Are Vaccinations Safe?

Recently, we have been discussing some very interesting topics in class. Learning about the dangers that the lack of science causes has been very eye opening. For one, it really is instilling a great appreciation for science in me. It is also very intriguing to learn about instances in the past where science (or a lack thereof) has actually killed people.

In particular, I found the thalidomide example to be particularly interesting. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see what the drug was doing to people’s genes. I found it shocking how a drug that was believed to be so useful was actually so harmful. Therefore, it got me thinking- are there any drugs out there now that we believe are good but will actually hurt us later?

During my research, I actually was reminded of the theory that some people have about vaccinations causing autism. According to an article done by the Oxford Journal, a few hypothesis exist about the connection between vaccines and autism. All the hypothesis center around the belief that the vaccines are poisonous to the body and do things such as damage organs and the central nervous system as well as effect the immune system.

The article goes on to describe a study done with eight children. After receiving a vaccination, they were monitored. Soon after the vaccination, all of the children showed signs of autism development. Further studies showed that the children’s bodies had taken proteins and moved them to the brain and bloodstream, where they did not allow normal growth and development to occur. This led to defects which then led to the development of autism. Now, many other things could have caused this effect on the children’s bodies other than the vaccination. In my opinion, genetics are a big part of health and people’s susceptibility to illness. If the children have a history of Austin runs in the child’s family, then perhaps the proteins would have made their way into the bloodstream anyway. Chance could also be largely at play; however, this study certainly gives credit to the theory that vaccinations may be dangerous.

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Another article done by the Center for Disease Control mentions that some speculate about the inclusion of thimerosal in vaccinations and the occurrence of autism. Thimerosal is a mercury compound put into vaccinations to curb the growth of different types of bacteria. Many people believe that thimerosal is the chemical in vaccines that does the most damage to the body and leads to autism. Due to recent complaints and outbursts from the public due to its possible connection, thimerosal has not been included in vaccinations for the past 15 years. Again, while many websites claim thimerosal is safe, speculation that it may cause autism still continues.

The issue about the link between vaccination and autism is still a growing issue. In this day and age of modern medicine, research still continues for prevention of autism. However, it is important to take into consideration the helpful effects that vaccinations have. They aide in the prevention of diseases that can be potentially fatal to infants and grown-ups alike. It is very important to look at both the benefits and costs of getting them.

As for the direct causation between vaccinations and autism, none has been found. Right now, the link is heavily based on speculation. There is a very good chance that chance itself is what is the confounding variable between the vaccination and autism. For now, we will just have to wait and see for harder evidence to come out before we make any further decision.

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3 thoughts on “Are Vaccinations Safe?

  1. Hannah Gluck

    Vaccinations seem to be a controversial topic today so I enjoyed reading your blog post about this. Personally I have always got my vaccines and have never had problems so I believe that they are very beneficial. I feel that the benefits outweigh the slim risks by a lot. The negative effects that we have seen have only been in rare cases and I don’t think people should stop getting vaccinations because of this. The people who chose to avoid vaccinations are doing it to avoid the risks but personally I think not vaccinating is riskier. Also, we are required to get certain vaccinations just to go to school here. Without them we are not allowed to live in the dorms. After looking more into this topic I found this website that I thought was very informative.

  2. Natalie Elizabeth Burns

    Wow, I had no idea about the possible link or talk of the link between vaccines and autism. As you mentioned, it’s crazy to think how a medicine we believe to be helpful can cause so much harm. This blog got me thinking about flu shots and how I always hear about people getting sick about getting a flu shot. I personally don’t get them because I usually am already sick when they are available or I forget. But, I don’t even know if I believe them to work. I think some vaccines are very helpful and others are not. I wonder why some vaccines work like a charm while others are less accurate. I feel like this would be something cool to look into more! Great post!

  3. Summer A Carson

    Hi Margaret!
    I personally have never heard of any link between vaccinations and autism, so I enjoyed hearing what you had to say about this topic. Your sources, The Oxford Journal and CDC, are very credible and I noticed the study that was done was incredibly in depth. As I mentioned I have never heard of autism being linked to vaccinations, but I have heard of people becoming ill from other vaccinations. For example, I know people that have went to get a flu shot and a few days after receiving the vaccination contracted the flu! This seems like a crazy idea that you would get the flu from getting a flu shot. Despite what I have heard and the rumors that have been spread, the CDC claims that the flu is not a side effect from the flu shot. Here is the link to where I read up about this idea Even though the flu is not considered a side effect of the flu shot, I am still too nervous to get the vaccination because I would rather not risk it!

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