Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Childhood immunizations: Safe or not?

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Greg Peck
November 28, 2011

Some parents remain convinced that giving shots to infants at too young an age risks autism. They point to tiny amounts of mercury used as preservatives in vaccines and fear that giving shots when a child’s nervous system is still developing poses undue risks.

Last year, however, a British medical journal silenced much of this debate when it retracted a flawed study that was used to widely link autism to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

Besides that, most health department vaccines don’t contain mercury. Those that do contain less than a person would get from eating a tuna sandwich, Deb Erickson, the county’s public health nurse supervisor, told the Gazette in a story Saturday.

In that same story, Don Janczak, director of pharmacy at Mercy Health System, argued there’s “absolutely no excuse” for not completing childhood immunizations.

Yet only 66 percent of children age 2 in Rock County are up to date on shots. County health officials would like to see that rate top 90 percent.

What do you think? Do shots pose autism risks, or not?

We’ll share our perspective in our editorial Tuesday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

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