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The news headlines are full of articles about parents refusing vaccines for their children. Now some of those children are infecting others with measles and other contagious diseases. We’re in the middle of the worst measles outbreak in 25 years.
But do these parents have valid concerns, that the vaccines could cause harmful side effects? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that allergic reactions and other serious side effects of vaccines are “very rare.” Vaccines prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of a deadly disease — but it’s true that it may come at the expense of a smaller number of side effects. The controversy arises over determining the degree and type of side effects caused by the vaccines.
Debate - Vaccines - Doctors - Measures - Doctors
The debate has become vicious, with many who oppose vaccines going after the doctors who promote the measures. Doctors find themselves buried with horrible reviews online by anti-vaccine activists.
Part of the problem with resolving the issue is it’s impossible to prove a negative. Cody Meissner, the chair of pediatric infectious disease at Tufts University School of Medicine, told The Atlantic that when a health problem appears after a child has received a vaccine, it’s easy to assume the vaccine caused the health problem, and impossible to prove it didn’t. So there’s doubt left in people’s minds.
Condition - Vaccines - Autism - Study - Journal
One condition that has been blamed on vaccines is autism. A 1998 study in the prestigious British journal The Lancet linked the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine with autism. Investigations concluded the research was fraudulent 12 years later, and the lead author was stripped of his medical license. A legal review called the Omnibus Autism Proceeding found no causal relationship between the two. But partially as a result of the article, more than 5,000 cases were filed by 2010 claiming a link between vaccines and...
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