In recent years there has been an on-going debate concerning a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism. The number of MMR vaccines given have declined over this period due to the uncertainty over this issue.
I have just read a recent report by a noted US immunologist, Dr. J. Bart Classen, who stated that there is "convincing evidence" that the rise in autism and other immune related disorders in children in the US, such as eczema, Type 1 diabetes, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and coeliac disease is related to the increase in the number of vaccines given to children.
Vaccines are given to babies and children to boost their immune system to cope with disease such as measles, mumps and rubella. However, Dr. Classen sees a link between the increasing number of vaccines which, for some children ,actually overloads their immune system and makes it go haywire. He believes that this overload is demonstrated by an increase in various health issues such as obesity, diabetes and autism.
Many scientists accept that environmental factors such as pollution and exposure to chemicals can be responsible for the increase in some diseases. The World Health Organisation agreed, although not specifically referring to vaccines, that "environmental factors may act many years before clinical disease becomes apparent and clinical disease may be apparent after the altered immune system is challenged by other risk factors…including pharmaceutical".
Autism is also on the increase, the CDC (Centres for Disease Control) states that about 1 in 68 children born in 2002 now are on the Autistic spectrum.