A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics says that the current vaccine schedule does not pose an autism risk to children. According to USA Today:
“This is a very important and reassuring study,” says Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer at Autism Speaks, who wasn’t involved in the new paper. “This study shows definitively that there is no connection between the number of vaccines that children receive in childhood, or the number of vaccines that children receive in one day, and autism.”
The study, published today in the Journal of Pediatrics, is the latest of more than 20 studies showing no connection between autism and vaccines, given either individually or as part of the standard schedule. The paper is the first to consider not just the number of vaccines, but a child’s total exposure to the substances inside vaccines that trigger an immune response.
Many parents have concerns about the risks associated with vaccines as well as the umber of vaccines children receive. Children today get 14 vaccines as opposed to the 9 children received 20 years ago. while that might seem overwhelming, researchers explain that vaccine technology has improved and today’s shots contain many fewer antigens:
For example, an older version of the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine, used until the late 1990s, was made using an entire, killed bacteria. That vaccine, called DTP, exposed the body to more than 3,000 antigens.
A newer, streamlined version, called DtaP, uses only the four to six antigens critical to producing immunity, DeStefano says.
Because of these sorts of improvements, fully vaccinated 2-year-olds are exposed to a total of 315 antigens, the study says.
That’s a drop in the bucket compared with the billions of microbes — from bacteria to yeast — that babies encounter in their first hours of life.
Obviously, not all children react to vaccines the same way and parents should discuss all health care choices with their physician. But this study may ease some minds abut the safety of vaccines and assure parents that the link between vaccines and autism is unproven.
Photo credit: photo stock
MORE ON BABBLE
- 10 Outrageous Playhouses for Kids
- 7 Cute Nursing Covers for Spring
- 10 Nursing-Friendly Dresses for Spring
- Baby Toy Labels Explained!