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Autism & Vaccines

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One-year-old Zhyla is getting her shots. Like many moms, Nadia Fogarty worries about her daughter having so many vaccines in the first years of her life.

"I'm still a little bit nervous about it."

Children get vaccines to prevent many diseases including hepatitis, diphtheria and whooping cough. An estimated one in ten parents refuse or delay them because of autism concerns even though there is no scientific evidence linking them. Now a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics says getting multiple vaccines before age 2 doesn't increase the risk of autism either.

"Comparing the antigens received in vaccines between the children with autism and the children without autism we did not find any difference overall," says Dr. Frank Destefano of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Initial worries over vaccines and autism came from a British researcher's study that linked the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism. That study was found to be a fraud.

Children today get many more vaccines than they did 20 years ago. By the time a child is two years old, they can receive as many as 24 shots.

Pediatricians say it's best to follow the recommended vaccination schedule.

"Vaccination saves lives. When you have a family that doesn't want vaccination or wants to delay the schedule of vaccination you are putting your baby or child at risk for something that can be prevented with vaccine," says Dr. Jessica Sessiosn of William F. Ryan Center.

That's all the reassurance this mom needed. "They put these vaccines out for a reason."

Nadia just wants to keep her baby safe and healthy.

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