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Medical

MMR Vaccine and The Onset of Autism

Psychology

In 1998 the British Doctor Wakefield made a publication of an article in the British Medical Journal which he meant to propose that the MMR vaccine which was in past given to children at the age of two is related to the onset of autism. In his findings which essentially was seen as an extreme concern and his method were flawed as well as failing to disclose the conflict of interest that seemed to be rising. However, the media took up the story and spread it so fast and the mainstream awareness. Parents have become so fearful on the vaccination rate in the US and UK dropped and the celebrities took up and advocated for the possibility of the link of autism. However, there a number of studies and researchers that has failed to support Wakefield allegation on the vaccine. A discussion is a risk vaccine in persisting in the media when some people are convinced that vaccinating their children is a way of inviting a host of the autism disorder (Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status among US Children with Older Siblings With and Without Autism, 2018).

The story about vaccines that can cause autism came to question on the year 1990s. To be specific in the year 1995 a certain group of researchers who were from Britain published a research that showed how individuals who have been vaccinated with the MMR vaccines are more likely to suffer autism as well as bowel compared to the people who have not received that kind of vaccination. Wakefield went to a further stage in studying what could be the possible link that relates autism with the MMR vaccines. In his research, he stated that eventually he found the truth and the proof and in the 12 cases they have studied that most of these children have developed autism symptoms after receiving the MMR vaccine. However, they could not give a demonstration on how the two link but he stated that the ones who have undergone multiple vaccines are at a higher risk compared to the individuals who have undergone a single vaccine. He, therefore, recommended a combination of MMR vaccines be given a suspension for a favor of single antigen vaccination given separately for over time (Mann, 2018).

The media has created a controversy of propagating the vaccine controversy which had a number of impacts on the health sector. The main reason why the media took the information in spreading fast was to indicate a role of communication in the health sector as well as increase media health communication and health blogs. After lancet was published in the year 1998 it gave a hint on why the MMR vaccine is associated with a number of unspecified diseases as well as the autistic type disorder. It raised a lot of question from the parents to be specific who questioned if the vaccine is of more good or harm to their children. Hence lead to a number of parents preferring to prevent their children from being attacked by measles than autism. The outcomes were the reduction of the number of vaccines administered to kids with a higher percentage and increasing cases of the individuals suffering child measles was increased compared to the past ten years (Richardson, 2005).

The outcomes came immediately after the Wakefield report which was not good enough to provide adequate evidence. A number of individuals who were sampled for the testing were too small to prove it. More so, it had a methodological falling such as sample size of only a few people subjects. It was an illogical short time spans which in exposure to the vaccines as well as the development of behavioral symptoms. The study was so criticized and many of the researchers, at least ten out of thirteen authors have withdrawn with any association they had with the research. In the research carried out by the research by the National Institute Of Health currently believed that autism may be caused by the mercury poisoning since there a small mercury present in the vaccine and preservative thimerosal was tied in autism. The autism-vaccine controversy is one which grew legs and ran for a longer distance within the shortest-term. The controversy led to a number of tensions as well as many parents failed to take their children to take the MMR vaccine. In health concerns issue there must be a health journalism which ranges from the health journalist to the scholar of the science of journalism. There need to have a guideline on how to guide health journalism so to prevent it from being more problematic.

In many studies that have been carried on, they indicated that there is no link between the immunization vaccines with the autism spectrum disorder. Study after study has been carried on but no link showed between the disease to the vaccine or any other vaccine, not only MMR. However, due to the fear that was induced to parents by the controversial media release parents are still hesitating and refusing vaccination to their kids due to the misunderstanding and lack of clear communication. The decision which the parents have taken on the matter has caused a lot of negative impacts on the health sector. There are increased cases of kids with measles as well as other potential childhood infectious disease which can be prevented by immunization. More so the parents whom their children have developed symptoms of autism are the ones who are avoiding the vaccines at a higher rate.

References

Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US Children with Older Siblings With and Without Autism. (2018). Lewin.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018, from http://www.lewin.com/publications/publication/201504210462.html

Richardson, K. (2005). MMR and Autism. In Internet Discourse and Health Debates (pp. 130-162). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Mann, B. W. (2018). Autism Narratives in Media Coverage of the MMR Vaccine-Autism Controversy under a Crip Futurism Framework. Health communication, 1-7.

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