Children With Autism Are Less Likely to Get Vaccinated

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Although there is no scientific evidence that connects the vaccines infants and young kids receive in their early years with the risk of autism, there are still parents that still question this connection.

A group of researchers led by Ousseny Zerbo, from the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center, have conducted a study which was recently published in JAMA Pediatrics. They found that children that are diagnosed with autism have lower chances of getting additional vaccines, and the same thing goes for their siblings.

Doctors said that the decision could put the children at high risk for the diseases that the vaccines would protect against.

The study included over 3,700 children that have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and over 590,000 without the condition.

Children with Autism and Their Siblings Don’t Get All the Vaccines

Their results showed that children diagnosed with autism are 13% less likely to get all the other vaccines that would normally be necessary to any child. This happens after the children have been diagnosed with autism. Moreover, the younger siblings of the children that have autism are 4-14% less likely to get all the recommended vaccinations, compared to the children that don’t have siblings diagnosed with autism.

Zerbo was surprised to see the results, saying that he “was not expecting to see this big of a difference”. He also added that his study shows that “having lower rates of vaccination among children with autism and their siblings suggests that they might have a higher risk of vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Unfortunately, the idea that vaccines can cause autism has a big impact on immunization against infectious diseases. For example, the CDC has reported that in 2017, 70% of the cases of measles that were recorded occurred among the people that didn’t get vaccinated against it.

If there are fewer people immunized against an infectious disease, the microbe starts searching for a host, and it can easily find one and spread toward easy targets. And it’s also a big problem for infants under six months old that cannot yet be immunized and for people that have a low immune system.

Zerbo stated that only by improving communication and education between families and doctors, the issue can be discussed and solved.

Until then, Zerbo will start working on a follow-up study concerning parents and their decision of stopping the full vaccination for their children with autism.

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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