For years, parents and families have argued the validity of using vaccines for their children. There seems to be a stigma associated with vaccines, in that they can cause autism in children. And while some parents may think this way, there are others who think vaccines are the best way to prevent diseases in children. Because of the clear disjuncture on the subject, vaccines have become a very controversial topic in today’s society. I’ve been interested in this topic for a while, so I would really like to research more about it and find out for myself if vaccines can cause autism in children.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an article they published stated that vaccines are not a cause of autism. They further stated that in a study eight different types of vaccines were given to a number of children. Based on the study, it proved that the vaccines were extremely safe. You can read about the specifics of the study here. But to sum it up, the study was a case-controlled study that examined 256 children who had autism and 752 children without autism. They also pointed out a few third variables that could be the answer to the hypothesis. The study concluded by saying vaccines did not cause children to develop autism.
Where does this misconception of vaccines causing autism therefore come from? An article from the California Department of Public Health might have a few answers. There is a common myth that vaccines contain mercury, also known as thimerosol. According to the article however, science has found no direct correlation between mercury in vaccinations and autism. Additionally, over 23 case studies have been conducted over the past few years and every single one has come to the same conclusion: that vaccines do not cause autism.
So, if vaccines don’t cause autism, what does then? An article published by Science Alert may have a few answers. The article mentions many variables that may point to an answer for how autism develops. These variables include the type of surroundings a child is currently in, heredity traits the child may receive from the family, and how the child’s brain may mature. Something I find interesting is that there is no mention of vaccinations at all in these three examples of confounding variables. There, of course, are many other confounding variables that could also point to an answer as well.
I would like to perform a meta-analysis to determine other confounding variables that could lead to an answer that deters from the misconception that vaccines cause autism. I would probably conduct an observational experiment and examine a random number of children, some with autism and others without. I would compare different variables, like age, gender and other confounding variables.
These experiments conducted by the scientists seem to be very legitimate, and provide enough information that clearly demonstrates that vaccines do not cause autism. I think vaccines are an extremely beneficial thing, and something that we as a society should be lucky to have. Vaccines can save so many lives, and prevent children from developing potentially life-threatening diseases.