Vaccines and Autism

There are many people in this country that do not vaccinate their children due to the fear of the vaccine giving their child autism. This is a belief based solely on anecdotes and caused by many people giving their personal horror stories about vaccines. This article lays out the many ideas behind parents not vaccinating their children. Many people do not look at scientific evidence before choosing to believe something. This has made me interested in the real evidence behind the belief that vaccines cause autism.

An experiment was conducted countrywide in Denmark to see how many autism cases there were after being vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. The scientists would record how many children received the vaccine and were then diagnosed with autism, and also how many children were not vaccinated and diagnosed with autism. In this experiment, the alternative hypothesis is that vaccines cause autism. The null hypothesis is that vaccines do not cause autism. The results of this study were quite definitive. This study failed to reject the null hypothesis meaning this study found no relationship between vaccines and autism. The main evidence behind these results is the fact that the rate of autism in vaccinated children and non-vaccinated children was very similar. Another hard piece of evidence is that there was never a spike of autism diagnoses after any vaccine was given out. This makes it very difficult to find a way to blame the vaccines for any autism diagnoses.

I find this experiment to be very credible. It had a huge sample size to test, follow up data, and recorded all data consistently. The results of this study fall in line with other scientific studies of vaccines and autism which increases the probability that the results aren’t flawed. Clearly, this study does not suffer from the file drawer problem, and I do not believe it suffers from the Texas Sharpshooter problem either.

I understand where the fear of vaccinations comes from, but I wish people would start to look at the facts before coming to a conclusion. Choosing not to vaccinate your children due to the fear of the vaccine causing autism opens your child up to so many more problems. The chances of getting the diseases your child would be subject to are higher than the chances of the child developing autism from a vaccine.

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