Dead children can't get autism, so take your risk, but know that you risk more every day by driving than you do by getting a vaccine. Do some research about the deseases, and how miserable they are. Or, don't do any of that and look for the falling sky instead. But I will tell you this, my kids were born autistic and they are fully vaccinated, never skipped an autistic moment before, or after a shot. They are hands down the last children on earth who could survive measils or whooping cough. They would die...they would have also died if they lived life in a home with an open fire, if, that is, they had made it to a live birth, or for more than a few weeks, because they could not nurse due to the motor skills deficits seen so often in autistic children. They live because we live in a modern world, and vaccines are a big part of why I have any children at all. So, shun it if you wish, but modern medicine actually gives you the opportunity to reject it; if you lived 100 years ago you would not think twice about it. You would be grateful. You would be first in line, if your children were alive. Walk an old grave yard, and do some research, it should give you pause.


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

No, there is no proof there is any connection. If you want to take the chance of your child getting something horrible like Polio or dying from Measles then don't get them. I cannot imagine a mom not preventing a disease that is so bad in so many parts of the world.

If there was a vaccine for Cancer and someone said it causes some sort of cognitive disability would you stop your kids from getting it, especially if cancer ran in your family? No, you would make sure they got it so they would not loose their life to such a bad disease.

Since we don't see the diseases much any more that the vaccines prevent we can think, "the kids don't need them anymore", but in reality the diseases are still out there and children die from them every day in other countries that don't have vaccines. They are not gone, just better controlled by vaccines. I would rather have a child that didn't have to wear braces to walk the rest of their lives than not take the vaccine against polio.

As you say it's a personal choice and I would not look down on anyone who didn't vaccinate but I would think "You did this to your child yourself" if their child got the disease they could have prevented.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

There are many responses to this question/issue in the archives.

Just wanted to add that a fantastic book recently came out: "Vaccine Epidemic - How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten our Human Rights, Our Health and Our Children" by Louise Kuo Habakus, M.A., and Mary Holland, J.D.

It is a broad, englightening, well-researched and foot-noted book on vaccine policy. I have read most of it and this is my opinion.

Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My opinion: No, vaccines do NOT cause Autism.

~I am kind of in agreement with 'Tat2edmomma'...this subject has been talked about and argued about enough on one knows the answer to this question, not even the experts. And none of our arguments here on this board are gonna change that. Better yet, none of our opinions on this board should have any bearing what-so-ever on your decision making process about whether or not you should vaccinate your children! You need to do your own research (as confusing as it is) and decide for yourself...just like the rest of us had to!

Sorry sis!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I agree with Mallory. There have been recent studies to show that there is not a link between autism and immunizations. The big one was MMR. I think it is good to do your research. I would speak also with your pediatrician. I think, however, that it is far more dangerous to have your child exposed to an illness and not have him immunized because of a fear of autism. Not saying that Autism isnt a scary thing.

There is an increasing number of children who are getting life threating diseases and illnesses that have been eliminated from our society and if they come back can cause wide spead sickness of epic proportions.

This is largely debated by many parents whom all have their reasons for being on one side of the fence or the other. Only thing I can tell you is to research research research before makinf a decision.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

This same question is asked on this site at least once a week. Do a search on vaccines and autism - there are already a ton of answers out there.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Parents who are nervous about vaccines count on everyone else to be so they don't have to?! SO untrue. I actually try to educate my friends that vaccinate without question about the actual real dangers some vaccines can be without research and weighing risks. It's also been proven that the person who "debunked" the study of dr Wakefield had a serious bias against him, and probably owns stock in a pharmaceutical company :) I think it is entirely possible that some children are predisposed to autism when it is triggered by an outside immune system interference, which they admitted in the Hannah poling case. My favorite book is the sanctity of human blood, his website is My children are very healthy with very high immune systems, were exposed directly to whooping cough and had a high fever for half a day, nothing else ever, and our pediatrician commended me on having the healthiest kids he knows!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

There's proof on both sides. Some say the studies that disproved the link between autism and vaccinations were sponsored or had pressure from the pharmaceutical companies that make money off of vaccines. Others say that the studies that DO prove a link also sell natural products.

I would say that no one really knows for sure and you should become educated on both sides and make a decision based on what you think is good for your family. Our generation did not have as many cases of autism as the new generation and we were vaccinated. However, the new generation may be getting over-vaccinated and at a more aggressive rate. I read an article once that showed how kids today get so much more than we did!

I think every child is different, so what causes autism in one child may not cause it in another. If vaccinations absolutely DID cause autism, then every vaccinated child would have it. I believe there are many factors that cause it, and perhaps vaccinations combined with genes or other factors may cause it in some children. There have been many cases where detox had diet has helped "cure" or drastically improve some cases of Autism and Aspergers.

So, your child will be different, and you have to make a decision based on what you believe.

I never get flu shots because I'm allergic to eggs and could have a deadly reaction. I have never gotten the flu. I have friends who never get flu shots and they DO get the flu. So everyone is different! There is no "fix all" solution.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

There is no connection. There are studies that are beginning to show a genetic link and researchers are isolating the genes involved in autism. I'e stated before that I truly believe the rise in autism is due to better diagnosing. As we parents are becoming more aware, as are doctors and teachers, we are able to detect autism in children that 20 years ago would have been "weird". I've had five students in four years in my classroom that have fallen on the autism spectrum even though they do not "obviously" have it nor do they show classic signs like flapping or eye contact avoidance. As we are recognizing characteristics more we are able to provide therapies to people that would have otherwise received no services.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I'm really leary about vaccines. I hate them although I like the idea behind them. I'm afraid to vaccinate my kids because my son, my sister, brother and myself had adverse reactions to them. Anyway, having said that, I don't know anyone who got autism from vaccines. I know there was a study about it that ended up being considered fraud. I have trouble believing anything now a days. But it sure seems like if it did cause autism, that there would be more cases. I know a lot of vaccinated children and I don't know one autistic one. My family and I had some issues with vaccines but it was more of an allergic reaction. My brother had a problem with his pancreas being attacked and made him diabetic after a double dose of teninus. But it was a double dose because he stepped on a rusty nail. Usually, people don't get double of the vaccine at once. It was a fluke thing too from what I understand. Anyway, you can check out They have a lot of information. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Los Angeles on

I vaccinate my children because it's what is best for them and best for society. Vaccinations do not cause autism. If they did, every child who was vaccinated would have autism. If you are concerned about the effects of the vaccines, talk to your children's doctor about spacing them out. Many doctors work with parents to provide an alternate vaccination schedule.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Here is my opinion and the rationalization behind it.

I am blessed with two very healthy children (one 19 years and one 4 years). Neither has ever had a problem with any vaccine...the oldest had them all except Chicken Pox because he had a severe case of CP before he was even 1 year old and therefore didn't need the vaccine (which doesn't prevent CP but helps lessen its severity IF you get it). By the way, can get CP twice especially if first case it mild. My youngest has had all her shots to date. The only thing I don't let her get is the "optional" H1N1 because I think it is too new (not enough known about the long term effects) and is not a required vaccine.

I do not believe the vaccines "cause" autism. If it did, just about every child would be autistic. I believe that people who are predisposed to autism could show signs of autism around the same time as certain vaccines are given and MAYBE the vaccine could have interacted with that predisposition. Autism is often not able to be disagnosed until around the same age as some shots are given but it doesn't mean one caused the other.

I realize that autism is very real and quite troubling; however, not vaccinating for deadly diseases that are preventable is just not acceptable to me. It then exposes those that are not healthy enough or too young to be vaccinated to be unduly exposed to those diseases. How horrible for anyone to suffer or die unnecessarily.

Best of luck in your search for information.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I personally just pray over my kids and I talked with my doctor to insure that there is no vaccine going into my children that has mercury in it. I appreciate the help vaccines bring to keeping society disease free and my kids have done great. I did find an article that was debunking the man who originally said there was a link, but you know at this point, with all the controversy about it I just stick to my original defense line which is prayer. I am about to take my one year old in and have no reservations.

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