Why isn't anyone listening to the parents of autistic children about vaccines?

After having invested a reasonable amount of time researching both sides of the vaccine/autism (particularly MMR) debate - I am stunned as to why the medical profession, general public and politicians are ignoring the tens of thousands of parents who claim that their child(ren) was perfectly healthy until they had certain vaccinations. I know that autism usually presents at roughly the same age/stage that certain vaccinations are given and I know that Wakefield's study has been discredited (it never claimed absolutes anyway - it only posed the possibility that more extensive studies should be conducted) and other studies have failed to replicate the findings. However, I find it amazing that instead of society listening and trying to support parents (and the many of them!) who make this claim they completely shut them down and refuse to even entertain the notion that vaccinations can be harmful. For unrelated reasons I know that vaccinations can be harmful as we have allergies to certain vaccinations in our family. It's like society is not willing to question vaccines (ingredients and possible effects) or that it is off limits to criticism/scrutiny.

Update:

4 (or less) children per year die (or develop brain damage) in Australia as a result of contracting the wild virus of measles. If medical science does ever prove a link between MMR and autism (which I'm not actually saying there is - I am just concerned that people aren't listening to the huge volume of people that do believe it) how many children could have been injured?

And on another note... how many times has medical science failed to prove something quickly. Mobile phone studies are only just emerging now what 10-12 years after we have exposure to them? I don't think medical science can claim it has a clean track record in terms of always conducting ethical research for ethical reasons (1970's bad blood?)

Update 2:

You have misread my question I don't claim to think that there is a link - I am concerned that parents who think there is a link are not being heard. I am not misinformed in relation to the studies that have failed to replicate Wakefield's findings (as I say in my original post).

Update 3:

I don't want to hear any particular answer!?!??! - what matters is what can assist parents of autistic children. I think there are a number of well established advocacy groups worldwide claiming that they are not being heard. I am also fairly sure that they would be fully aware of all the research and that has been conducted.

11 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
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    The only way your question can be answered is by way of an allegorical question in return.

    Do you think the rising fear of zombies should be investigated and the government pay for studies to investigate what needs to be done in case there is a zombie attack to address this fear? I suspect not, neither should money be wasted listening to these hysterical people about vaccination. The studies have been done. There is no point in flogging a dead horse while it's rotting into the ground

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  • 9 years ago

    I do not get your point. People will not listen to all the mother's opinions on the link of Autism - MMR vaccine because there has been NO established link between the two. There is no scientific information available proving MMR vaccine causes Autism, so why listen to the mother? The need to accept this vaccine is not giving their child Autism and get over it.

    Since the accusations of Mr. Wakefield the number of parents vaccinating their children against MMR has dropped, and as a result, MMandR has increased and is still on the increase. This is because mother will not accept Wakefields publishing's where a fraud.

    I still do not know what you are getting at, the concerns mothers given over the MMR vaccine are silly, which is why the government isn't putting lots of money into something to let them have their say and put more mothers of getting their children vaccinated.

    Scientist will not release a vaccination until it has been through thorough testing, there will always be side effects and mothers are always welcomed to ask about these. People will always say 'do not get this vaccine, it will kill your child'' which is rubbish.

    Do not publish a vaccine because a few hundred people might get side effects that are serious and potentially cause death, but as a consequence of not publishing the vaccine millions of people will contract a disease and die and then we end up with a world pandemic?

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I'm bemused. Why on earth do you think the many dozens of studies into possible links between vaccinations and autism have been and are being done, if not because of the reports of correlations between particular children being vaccinated and then developing autistic symptoms?

    Doing a study to see if they can find a connection, not finding one, and reporting that, is NOT the same as ignoring the people who say they think there is a connection.

    Society has been MASSIVELY questioning vaccines for a decade or more. Don't assume nobody's considered the question just because they didn't give the answer you wanted to hear.

    Not misinformed? No, just choosing to completely ignore the huge amount of research people have done in this area in response to public concern. Which is ironic, given that your complaint is about people being ignored.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    The better question is why you aren't listening to the numerous epidemiological studies that show no link between vaccines and Autism? The main claims linking the two have been investigated and debunked.

    Just because two events occur within a similar time frame does not mean one caused the other. Reality does not care what you "believe". The evidence matters.

    "I find it amazing that instead of society listening and trying to support parents (and the many of them!) who make this claim they completely shut them down and refuse to even entertain the notion that vaccinations can be harmful."

    Because there is no point flogging a dead horse. The link has been investigated, and vaccines have been exonerated. Scientists and Doctors do listen to parents. That's why the link was investigated in the first place. It's actually people like you who are failing to support families of autistic children- by still clinging to the vaccine-autism link you are impeding research into the actual causes of autism.

    You can have allergies to certain food. That don't mean that food is bad. Nothing in life is 100% risk free, and it's the same where vaccines are concerned, however vaccines are far, far safer than the diseases they prevent. It's a question of risks and benefits.

    "It's like society is not willing to question vaccines (ingredients and possible effects) or that it is off limits to criticism/scrutiny."

    Vaccines are probably scrutinized more than anything else in medicine. Vaccines and their ingredients are well understood. It isn't some random concoction.

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  • 9 years ago

    what is it you want to be done to have them be "heard" beyond performing scientific studies ... which have been/are being done ... and don't show a connection?

    surely we're not supposed to discontinue vaccinating against serious diseases the millions of children who have no reactions whatsoever in order to let those parents of autistic children who think there might be a connection (and there are also many parents of autistic children who don't) feel "heard"?

    *that first answer was excellent.

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  • 9 years ago

    I'm with the first answer. My son has autism and It was clear something was not right waaay before he had his vaccination.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I didn't even bother reading your rant. I'm just going to say that when it comes down to it, IF there is any legitimate link (which there is not), I'd rather have an Autistic child than a dead child.

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  • 9 years ago

    First rule of statistics correlation is not causation. I can make statistics say ice-cream trucks increase crime rates or that higher education =higher murder rate.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Yeah, maybe it's because most parents who have had their children vaccinated do not suffer from autism. It may or may not be linked, but overall, most do not suffer from it.

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  • 9 years ago

    Why hasn't the connection been made between my having asthma and my mother making sweet and sour chicken on Sundays?

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