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MMR Vaccine Controversy Grows

May 14, 2001 While the measles, mumps or rubella may seem like a rite of childhood, many parents are now saying that its MMR vaccine no longer is such a guarantee.

Jake Baker Has Autism, And His Dad Thinks It Might Be Linked To An MMR Vaccine

A controversial study has linked the vaccine to autism, and while some parents say that there's nothing to worry about, parents of autistic children aren't so sure.

"The timing of his vaccines were coincidental with when we started thinking maybe there's something going on," said Tony Baker (pictured, below), whose son Jake (pictured, left) is autistic. "It's a theory that fits our scenario."

Baker never was suspicious until he came across a study by British researchers trying to make the connection. An in-depth report was then aired on CBS' "60 Minutes" last fall, where one of the doctors claimed that there was a medical link between the vaccine that's been around for decades, and the seldom-understood, incurable, developmental disability.

But pediatricians continue to claim that the MMR vaccine is safe, and that there's no connection between it and autism.

"There is no link," New Albany pediatrician Dr. Mary Lynn Bundy said. "There is no association. There is no cause-and-affect between MMR and autism."

Bundy added that the best medicine for concerned parents is simple: education.

"There is a discussion about this," Bundy (pictured, left) said. "People need to hear and people need to be informed in a nonsensational manner."

Still, the questions were enough to make mom Carrie Medley a little unsure when it was time for her son Kerrick to get his MMR shot. She did what a few other parents have chosen to do by separating the shots: one for measles, one for mumps and one for rubella. It cost more, and doctors recommend against it.

"I would rather be safe than sorry," Medley (pictured, right) said. "It wasn't a hassle to bring him in three times. I didn't mind paying the extra money for the peace of mind I got from it."

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