Vaccinations and Autism

7:58 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
A lot of people ask me what I think about vaccinations and autism (since I work in the field...) and usually I assure them that I'm a Behaviorist, that I can analyze and shape a kid's behavior, but I don't know a thing about Chemistry and Neurology and if giving someone a shot can cook their brains better than scrambled eggs.
Working in the field and listening to a lot of frantic moms, I went through a brief phase of feeling like I wasn't going to vaccinate my children. Then one event changed my mind. It's going to sound totally tacky and weird... get ready... I was watching the HBO series "John Adams" with Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney, and there's an episode where John's away doing something that politicians do, leaving Abigail alone with the kids during a smallpox outbreak. So, strong-willed Abigail calls up the doctor and strong-arms him into vaccinating her family against smallpox- a procedure which at the time was highly controversial. The scene was pretty gross, with the doctor scraping this oozing puss... I'll stop there. Abigail effectively saved her family. What touched me about that scene was how brave Abigail had to be to do something that scared her so badly, but that ended up saving her family. And we have the luxury of doing that for every person in our country, with years of experience and science to understand how and why it works.
This morning I was reading a blog that I really enjoy (dooce - go there and scroll down to the Vaccination post) and my views are almost perfectly reflected by the author's views. I'm going to vaccinate my children, though maybe I'll space the shots out a little more so that they aren't getting 5 immunizations in one visit. But I'm going to do it, so that my kids don't get yellow fever in Africa and kill half of the Elementary school. Oh, and vaccinations don't cause autism.