Vaccine-Autism Myth Harmful to Public Health

Scottsbluff, NE – An independent study conducted in 2000 by the National Academy of Sciences showed no connection between the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. That’s a key message the Regional West Community Health wants to share with parents during National Infant Immunization Week, April 26 through May 2.

“The diseases that the MMR vaccine prevents are serious,” said Paulette Schnell, RN, Community Health nurse. “If people stop getting vaccinated, the number of cases of these diseases will increase, and with it, the number of serious health problems and even deaths.”

Measles is a life-threatening disease that spreads quickly and easily. Although the cold-like symptoms may appear mild, they can lead to conditions such as seizures, and water and swelling around the brain.

Mumps was a major cause of deafness in children before vaccination became available. Even though it is usually mild in children, it can lead to infertility in teenage and adult males.

Rubella is especially harmful to pregnant women. Their babies may develop a life-long condition that includes heart defects, mental retardation, and deafness.

Schnell encourages parents to make sure their children’s immunizations are current. Immunizations are available at area physician offices and at the Regional West Community Health office located at 3700 Avenue B. Immunizations for newborns through 18-year-olds are provided on a donation basis at the Immunization Clinic held on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Call 308-630-1126 for an appointment. No child will be turned away due to inability to pay.

Regional West Health Services, with over 1,800 employees, provides comprehensive and innovative health care services for the people and communities of western Nebraska and the neighboring states of Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming. With over 110 active physicians, 95 percent of whom are board certified or board eligible, plus an additional 25 consulting specialists, we offer care that spans more than 30 medical specialties. Regional West Medical Center, a subsidiary of Regional West Health Services, is accredited by The Joint Commission and is one of three Level II Trauma Centers in the state of Nebraska.