The medical community is expressing strong concerns in regard to a meeting between President-elect Donald Trump and anti-vaccine advocate, Robert F. Kennedy Jr that took place earlier this week, on Thursday, January 10th. As Mr. Kennedy Jr. stated, Donald Trump asked him to lead a new government commission on vaccine safety.
However, the Trump administration did not confirm the allegations, saying only that the President-elect was exploring the possibility of forming a committee on autism. However, the response may point to a link proposed but discredited in the past between autism and the MMR vaccine.
Now, the medical community experiences a state of unease in regard to the government committee on vaccine safety led by an anti-vaccine advocate. Both president, as well as vice president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Fernando Stein, and Dr. Karen Pemley pointed to the vast amount of research that has been done on the benefits of the MMR vaccine in the past, defending the vaccine.
“Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives”, read their statement.
In order to ensure the effectiveness of a vaccine, the United States requires all serums undergo extensive testing of both effectiveness, as well as safety before they can hit the shelves, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Furthermore, once the vaccines become available for commercial use, multiple systems monitor the treatments’ safety within the general population,
However, the scientists do not claim the vaccines are side-effects-free. Nevertheless, studies have shown that health complications linked to vaccines are rare, and almost never serious. At the same time, not vaccinating children also comes at a price. The CDC strongly supports vaccines, claiming the treatments were responsible for saving the lives of more than 7000,000 children in the U.S alone in the past two decades. Furthermore, vaccines prevented 300 million other subjects from contracting a potentially fatal disease in 2014, according to the CDC. The study conducted that year also concluded that in 90 percent of cases, side effects associated with vaccines have not been serious.
Ultimately, more than 20 extensive scientific papers discredit the link between the MMR vaccine and autism. The study that first claimed to have discovered such a link was ultimately retracted.
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