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Survey says: Concern about vaccine-autism links remains high

Awareness of an issue does not always translate into great depth of knowledge. Heck, it's almost impossible achieve depth of knowledge because the volume of information being funneled at us moment to moment is overwhelming. That's why so much emphasis is placed on finding resources that can be trusted these days. Hopefully this blog serves that purpose for you.

One area in the large family of disabilities that may make a person eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits is that of autism. We have written before about this topic, including focusing on how the rate of autism diagnoses is on the rise.

Autism, as the National Institutes of Mental Health notes, is an umbrella term for an array of conditions that can have all sorts of symptoms. Some of the symptoms can result in significant impairment in a person's ability to develop socially or be gainfully employed. That's why Social Security disability benefits might be appropriate.

Doctors aren't certain what causes autism. What is clear, though, is that our awareness of autism has been elevated a lot in recent years. One of the driving factors behind that may well be attributable to some dated medical research that suggested a link between vaccines with autism.

The impact of that news has been significant, as a new Harris Poll reveals. The survey of nearly 1,800 parents, conducted on behalf of the National Consumers League, found that one third of respondents continue to hold the view that vaccinating children can lead to autism. That's despite more current research that has widely discredited the notion.

According to the report, half of the respondents confirmed being aware of purported vaccine-autism links, but only half of those parents knew that that research had been retracted.

Meanwhile, many cautious parents still refuse to have their children vaccinated, and that's triggered concerns among public health officials. They are especially worried in light of a mumps outbreak reported in Ohio and increased measles cases reported in New York and California. 

Source: DisabilityScoop, "Autism-Vaccine Concerns Remain Widespread," Shaun Heasley, April 9, 2014

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