Dr. Mercola Guesses Wrong Again.
October 16, 2013
"Too many too soon" has been the mantra of the anti-vaccination proponent Dr. Joseph Mercola. Despite decades of research showing the safety of the Mumps, Measles, Rubella vaccine, he has consistently objected to the childhood vaccine schedule. Claiming(among other things) that we are giving the vaccines too close together in children too young. He is of course diligently ignoring the research behind the schedule, why they are given at that age, as well as the proven safety. Recently published research shows a new benefit in giving the MMR vaccine early rather than later.
A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics shows that children who are vaccinated against measles between 12 and 15 months are less likely to suffer fever related seizures than those vaccinated between 16 and 23 months.
This study was a retrospective cohort study that looked at 840,348 children aged 12 to 23 months of age who had been vaccinated against measles from 2001 through 2011. Measles-containing vaccines were associated with a lower increased risk of seizures when administered at 12 to 15 months of age. Findings of this study that focused on safety, outcomes, and highlight the importance of timely immunization of children with the first dose of measles-containing vaccines.
What does this mean?
Febrile, or fever seizures are a relatively benign but extremely scary event that happens when children older than 6 months but younger than 3 years old have a fever. The primary mechanism for the seizure is not the fever but how rapidly the fever goes up. That makes it remarkably difficult to prevent even if you treat the fever with anti-pyretics (acetaminophen commonly). It seems to be genetically mediated and is not usually a sign of a lifelong seizure disorder. Usually the risk disappears after age three. It is not specific to any particular type of disease, just the fever itself.
It is one of the factors that anti-vax parents point to as "the reaction" that triggered my child's autism. This is not true. Uncomplicated febrile seizures can happen from any infection and it has little to do with predicting future neurological issues of any kind.
This research demonstrates the opposite of the Too Soon Too Many argument. The younger a child is when they get their first MMR injection the less likely that they will have a febrile seizure.
If you follow the poorly pieced together chain of illogical suppositions by Dr. Mercola. Multiple vaccinations at a young age increase the likelihood that they will have a febrile seizure resulting in higher risk of developing autism. A patently false claim. Worse he claims a direct link. Even if that supposition were correct, this study shows giving a vaccine younger is better to prevent febrile seizure.
Dr. Mercola loves to encourage people to make educated decisions. I agree with that bit of advice. It is the only advice he offers that is truthful. Talk to your doctor don't go to your computer. The internet is the "Bottom Trawling" method of self education. You catch all types of throw away information.
Delaying your children's vaccinations is a dis-proven and dangerous practice. It delays the necessary protection that your child needs from dangerous infections. It also denies infant siblings protection from deadly pertussis infections. Delaying doesn't have any effect on the development of autism. Finally even if all of that was wrong and Mercola's advice was even close to true, delaying the vaccine raised the risk of febrile seizures instead of lowering it. Another unsubstantiated, unproven recommendation that is wrong and dangerous.
Just further proof that Anti-Vaccine proponents do not even offer a scintilla of knowledge about what is really going on in autism spectrum disorders.
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Disclaimer: This post is my personal opinion it does not reflect the opinion of; my practice, my partners, hospital affiliations, Brian Dunning or my academic affiliations. It is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace personal medical evaluation and discussion with your healthcare provider.
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