6 mins read

Revisiting the autism vaccine debate

I do not believe that vaccines are the sole cause of autism.

Have vaccines ever been the cause of autism?


Even though many studies have shown there is no link between vaccines and autism, if vaccines were the cause of an ASD (autism spectrum disorder), I believe those cases are very rare.

Now, back in 2005 or 2006, if my husband and I had had a second child, we were fully prepared to do a lot of things differently. One was to have the vaccines administered on a different schedule. We were ready to be ultra cautious. We figured why not? (We did not have a second child, BTW.)

However, the bottom line for me is I do not believe that the MMR vaccine or other vaccines caused my son’s autism.

Do I know that for sure?

No, I do not know 100%. It’s my gut instinct, though.

What I do feel strongly about is a trigger and a genetic link.

A newborn is brought into this world “ready” by some genetic pre-disposition. If the right trigger happens, then I feel it is possible that some form of spectrum disorder could evolve.

I feel, however, it does not always happen. It could happen. The newborn is ready.

And, it could also have already happened in the womb.

We really do not know exactly when it happens or how.

Again, I’m going on my gut instinct.

Now, if an ASD happens, I believe the results vary greatly. (Which is why it’s a spectrum disorder.)

Now, yes, the “cocktail” of vaccines that are given to newborns could very well be one of those triggers. So can environmental factors, age of parents, and even food ingested by the mother during pregnancy. It could be a combination of those things or something that is yet undiscovered.

However, to this day, I still believe the numbers of cases for vaccine-caused autism have been greatly exaggerated. It doesn’t make sense that one typical child is fine and another isn’t if the sole cause was the administering of too many shots too young.

I feel like if that were true, the numbers of autism spectrum disorders would have shot through the roof and not steadily increased.

It would have been an epidemic.

Even though the numbers of autism have increased each year since (I think) 2004 and the cases of diagnosis are now one in every fifty children, the numbers did not increase in epidemic proportions early on. The numbers increased but not dramatically enough.

There has to be, in my opinion, multiple factors and multiple ways a child ends up on the spectrum.

Now, with that being said, I’ll go on a slight tangent. I’ll do this because there’s a “Part Two” to this discussion of did vaccines or didn’t vaccines cause ASDs.

This Part Two really bothers me and here’s why:

I recently read an article about a nine-year-old girl who was being declined acceptance into a school because her parents did not vaccine her for whooping cough.

The parents had until age six to vaccine. After that, the vaccine was considered dangerous to the child.

Now, the article brilliantly tried to play to our heartstrings. “I want to be able to go to school with my friends,” said the little girl.

But, I didn’t wipe a tear from my eye.

Why not?

Because of the ultra extreme and completely idiotic reaction to the “vaccines caused my child’s autism” theory. (Which has been debunked over a hundred times now, thanks Jenny McCarthy).

The panic reaction by some parents went like this, “I’m just not going to give my child any vaccines ever.” Not, “I’ll wait until they’re older.” Just NOT EVER.

Well, this family lives in an area where the school district is saying, “We have to look out for the health of the entire community. We’re responsible for not spreading disease. If you parents had just given your child this shot—at a later, just to be on the safe side—then she would be accepted at our schools.”

And, I’m supposed to cry for this little girl?

Well, I do feel badly for her. I feel badly that her parents panicked and didn’t properly protect her against a disease that had been almost wiped out until the last few years—when a group of parents decided they were NEVER going to vaccinate their children.

I applaud this school district.

Again, back to Part One—autism and the link to vaccines has been debunked numerous times.

Could there still be some kind of connection in some small, rare way?

It’s still possible I suppose.

But, such a stupid panic as “I will never vaccine my child” should never have happened in the first place.

Now, measles is coming back.

So is rubella.

And, so is whooping cough.


Because parents aren’t vaccinating their children at all.

The school district (as well as cities, states, etc.) are in the right here. They do have to protect the entire community as a whole. They have to push for vaccinations for all children. And, not because the drug companies are telling them to do it. They’re pushing for it because it’s the right thing to do.

Ever heard of ebola? Look at how the US responds to even the thought of a potentially infectious disease. Government agencies have to do something. And, in this case, they’re in the right.

Way to go, parents. Way to go out of your way to panic, add to the panic, and pile on the fear.

More on Kimberly Kaplan:


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