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Family First: Are vaccinations linked to autism?

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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

A so called "anti-vaccine" movement could be giving new life to old diseases.

"Without a doubt in my mind I believe vaccinations triggered Evan's autism" said Jenny McCarthy.

Interviews like this have put fear into some new mothers who are still left deciding whether or not they want to vaccinate their child.

While McCarthy has said she isn't leader of the "anti-vaccination" movement, she believed it led to her son being diagnosed with autism.

But Dr. Wanda Thomas couldn't disagree more.

"There's no proven link between vaccinations and autism," she said.

That's right, no "proven" link. So why would people put a link between the two?

"A lot of times people see signs and symptoms of autism apparent to the parent around age 1 and that's when most children received their first set of different vaccines than those they've received from the previous year," Thomas said. "People have thought possibly that that twelve month set of vaccines has a linkage with autism but to date there's no linkage found," Thomas said.

Mother and pediatric resident Colleen Seacard's son has had three sets of vaccines already and one at birth. Getting 6-month-old Gabriel vaccinated wasn't an option for her.

"Well I think that everybody has their own opinion and their own right to do what they want to do," she said. "But it is a very scary thing not to get your kids vaccinated because of all the difference disease processes."

Diseases like the mumps, rubella and the measles. That last one has popped up recently in certain parts of the United States.

"Amber Dawson also had her 2-year-old son vaccinated. She said after breastfeeding, you can only protect your child for so long.

"Mothers only pass their antibodies for a certain period of time like a few months and with breastfeeding that prolongs the type of antibodies that they're exposed to," she said. "However, that is only temporary."

She said when it comes to vaccinations, you should only depend on your pediatrician.

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