Vaccination Controversy: A Mom Speaks Out
Amid the heated debate over childhood vaccines—sparked by parents who insist there is a link between vaccines and autism—Amanda Peet did her research before immunizing Frances, 22 months, her daughter with screen-writer husband David Benioff. Now she's advocating vaccination on behalf of groups such as Every Child by Two. Peet, 37, spoke to PEOPLE's Julie Jordan about her stand.
My sister and cousin are doctors and my brother-in-law is an infectious diseases fellow at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. After Frankie was born, I probably called or paged him 10 times a day. I don't know how he had time to make his rounds because I was such a nervous first-time mom. The more I talked to him and other doctors about vaccines, the more bewildering it seemed that some parents are afraid to vaccinate their kids. There have been 16 studies in the last 10 years—performed in five different countries—that show no link between vaccines and autism. So even if you have no faith in agencies like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization or UNICEF—which all recommend vaccines—to dismiss the data and say, "Every one of those studies was corrupt and bogus," that's a huge leap.
I'm not the mother of a child with autism; I can only imagine that anger and frustration at the medical community. But if immunization rates drop, we're going to see horrible diseases afflicting our children again. What I trust is hard scientific evidence, and that's the way I decide what's safe for my daughter.
For more information, go to www.vaccine.chop.edu
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