Despite what you may have heard, there is no link between vaccines and autism.
The initial study that triggered all this panic was based on anecdotal evidence and wasn't substantiated by scientific analysis. In fact, after a careful review of more recent and more extensive studies, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies concluded that there's no evidence of a link between vaccines and autism.
It's ironic that now that diseases like measles, polio, and small pox are so rare in the U.S. thanks to vaccines, people are all panicky about vaccine safety. It doesn't help that the media, when they present both sides of medical issues by giving each side equal time, may unintentionally imply that there's an equal body of evidence supporting each side.
Based on the faulty study, some people decided not to immunize their children, which is incredibly risky. We're talking about highly contagious, devastating diseases.
With international travel so common, it only takes one person to introduce a disease to a community, and if enough members of that community aren't immunized, that disease can spread quickly. It's important to make sure you're getting information from the right sources.
For up-to-date information on immunizations and potential side-effects, ask your doctor, or visit www.immunizationinfo.org.