Shot in the Arm?

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 • 2 Comments on Shot in the Arm?

Patrick goes for his two-month appointment—which will include vaccinations—on Friday.  Before I had a baby, I was aware there was controversy over vaccines and a possible connection to autism.  Now that I’m a parent, I’m paying more attention to the reasons behind the controversy.  I found this NPR article interesting, though it only complicates the debate:

Lancet Renounces Study Linking Autism and Vaccines

It took 12 years, but the medical journal the Lancet has retracted once and for all a controversial paper that drew a link between vaccines and autism and helped fuel a backlash against immunization of children.

A 1998 Lancet paper reported on a dozen kids who developed various behavioral and intestinal problems. Eight of them had been vaccinated with a combination shot against measles, mumps and rubella.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the lead investigator, brought international attention to the paper by saying he thought the MMR vaccinations were to blame. The assertions chipped away at confidence in vaccination.

It later emerged that Wakefield had been taking money from a lawyer suing vaccine makers. The results of his study couldn’t be replicated.

For the record, we’ve always intended to get Patrick vaccinated.  The benefits of the vaccines outweigh the risks of not vaccinating.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t worry.  It would be nice if the issue wasn’t blurred by medical professionals—on either side of the debate—who have something to gain from deceiving the public about the risks.

Posted by Kristina in Baby, Pregnancy and Baby
  • Dayna says:

    I don’t have any babies yet, but I still think about this all the time. What a confusing and scary situation! And how frustrating that science and medicine, fields that are supposed to be black and white, have developed so much gray because of unethical people. I’ll be hoping for the very best for you guys!

    P.S. I’ve been silently following your blog for a while now, after being attracted to it by the Fairy Tales anthology (to which I ended up not submitting). Love it.

  • Kristina says:

    Danya ~ I agree, it’s confusing and scary as a parent. It’s one thing for me to make as informed a decision as I can make for myself (the H1N1 vaccine, for example) and be willing to accept the consequences.  It’s even harder to make these kinds of decisions for an infant.

    Thanks for reading and commenting! Don’t be so silent. wink  I hope you’re decide to submit to my next anthology!  (Hope to have a call for subs soon.)

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