The Dilemma: Vaccinations

Religious views. Political views. Sex.

The three taboo topics from which to steer clear. I’d add to that, vaccinations and vegetarianism. Also potential fiery topics in some circles.

Which is why I hesitate writing this, because well, the issue of vaccinations is such a controversial subject.

But (sigh!), I cannot help myself. This subject has been stewing in my brain for quite some time now and I have to get it out.

I want to make it clear I’m a fence sitter when it comes to the issue of vaccinations. I admit it. There are a lot of things I feel I have ample proof for which to make an informed decision. When it comes to vaccinations, I still have not made up my mind entirely.

I feel there are two camps out there (I know there’s more to it than what I’m giving either camp credit, but this is general summary of their views as I see it):

Camp 1: Pro-Vaccination

Most health care professionals are in this category. Vaccinate, and vaccinate according to schedule. Vaccinations save lives, and whatever supposed side effects (autoimmune disorders, asthma, juvenile diabetes, ect.) that some claim to be associated with vaccinations, are of little concern because there is no solid evidence to support it. All vaccinations are good, even for things like chicken pox and the flu. Those who choose not to vaccinate are irresponsible, possibly ignorant, and put the rest of the population at risk. The benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the rare risks.

Camp 2: Anti-Vaccinations

All vaccines are unnecessary and potentially very harmful to the body, possibly contributing to a plethora of severe side effects, even death. The body’s immune system, if given the proper environment (through dietary and lifestyle choices) is capable of resisting disease. The decrease in mortality due to certain diseases was due in large part not from vaccinations, but rather improved living conditions. Fillers and preservatives, including mercury and animal by-products, increase the adverse side effects of inoculation, making vaccinations unduly risky.

Neither approach sits well with me. The issue has become so polarized, that it is difficult for me to listen to either side. Both sides seem to contradict each other. So I sit on the fence. And I don’t want to anymore, especially as my children are getting older, I need to determine what my stance will be.

Let me share a recent occurrence that took place in the office of my pediatrician that further solidified my frustration with the issue.

“Not a shred of evidence,” my pediatrician said. He continued, “There is not a shred of evidence that vaccines cause autism, or asthma, or any other health problem.” At this point, any of the credibility my pediatrician had went out the window. There most certainly are risks involved with vaccinations, and to state that there are not, is just plain wrong. Of course the level of those risks are up for debate, but don’t tell me, Mr. Pediatrician that there is no evidence that vaccinations can cause adverse health problems!

He stood there, clenched his clipboard, firm and resolved to make his point clear. “Vaccines save lives.” These statements were in response to a previous conversation which went something like this: “So is your son up to do date with all of his immunizations?” (He knew full well they were not, as he was looking at my son’s chart). “My husband and I have decided not to inoculate our children,” I told him matter-of-factly.

I knew this discussion was bound to come up. In fact, I had been avoiding the pediatrician since our last visit, about 3 years ago (I’m happy to say we’ve not had a reason to return since for any sickness or malady!), when I took my son in for his eighteen month check up, at which point, I caved to pressure from the doctor. My son was given all of the vaccinations he had missed up to that point (he hadn’t been vaccinated at all, previous to this visit) in one sitting. That experience of feeling very pressured, and allowing my son to be given the vaccinations without being informed as to what he was being given, the potential side effects, left me with a bad taste in my mouth and I haven’t been excited to return to that place again.

Rather than have an open dialogue, which is what I would have liked, the doctor was right, I didn’t know anything about the issue, and for my own good, I should take the literature he gave me, read it, and ultimately do what he says. A very faith-based approach (have faith in me, and do what I tell you).

I believe most people want to be able to have a dialogue with their physician. An actual relationship where the patient feels like the doctor genuinely cares and listens. I don’t know if it is possible to have such a relationship when the physician takes a skewed patriarchal approach in his dealings with patients (I’m right, you’re wrong, I know what’s best, Shut up and take your prescription). There are several reasons why perhaps this is at best, wishful thinking. First, doctors don’t have a great deal of time to devote to each patient (again, back to simple economics). Second, and more importantly, they’ve gone through about a decade of specialized schooling, therefore, they are clearly the “authority” (right?).

I know I ought to be going to a naturopath. Then perhaps I won’t feel like it’s me versus “them.” The dilemma here is that insurance almost never covers visits or procedures performed by a N.D. Herein lies the problem which boils down to simple economics.

In a way, I’d like to choose both sides. Because I can see both sides of the argument and I think to some extent both sides have some compelling points.

So far, what makes most sense, is to do a modified schedule of vaccinations (instead of 10 vaccinations at one time) and opt to do some but not all (like the chicken pox vaccine, which I believe is unnecessary). Yet still, even this resolve is weak. This is why I’ve opted to do nothing so far, hoping that further research into the subject will empower me with the knowledge I need to make a decision I can feel good about.

You know when you go take your car into be fixed and the mechanic says, “Okay, you need this, this and this done to your car and this is how much it will cost.” Then you’ll say something like, “Well what is the serpentine belt exactly and why do I need to replace it?” Then he’ll go into some lengthy explanation, most of which makes little sense to you, but he sounds like he knows what he’s talking about so you think, what the heck, let’s go for it. And then you get the repairs, trusting that your mechanic knows best (this is of course assuming you’re like me and don’t know your engine from your carburetor).

I’m willing to do that with my car, but I’m not sure I’m willing to do that with my children.

My husband did point out that the issue of vaccinations (I believe it was a lawsuit initiated by parents of autistic children) was brought before the highest court in the U.S. (the Supreme Court) where they had the best doctors and experts speak on both sides. You know what the decision was? Inconclusive. There are just too many factors involved to prove that autism is caused by vaccinations alone.

Is it too much to ask though that a physician, instead of telling you what to do, gives you options, making you aware of the risks and benefits of a procedure, prescription, or other practice/protocol? I’m very aware that there are benefits to immunization. However there are risks involved as well. Everything in life involves a certain amount of risk.

I hate looking at my kid’s health and future health in terms of a sterile cost-benefit analysis, but that is what it comes down to, right?

Do the benefits outweigh the costs (or potential costs/risks)? Should you, or me, as the consumer, have faith in our physicians, and do whatever they tell us to do because they’ve gone through the training, have the degree, and know what they are talking about?

I think I’m just as undecided as was when I began writing this post, but if you, dear reader, have some light you’d like to shed on the issue, my ears and mind are open.


Comments


  1. pitfighter
    on April 9, 2013 at 9:51 pm said:

    Good crew it’s cool 🙂 cheap retin a Please note that the certification statement is on the back of the form.

  2. Kaitlyn
    on January 26, 2011 at 1:56 am said:

    I'm anti-vaccine and am slowly jumping on the vegan bandwagon! I'm also LDS and love your blog! I was just thinking about this today and I realized that many vaccines have animal products in them, so wouldn't the use of vaccines be un-vegan-like? I found a list of vaccine ingredients from the CDC if you'd like to check it out! http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdfI'd like to know your thoughts!

  3. Rachael
    on January 30, 2010 at 11:39 pm said:

    I realize I'm a bit after the fact here, but the truth is, those of us who vaccinate our children are protecting yours. I firmly believe in vaccinations. We're fairly non-mainstream in other ways–we're vegan, we cloth diaper, etc–but vaccines are something I'm not willing to compromise. Would you rather run the risk of a child developing autism (although no studies have conclusively showed a link) or dying from a preventable disease because you chose to bypass vaccination? Keep in mind that when you choose not to vaccinate, you're also endangering other children, as your child can become a vector. I firmly believe that the choice which is best for both your child and those around you is to vaccinate. A delayed schedule? Sounds great. But vaccinate.

  4. Ann
    on December 31, 2009 at 11:16 pm said:

    Fellow fence-sitter here.My first 2 kids were fully vaxed on time. Wish I could go back and un-do what I did. My third was delayed and I just started my 4th child's vaccinations last month. (She only got one and she'll continue getting about one every month or two now. But she will not be getting all the vaccines.) She's 2 1/2. My 5th child (6 months) got one shot before winter (DTaP) because I'm afraid of Pertussis. She will not get any more vaxes until after her 2nd birthday. And then we still won't get all the vaccines, only the ones I feel necessary.I really liked the book "The Vaccine Book" by Dr. Sears and I'm in the middle of "Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent's Guide" by Aviva Jill Romm. It's been very educational so far.And to all who say, "There is NO link between autism and vaccines." I wonder if any of you know someone personally who had a child change so drastically in a matter of a day (the day they got vaccinated). The truth is, it's not something that can be proven easily. Especially with the lack of testing — long-term testing. There just isn't enough data to make concrete claims on either side. It's just something that needs to be researched as much as possible and then prayed about with each individual child. There is no easy answer with this one.

  5. kathleen
    on December 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm said:

    so, i have met, know & talked to a few (not a ton) of people who are going to school to be dr's. the reality is that by the time they get through med school & rotations, they don't like people. it's sad but true. i can kind of understand. after months of dealing with homeless people who just want drugs to not sleeping for years. most start off with good intentions only to want to go into opthamology, radiology, dermatology, you know something with great hours, great pay and not a lot of dealings with people. anyway, if you want more of a holistic approach &/or someone who is willing to give you info. so that you can make a wise decision. I would go with an RN. Nurses can do just as good of a job or better primary care. Don't get the flu shot. Don't get the H1N1 shot. It's not a "pandemic" not even close. The vaccine has killed more people than the disease this year as well as when they tried it in 1976. I would get vaccines such as polio, measles/mumps/rubella, tetanus/pertussis, vaccines where getting the disease is worse than the side effects of the getting the vaccine. (In my opinion).

  6. Alta
    on December 12, 2009 at 3:26 pm said:

    I'm new to reading your blog and I was so excited to find it (we are vegan for health reasons). I too am a bit of a fence sitter when it comes to vaccinations. Our three kids have been vaccinated, with the first two being vaccinated on "schedule" and the third being vaccinated on a "delayed/modified schedule". I wish I had done that with all three, but until I developed autoimmune problems after the birth of our second child, I completely trusted everything the medical community told me to do. That experience and my recovery through a wholefoods vegan diet caused me to realize that we cannot just blindly trust doctors and we need to make informed decisions.That said, I am still a fence sitter on vaccinations for a couple of reasons. The first being that I feel everyone involved in the research has their own bias, and I used to be in research. I know how that influences the outcomes. What I want to see done will not be available for my children. I want to see longitudinal data following children from before birth into adulthood to determine the risks of exposure to environmental factors, including vaccines. Something along the lines of the Framingham Heart Study. On the other hand, the second reason I am a fence sitter is that I do think we may have forgotten how bad these diseases were and that there was a reason people spent so much time and money developing these vaccines. I have an aunt who contracted polio while swimming, and I would not want to go back to the days where a swim in the local pool or lake could be so dangerous. So, our final decision was to vaccinate with at least 30 days between each vaccine and to delay some of them. This has created some tense discussions with our new pediatrician but I stick to what I believe is best for my children. I am a consumer, they are providing a service, and while I appreciate their knowledge, my husband and I have the final say.

  7. tbsomeday
    on December 12, 2009 at 12:07 pm said:

    actually dr's get much of their education about a drug from the drug rep him/herselfthey come give "classes" on the med and provide lunch and other perksstaff LOVE when the drug reps come…it's good lunch and treat day!there's a great salary out there to be had as a pharm rep if you like to schmooze drs..i was friends with oneabout education as a student.."About 60% Of Medical School Department Heads Have Ties With Pharmaceutical Companies, According To StudyAbout 60% of department heads at medical schools and teaching hospitals in the U.S. have personal financial relationships with pharmaceutical or medical device companies, according to a study published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports. For the study — led by Eric Campbell, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School — researchers sent a survey to department heads at all 125 accredited medical schools and the 15 largest teaching hospitals in the U.S. About two-thirds of department heads responded to the survey."i hope i'm not being argumentive–i'm just trying to back up the things I saidi'm okay with people choosing whichever way they want as long as they did the researchso many people just want to do what their dr says and then be the victim if something goes wrong…in all aspects of health careit is a tough decision i also agree with abbie–the biggest problem is really what we are all eating…we'd all be healthier vaxing or not if we ate real food

  8. Loni
    on December 12, 2009 at 6:34 am said:

    Not really saying one way or the other….But just wanted to clarify that the education of medical students is not in any way funded by pharmaceutical companies. And as far as pediatricians go, most are very well versed in immunizations. This doesn't mean that they are all great communicators. If your not happy with your dr, find another one that you mesh with. I agree that you have to do your own research, but, remember that there are lots of unreliable sources out there and drs are trained to take care of the sick human body and to prevent sickness. That said, I guess I will throw out my opinion. I'm mostly for immunizations. Most of the diseases we immunize against are nasty–there is a reason someone decided to try and eradicate them from the earth. People who don't vaccinate are protected to some degree because the majority still does, but if everyone decided to forgo vaccines we would see more readily the sad effects, not just death, some of those diseases have. However, just like anything, vaccinations aren't perfect nor are all of them needful. So bottom line, my stance is vaccinations with personal research, expert opinion (my dr) and faith that I'm doing the best I can and all will come out for good because of it.

  9. Abbie
    on December 12, 2009 at 3:31 am said:

    I obviously agree with tbsomebody that our country forks over billions in health care each year. But I would argue (and would think most people commenting on this blog would agree) that insurance companies are not losing money because people do/don't vaccinate. It's because people are more or less eating themselves/not exerting themselves into sickness. If the trend of not vaccinating continues and increases insurance companies might definitely have something to complain about… along with overwhelmed doctors and drug companies. I feel sometimes that arguments such as this are also double edged swords. For example, had there been no H1N1 vaccine created and let's say millions had died, the American people would have cried outrage that their government failed them. And yet when they do create a vaccine and strongly advise people to vaccinate (or force as I know some have more or less been forced to vaccinate b/c of their employment in health care) there is again outrage. There will always be one side or another complaining. C'est la vie.

  10. tbsomeday
    on December 12, 2009 at 12:46 am said:

    "In 1900 before the measles vaccine came out, there were 13.3 measles deaths per 100,000. By 1955 the death rate was 0.03 per 100,000 a decline of 97.7% eight years before the 1st vaccination."From the Division of Viral Diseases (G.H.D.,A.A.P., A.E.B., S.T.G., S.B.R., P.A.R., J.R., D.B., U.P., W.J.B., J.F.S.), Often we think the vaccine is the cure but when we look at the information often the disease was already under control by the time the vaccine came about.Insurance companies lose a lot of money–the average amount of healthcare we spend per person in this country is outrageous…that's why the President it working so hard on finding a system that can support us.

  11. Melissa DeLeon
    on December 11, 2009 at 11:40 pm said:

    CDC Press release August 21, 2008:2008 had most U. S. Measles Cases Reported since 1996 (primarily in part to those who intentionally did not get vaccinated), which was 131 cases, of which no one died.However, "[i]n the decade before the measles vaccination program began, an estimated 3–4 million persons in the United States were infected EACH YEAR. Of these, 400–500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and another 1,000 developed chronic disability from measles encephalitis."(http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2008/r080821.htm)Insurance companies, not doctors, have more to gain/lose by this issue to vac or non-vac. Afterall, a healthy insured is profitable, and illness means pay-out, which loses the insurance companies money.

  12. tbsomeday
    on December 11, 2009 at 11:04 pm said:

    so people–my advice from being within the medical community is find the dr that supports youthey are out therei'm okay with anyone's opinion–pro-or anti vax as long as it's researched most those people are pretty okay with other people too–because they know how hard of a choice it is!btw–i delay/selectively vax–fence riding is a perfectly find group to be in 🙂

  13. tbsomeday
    on December 11, 2009 at 11:03 pm said:

    i have found the people the most opinionated are the least educated!i also feel quite confident that i have done more research on vaccines than my doctor. vaccine training is only a blip in their education…the education which is also largely sponsored by pharm companies who have a vested interest in them using vaxspeople often totally foget the financial side to all thispharm companies push these drugs out like crazy–they are working on vaccinations for all sorts of things as we blog.they have NO liability for any damage their vaccines donone.that the VAERS fund the government has…only it's almost impossible to get money from the government as we all might knowpeople with children who have died from vaccine reactions have spent years and tens of thousands of dollars for justicewe aren't just talking autism here peopleautism is just a spec in the whole picturemy stance on that…i think vaccines can trigger it..but i think it's something that was lurking there for several reasons i won't go intoand there was a case where the vaccine was proved to cause the autism in a patientbeyond autism are so many other autoimmune disorders that may not affect you now–but years from nowdo you think we can inject hundreds of toxic chemicals directly into our childrens blood stream when there is no blood brain barrier and there will be no ill effects?it just defies logici mean–even aspirin has side effects and can kill youso, like with nutrition we have to avoid the emotion and concentrate on statisticsbut watch close because so many studies are swayeddid you know the 36,000 cases of flu each year include pneumonia?nice to bump of those numbers isn't iti got the flu shot one time in my life when i was guilted into it.i was 6 weeks pregnant and weeks later i miscarried that baby–development has stopped at 6 weeks of agecould have been just a chance–or could have been the vaxit was never reported like millions of other cases of possible vaccine damage each year…so many symptoms are brushed over as a flukeif we combined the unreported cases with the thousands and thousands of reported cases–that would sure be a lot of evidenceok–i'm on an tangentabout the doctors…i work in a hospitalyou don't have to be intelligent to become a dr peopleyou just have to spit back information they give you onto paperlots of times we have doctors give a totally different diagnosis of the same testdoctors sometimes do appalling things…they are not gods–they should be treated no better or worse than you would treat anyone who you were buying a service fromwaitress, housekeeper, mechanicthe bottom line is most dr's are out to make money (i am friends with several drs)most have their own ideas about things that can be totally different from the truthyou are responsible for your own health and the health of your childrenthis is no different than diet peoplehow many doctors have told you to eat a low fat, plant based diet?research shows it to be superior–but why don't they tell you to eat it?so if we can decide what's best for us to eat, we can also decide what's best for our healthi saw 5 different ped drs with my children-one who made me cry–before i asked my midwife and chiropractor for a recommendation on a drwe now have a wonderful family dr who has never pressured me into anythinghe respects my decisions because he knows me and trusts meif i'm not sure about something i ask him and he gives me honest advice and lets me decide from therewould he vaccinate my children more if up to him?yes?has he ever said that?nonor has he made me feel like i'm doing anything wrongi think it's so important to find a dr you mesh withi mean–you wouldn't pay someone to do your hair if they told you the way you wanted it was wrong and then went on about how your face is the wrong shape and your skin was blotchy and by the time you left there you felt terriblewould you keep paying them?nope

  14. Abbie
    on December 11, 2009 at 6:52 pm said:

    I loved the tone of this post. You asked, "Should you, or me, as the consumer, have faith in our physicians, and do whatever they tell us to do because they've gone through the training, have the degree, and know what they are talking about?"I would say no. That said, it wouldn't make sense to go the extreme opposite and claim or feel that our health care professionals are out to get us. I find it very important to hear what the doctor has to say and consider their opinion with research one does on their own. We've probably all had a doctor at one time or another who was overbearing with a "I know I'm right" attitude and I usually try to find another doctor when I run into one of those types. Ella was very lucky her first 5 months of life to have a fabulous pediatrician who literally would address all of our concerns, tell us what the research stated but would always finish with, "but you need to make an informed decision for yourself". He never spoke down to us or pressured us. And yes, it has been hard to find a doctor like him since. I think it's important not to be influenced by the soundbites from either side. And while I think a decision doesn't necessarily need to be rushed (particularly when health is involved) I do think it is better to do something one feels comfortable with than nothing at all. I feel that certain vaccines are important… others-definitely not.

  15. Melissa DeLeon
    on December 11, 2009 at 6:35 pm said:

    I think that there is a definite balance between taking responsibility for your health and the care provided by your doctor, without taking extremes one way or the other. For those parents are anti-vaccine, I wonder:*Do you use bleach in any of your cleaning products (such as washing clothes or cleaning kitchen or bathroom)?*Do you feed your children off of clean plates or do you serve them directly off the unwashed table (or off your floor for that matter)?*Do you make them wash their hands before they eat?*Do you use antibacterial soaps?I only note this because it is hard to validate a claim of exposure to illness and disease if you are still taking measures to try to prevent your children from getting sick. In addition to that, I ask if the same parents who are not vaccinating their children still circumcised their little boys? (If so, I'll withhold verbalizing my judgments about your values.)While I'm sure the courts (on state and federal level) keep going back and forth on the subject, I found an article from February 12, 2009 (http://www.wickedlocalparents.com/legallymom/?p=42):The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled today that evidence shows that the MMR vaccine — long purported by some parents to cause autism — does not cause the disease, reports an article on MSN.com.The article reads, “‘It was abundantly clear that petitioners’ theories of causation were speculative and unpersuasive,” the court concluded in one of a trio of cases ruled on Thursday.’” It goes on to say, “the court concluded that “the weight of scientific research and authority” was “simply more persuasive on nearly every point in contention.”According to the article, “More than 5,500 claims have been filed by families seeking compensation through the government’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The claims are reviewed by special masters serving on the U.S. Court of Claims. “Hopefully, the determination by the special masters will help reassure parents that vaccines do not cause autism,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.”

  16. Rachel
    on December 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm said:

    I too, have been a fence sitter for some time and recently I really got into trying to determine what my side would be since 2 of my children are vaccinated partially (I stopped going to the pediatrician for the exact reasons you described) and my 3rd has not been vaccinated at all. Had I been as informed and possibly more forthright with my pediatrician, none of my children would be vaccinated today. Part of what changed my views on vaccinations was a book which I highly recommend to any parent no matter how you feel about vaccinations. It is by Lauren Feder, a pediatrician and homeopath, and it's called "The Parents' Concise Guide to Childhood Vaccinations". In this book there are none of the scare tactics usually employed, just simple facts about each vaccine. Such information included is the description of the disease the vaccine protects against, the recommended schedule, the mortality rates of the disease, its history, how the vaccine is made, what possible harmful additives it may contain, and the possible side-effects. That's it, there's no fluff or possible ill-supported studies. She also includes recommendations for decreasing the risks associated with vaccinating should you decide to do so. Dr. Feder reiterates at several points in the book that she believes every parent should inform themselves and only THEN should they make a decision regarding their child's vaccinations. I think that it's OK to not choose a side, to make a decision that is right for you and for your family, and to be able to say that you did it only after becomming familiar with the facts.For instance, most parents do not realize that Hep B, which is the very first vaccination most babies get at birth, is only transmitted via infected needles or sexually. This doesn't mean that the Hep B vaccine is bad but knowing these facts may change a lot of parents minds about getting the vaccine for their children let alone at such a young age. For me though, my decision has been based on my realization that most diseases that we vaccinate for are not nearly as fatal as I had thought previously. Of course there are fatalities but not at the rate that most people imagine. But that is me, you have to be OK with your decision based on what you have found. Every person is different and I think every child's risk is different.There is a lot that for me does not make sense about vaccine schedules and requirements, but I wouldn't discount anyone for choosing to go by it AS LONG as they have done the work to become informed and made their decisions based on what they have found. Don't let anyone scare you into doing one thing or another; that is an ill-founded decision. Another point is that it is also OK to partially vaccinate, meaning being selective about which vaccines you will get, it is also OK to choose a different vaccine schedule. There is no absolute right or wrong, and that is OK. But BE INFORMED with facts, NOT scare tactics.

  17. Sara Richins
    on December 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm said:

    Ok, I'm terrible at remembering names, and I just don't have the time to look them up. So bare with me.I am pro vaccine. I look at it this way. God allowed the creation of the vaccine. In a time when people were dying of polio, mumps and everything in between. The way to save lives was created and it did. And now, we need to get our children vaccinated because those diesase are still around, and they are still killing people through out the world.I know that you can say that no all what God allows to be created is good. But saving lives from something as easy as a shot, sounds like a good thing to me.Now, the doctor that came out years ago about getting the vaccines would cause autism, well, I think is full of it. Why? He only tested (I think the exact number) 15-20 kids. And of those kids, almost half had autism. These test were done in the UK, and when doctors from all over the world has recreated the test, they have not come up with the same results. Even those who have tested in the same area as he did. I think that he lied about the test results. I mean, if hundreds of other doctors running the exact same test, and can't come up with even the same result that he published, well, then that sounds fishy to me. If it's so exact, then the test results should be the same everywhere, or at least the same where he tested from.Where as, in a different study, showed that older men, when their DNA mutates, autism shows up more. Saying, that 35+ year old guys that are just now starting a family, are more likely to have old, messed up sperm and therefore created a child that is autistic from birth seems more likely. And would explain why the increase of autism in the last 15 years or so. Men and women are choosing to wait to get married, then choosing to wait to have kids until they are well passed good child bearing years. There is a reason why we are the most fertile and healthy and have more energy in our 20's and early 30's. That's when it's the best time to have kids. I can't imagine waiting until I was 35 and having my first kid. Especially if I was married.I have a cousin who swears up and down that her kid is autistic because of the vaccines. Doesn't even consider that it could be from the abuse he received since birth from his father. That kids climbed into his head to protect himself from his no good rotten dad!I believe, that autism and any other claims that people through at there for not getting vaccines are just that, claims. There is no merit to it. If your kid is autistic, and you and your spouse are over 35, then maybe it's in the genes. Or maybe beating the crap out of your kid, or verbally abusing them, is why your kid is autistic. They are finding more and more proof that this disorder is genetic from mutations in the reproductive cells and environmental, not from getting a shot. Ok, that's my 2 cents worth. Hope this helps. I know I can be kind of out there, but from what I've read from both sides, have witnessed from friends and family, I really believe that vaccines have nothing to do with autism or any other claim out there. They are out there to help save lives. If you can stop your child from dyeing the flu, or measles or polio, wouldn't you want to save them from even getting sick? All of my kids have gotten their vaccines, on time, and I have four healthy and wonderful children that are not autistic. And with the number of kids that are getting autism from shots, it looks like I should have at least one kid that is autistic by now.