Kelly McGuire at The Conversation:
In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing diseases to spread. And among those diseases could be COVID-19.
Antivaxxers are sometimes violent, often abusive, and always wrong.
Half of COVID vaccine rejectors think that vaccines in general cause autism. Even when they take the vaccine, there could be a problem.
Controversy has swirled around the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine since an unfounded and discredited report first linked it with autism. Given these associations, the reception of the COVID-19 vaccine is important to consider.
Instead of the decades between their own MMR or polio shot and their children receiving the same vaccine, parents and children may get a COVID-19 vaccine within weeks or months of each other. With parents now receiving their first or second dose of the vaccine, will their hesitancy in regards to their children diminish?
One might expect that parents who sign up for their own two doses will make the same choices for their children. However, a report that has not yet been peer reviewed from the COVID States Project — a 50-state survey of COVID-19 in the U.S. — observed that 26 per cent of parents polled indicated they may choose vaccination for themselves but not for their children.
There are plausible reasons for this. Respondents may believe that children “don’t get COVID” because cases have been less common and less severe in young children than adults. They may have read misinformation about vaccines causing infertility, or they may consider adult immune systems more robust than children’s.
Parents may be willing to subject themselves but not their children to possible adverse effects. They may hesitate if the vaccine designated for their child differs from the kind they received.