Vaccine Math

As you may or may not know, I try to avoid this topic but sometimes, for the health of those that are unable to protect themselves, I feel the need to speak up.

Recently I read a news article about how the “Vaccine Mistrust Spreads To The Developing World“, where obviously a news story from a place like Afghanistan can be completely accurate or a total farce. I have no way of verifying any of it.

However, it is very concerning and down right scary to think that people would be choosing to brave Polio than take the (unfounded) risk of Autism, or any of the other associated risks of being vaccinated.

(I included a link to the Polio wikipedia page because I think it’s important to take a minute to recognize just how devastating Polio can really be)

Vaccine Math

Now, this isn’t exactly math so much as a comparison but just follow me on this for a moment:

Your options:

  1. You know that vaccines prevent X, Y and Z… and despite the fear that it may cause Autism, you get your child vaccinated.
  2. You deny vaccinations for your child and now risk contracting X, Y and Z… and despite the fear that it may cause Autism, your child could STILL be Autistic.


  1. Your child may become Autistic.
  2. You now risk contracting X, Y, Z and becoming Autistic PLUS you also put babies, children and others at risk of X, Y, Z that are not yet or unable to be vaccinated.


  1. A child that may become impaired/disabled, with a possibility for life long dependence on a guardian/care provider.
  2. A child that may face illness, life long health issues, neurological impairment/disability, disfigurement, paralysis, death… PLUS, you also put babies, children and others at risk that are not yet or unable to be vaccinated.

The Logic

To me, the logic is pretty straight forward.

I’m not saying that I don’t recognize the rather questionable ingredients that are used… I’m not saying that vaccines couldn’t be safer.

However, to not vaccinate for fear of Autism really makes no sense to me at all. Mostly because even non-vaccinated children can be Autistic. But also because ofthe HUGE RISK in doing so.

And it’s not just your riskYou put others at risk as well. A baby may not be able to survive a battle with vaccine preventable illnesses… people with weakened immune systems may not be able to survive them either. They are either not yet vaccinated or unable to be vaccinated. They depend on you and I.

Safe Vaccine Advocacy

Being pro vaccine safety is entirely different than being anti-vaccine.

If you push for safer vaccines, I’ll support you. Even vaccine makers can admit that they could be safer.

Safer schedules? I’m no scientist. I can find articles arguing back and forth, from doctors no less, so I’m not in a position to say but I don’t question it so long as the vaccines are still given.

I’ve written about this before, I’ve also taken a stance earlier this year and this post is an extension of that stance.

Not saying something might mean another innocent baby being infected withwhooping cough, or further measles outbreaks.

Don’t react emotionally, don’t base life and death decisions on a Youtube video. 

Do the math for yourself and ask yourself, what risks are you really avoiding and more importantly, what risks are you really taking?

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Stuart Duncan
I am the father of 2 great boys, Cameron (Autistic) and Tyler, his younger brother. Founder of Autcraft.
Stuart Duncan

Stuart Duncan

I am the father of 2 great boys, Cameron (Autistic) and Tyler, his younger brother. Founder of Autcraft.

0 thoughts on “Vaccine Math

  • September 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    And it all boils down to a crap shoot.

    If you are wrong, your child dies…and possibly infects others.
    There are too many OTHER things that contribute to the autism numbers…like pollution, artificial additives, you name it…and for the millionth time, the doctor who claimed that immunizations CAUSED autism is now unable to practice medicine in the UK. Every doctor who supported his “findings” had recanted…and I wouldn’t trust him with a gerbil.

  • August 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    …i’ve nto taken the flu vaccinations for the last 12 seasons…. and suffered not once with the flu in all that time, either…. so as far as the need for it, it’s debatable, the need , that is…. Peace

  • August 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I’ll bite.

    Before I do, though, know that my kid has followed the general vaccine schedule for our state (except for a flu vaccine). He is not autistic. I’m not really passionate about this one way or the other. The only reason I even care enough to respond is because of the logical intent of the post, and I figured it was a bit weak in some respects.

    Some things to keep in mind in your scenario construction: generally speaking, vaccines help prevent diseases. However, they are not a sure thing. Also, while there is an increased risk of X, Y, and Z, there is also (if we assume for the sake of argument that the link between autism and vaccines is one of substance) a decreased risk of autism. 1 and 2 both carrying the risk of autism is not the same as them having an equal likelihood of it developing.

    I feel like you have presented this option as 1) can’t get x, y, z; can get autism versus 2) can get x, y, z, AND autism. No brainer amirite!? However, it should be more like 1) much less likely to get x, y, or z; more likely to get autism versus 2) more likely to get x, y, or z; less likely to get autism.

    The real kicker would be the actual numbers. Calculated risks are sometimes worth taking. Someone may be run the risk of getting into a fatal car accident by getting behind the wheel, but we don’t think (s)he is insane for doing so. Someone may wear a surgical mask for fear of getting SARS while thousands of people they walk past don’t take the precaution; who is making the right decision? Should we not just leave it up to the individual to decide?

    At any rate, I have a hard time trusting people who say they have the numbers. A lot of the “numbers” are just surveys that boil down to correlation. Correlation should not be dismissed out-of-hand, but it should also not be confused with causation either.

    I’m a fan of being a little less hasty to vaccinate for any and every thing. Furthermore, I am open to the idea of delaying certain vaccines in the cycle. And as far as what other people do, I’m not interested in dictating that they adhere to my dogma.

  • August 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Your reasoning is exactly why we choose to vaccinate. I would rather have a child with autism than to watch my child die of some terrible disease. I know there have been children who have reacted terribly to vaccinations and have died, but it seems to be extremely extremely rare.

  • August 22, 2012 at 1:05 am

    I was surprised to read on the CDC handout for MMR and chicken pox that there is an increased risk of side effects if they are given together. However, if you wait 4 weeks between the vaccines, there is a lower risk.

    I suppose they group them together because it is more convenient, but really, I don’t see why they don’t make the recommendation for getting them separately for parents who are able.

    Just makes me go, hmmmm.

  • August 21, 2012 at 11:07 am

    A reasonable, rational post on vaccines.

    My wife and I will most likely vaccinate, probably not along the CDC guidelines but in consultation with our pediatrician.
    Autism (and the autistic spectrum) is such a new field (relatively) on medicine that there so many aspects that we don’t understand it completely, yet it seems like everything that we do – or have been doing for decades – is suddenly incredibly “bad” for our kids.
    Let kids be kids, and we’ll be stronger for it.

  • August 21, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I was so afraid this was going to be another “VACCINES ARE PRODUCTS OF THE DEVIL AND YOU’RE A TERRIBLE PARENT IF YOU VACCINATE YOUR CHILDREN!”  I’m happy to see it was not.  Thank you very much for that.

    @[email protected] – My boy’s pediatrician is uncomfortable with giving children so many shots at once.  “No adult in their right mind would consent to having six or seven at once, why should a child be any different? she said to me on our first visit.  So she spaces them out as often as she can.  He rarely gets more than three at once.

  • August 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    My cousin refuses to vaccinate her kids. Her excuse is “If all the other kids are vaccinated then my kids won’t get it anyway.” Wow, selfish or what?! I do what my daughter’s doctor recommends. As much as everyone likes to argue, they are not out to hurt our children or fill them with unnecessary medications. I understand there are probably downfalls to the immunizations, but if we all stopped getting them all these diseases would come right back stronger than they were hundreds of years ago.

    Now I do know some people who have delayed their kids’ vaccinations, although I don’t know why. But that is something I might consider looking into. My daughter had 6 shots for her 12 month check-up. I think that was a lot to take on at once. I don’t know why they can’t spread them out at least a little.

  • August 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    YES! Thank you. The medical community needs to show some fortitude and say what actually needs to be said: “There is no evidence that vaccines cause autism. But even if they did, vaccines would still be so important to public health that we would still recommend routine vaccination. Vaccines save millions of lives every year—indeed, vaccines save more lives than the total prevalence of autism, so even if there were no other causes of autism (and there obviously are), it would still be worth it to vaccinate. Don’t you think your child is better off autistic than dead?”

  • August 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Oh, God.  I couldn’t get past the paragraph.  This is scary and worrying.  I feel so embarrassed that I ever uttered that no one was going to believe the paper that started the whole scare in that Virology class I took years ago.  Brave polio?  Wow.  just wow.


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