Much of the credit for the eradication of many debilitating diseases in the West are attributed incorrectly to the use of vaccines. In fact, improvements in the cleanliness of drinking water, the availability of healthy food and the use of efficient sewage systems did far more to eradicate disease than any vaccination programme. As with pesticides and other chemicals, the safety of vaccines is tested in isolation under conditions that may not represent real world exposure. Controversy exists as to the negative effects of vaccinations, and some of this controversy exists because while medical testing of vaccinations in isolation may show them to be safe, in combination with other vaccinations, interactions may cause hyperactivity of the immune system, and this may have detrimental effects on the neurodevelopment in children. The controversy surrounding the use of the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine refuses to go away despite large scale propaganda efforts by authorities.
A recent study investigated the association between vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders in homeschooled children. The study adjusted the results for other known factors that can cause neurodevelopmental disorders in order to try to isolate the association of vaccines to that of just learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or autism spectrum disorder. The study subjects were 666 children between 6 and 12 years old, and of these 261 (39 %) children were unvaccinated. In terms of diseases, the vaccinated children were more likely to have pneumonia, otitis media, allergies and neurodevelopmental disorders, but less likely to have had chickenpox and pertussis (whooping cough). After controlling for known risk factors, male gender, vaccination and preterm birth were all associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. However, when both preterm birth and vaccination were present there was a 6.6 fold increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders being present in the child.
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