Although numerous studies have debunked the theory that childhood vaccines cause autism, one in five parents still believe that vaccines may cause autism, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics.
Two words: Jenny McCarthy.
Based on the survey of 1,552 parents, ninety percent of the parents agreed that vaccines were a good way to protect children from disease; however, 54% said they were concerned about adverse side effects from vaccines and 12% said they had refused at least one vaccine that the doctor had recommended for their child.
Parents were more skeptical of newer vaccines, such as the HPV vaccine that protects against strains of a virus that can cause cervical cancer, than they were of older ones, such as measles-mumps-rubella.
This rejection of vaccines has led to outbreaks of diseases that used to be rare, such as mumps and pertussis, have occurred in recent years and are linked to the public’s distrust of vaccines.
Some doctors are taking a tough stand, asking vaccine-refusing parents to find other doctors and calling such parents “selfish.”
A statement from a group practice near Philadelphia outlines its doctors’ adamant support for government recommended vaccines and their belief that “vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.”
“Furthermore, by not vaccinating your child you are taking selfish advantage of thousands of other who do vaccinate their children … We feel such an attitude to be self-centered and unacceptable,” the statement says, urging those who “absolutely refuse” vaccines to find another physician.
I can’t tell you how many people have asked me since the moment I announced my pregnancy:
PEOPLE: “Omigod, what are you going to do about the BABY AND VACCINES?!”
ME: Um, get them.