the solid scientific evidence that would support the development and use of MMR and other vaccines as preventive cures from harmful biological diseases which emerge and reemerge as new variants to endanger human lives in the world.
Vaccines have benefited human society for more than two centuries since Edward Jenner first created the first vaccine for small pox in the 1970s (Health Affairs, n.d.). Defined as “any preparation to produce immunity to a disease by stimulating the production of antibodies” (WHO, n.d.), vaccines have saved millions of lives, making it an interesting subject to consider. On the other hand, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is “a complex neurodevelopment disorder” which afflicts six out of every 1,000 children (Autism Fact Sheet, n.d.). Unlikely to cross paths, autism vaccines and autism did meet after the publication of a study by Andrew Wakefield who claimed mump, measles and rubella vaccination (MMR) was behind the increase in autism cases. This has caused a deep-seated fear for the use of vaccine agents. Using the descriptive method, this paper examines two scholarly articles which can clarify the issue.
Emily Hensley and Leslie Briars wrote the article “Closer Look at Autism and the Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine” (Medscape, 2010). Intending to reach pharmacists, they posed the hypothesis that MMR vaccine is linked to the development of autism. Then they identified 27 studies which all disclaimed any causal relationship between MMR and autism. Hensley and Briars pointed out that “the myths presented to potentially support any relationship between MMR vaccine and autism have not been proven” (Medscape). The 27 studies have used expert testimony which refute critical scientific theories on the MMR vaccine. Hensley and Brian’s article can play an important advocacy role for vaccine immunization, and the positive information which can regain confidence in the use of vaccines for medical healthcare.