So, here’s the thing. The thing is, the dubious debate around vaccinations and their apparent link to autism (and related conditions) has been raging for years. For decades, even.
And it was all thanks to the infamous and now discredited former doctor, Andrew Wakefield, who peddled a fraudulent research paper related to just 12 children, which kicked off the conspiracy.
But now. Finally. This week, a new major study from researchers at Copenhagen’s Statens Serum Institute has confirmed that there is no link between autism and a childhood vaccine used by millions; the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
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The Danish study (published March 5), which looked at data on more than 600,000 children born between 1999 and 2010, shows that the MMR vaccine does not increase the risk of autism; nor does it trigger autism in susceptible children; and it is not linked with clustering of autism cases following vaccination.
To repeat: there is no link. None. Nada. Nothing whatsoever.
This is not new information. The Australian government has published countless fact sheets, like this one, that outline “how we know vaccination does not cause autism and where the misunderstanding came from”.
And yet, people continue to choose not to vaccinate their children due to these “risks”.
What about the other risks? The risks of your child contracting a life-threatening or life-ending disease?
Dr Rachel Heap is an intensive care specialist who works in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. After losing too many patients to preventable diseases – including many sweet babies who have died of whopping cough – she shared her insights:
“When your daughter gets rubella when pregnant, how are you going to explain that you chose to leave her at risk?
“What will you say when she calls you and tells you she has cervical cancer, because you decided that she wouldn’t need the HPV vaccine?
“What do you tell your son when he breaks the news to you that he cannot have kids, thanks to the mumps that he got as a teenager?
“And what do you say when he gives influenza to his grandma? How do you explain that she won’t be coming home from hospital? Not ever.
“Do you tell them that you didn’t think these diseases were that serious? That you thought your organic, home-cooked food was enough to protect them?
“Do you say sorry?”
The note went viral. With this new round of irrefutable research, we can only hope that an urge to vaccinate our children goes viral, too.