Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Vaccines-Autism War: Détente Needed

Dr. Bernadine Healy from U.S. News & World Reports weighs in on the autism vaccine debate.

Here thoughts in a nut-shell:
Pediatricians might do families a great service if they could space out shots that are normally given in one visit, particularly those that contain live viruses like measles, mumps, and chicken pox and tend to deliver strong immune reactions.

Are certain groups of people especially susceptible to side effects from vaccines, and can we identify them? Youngsters like Hannah Poling, for example, who has an underlying mitochondrial disorder and developed a sudden and dramatic case of regressive autism after receiving nine immunizations, later determined to be the precipitating factor. Other children may have a genetic predisposition to autism, a pre-existing neurological condition worsened by vaccines, or an immune system that is sent into overdrive by too many vaccines, and thus they might deserve special care. This approach challenges the notion that every child must be vaccinated for every pathogen on the government's schedule with almost no exception, a policy that means some will be sacrificed so the vast majority benefit.

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