Dr. Bob Sears, Author of "The Vaccine Book": If A Vaccine/Autism Link is Proven, Will Vaccine Policy Change?
Posted Jun 01 2009 12:00am
Managing Editor's Note: You can purchase a copy of The Vaccine Book by Dr. Bob Sears HERE. Thanks to Dr. Sears for sharing this discussion with our Age of Autism readers. KS
By Dr. Bob Sears
This may sound like a rhetorical question, but I submit that the answer isn’t going to be as clear cut as one might believe. Before I dive into my opinion on this, allow me to introduce myself (for those of you who don’t know me). I’m a pediatrician, a DAN doctor, and a writer. I’ve been researching vaccines for about 15 years now. While I’m not anti-vaccine, I do acknowledge there are problems with our current vaccine system, there are potential very serious side effects, and I view the decision that some parents make to not vaccinate their babies as an understandable choice. I have always openly accepted such patients into my practice and have never come down on such parents. I believe parents should be well informed about vaccine risks versus benefits before they vaccinate. You are probably wondering, “Why the preface?” Is it because there’s going to be some sort of “But” that I’m going to write about and I feel I have to soften the blow or butter you up a bit before I say something you aren’t going to like? Maybe. I’ll let you decide.
As the autism epidemic continues to rage on, everyone is searching for a cause or causes. Many parents and some medical professionals believe there is already enough evidence to show a link between vaccines and autism, and they are calling for a change, even a halt, in vaccine protocol. They hope and pray that someday mainstream research will give them vindication and make a clear declaration that “vaccines cause autism.” Not that this would help any children who have already been affected (except for easing the financial burden these families have to endure), but it would bring peace and closure to families who have been trying to find why their child regressed into autism. And it would help protect future children. For many parents, such a ruling would also create renewed anger and a demand for accountability. Is such a day ever going to come? It may or may not. That’s not the purpose of my discussion here. The question that I want to address is this: If a link is proven, will the routine use of vaccinations change dramatically? I actually don’t think it will. Now, should it change? Yes. But will it? I’m not so sure. And before you get angry at me for making sure an outrageous suggestion, allow me to explain my reasoning. If you still doubt my prediction at the end, I look forward to your responses.