There has been a measles outbreak which has some states trying to force parents to vaccinate their children. The MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine has been a point of contention for some parents who believe their children's autism was caused by this vaccine as well as for the parents that refuse to vaccinate because they are afraid it will cause autism in their healthy children. The CDC claims the vaccine is safe and does not cause autism.
Before my sons were old enough for the MMR vaccine, I started asking questions and doing research. We were aware of the vaccine controversy and wanted to make an informed decision. What I learned was that the MMR was composed of live virus. The theory of those who believe the MMR vaccine causes autism is that there is too much live virus in that one shot. Several doctors believe this can cause encephalitis (inflammation) in the brain of some children causing autism. I mentioned my dilemma with one of my doctors in a casual conversation and she gave me the name of a highly respected Brown University medical doctor who was researching this very issue.
I spoke with this esteemed doctor by telephone and while he believes the MMR caused his own grandson's autism, he also believes children should be vaccinated. His recommendation: splitting up the shots. Prior to 1971, these vaccines were given separately. I obtained prescriptions from my pediatrician and ordered the vaccines separately. They were given 6 months apart. We had no severe reactions and I am confident that this was the best decision for us.