By Chris Mudd, Eagle Life Writer

Vaccinations have helped prevent infection from potentially life-threatening diseases since their inception, but not everyone accepts them as legitimate.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one-in-68 children have been diagnosed with autism, a 30 percent increase from one-in-88 two years ago, and it is most common in young males.

While the array of anti-vaccination arguments is vast, there are several main disputes that are often presented; mainly that vaccinations have a link to causing autism in children. The argument claims that the preservative thimerosal — which is used in various vaccines — contains mercury and is responsible for the rising number of autism diagnosis in the United States.

However, those findings have been proved to have no influence on causing autism whatsoever. A study concluded in 2013 by the Immunization Office found that “increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and vaccines during the first two years of life was not related to the risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder.”

“The reasons why the medical community is reluctant to talk about it is because there’s such a huge business in pharmaceuticals,” said Jenny McCarthy, one of the most vocal anti-vaccination activists, herself the mother of an autistic child. “Without a doubt in my mind, I believe that vaccinations triggered Evan’s autism.”

McCarthy became a co-host on “The View” in 2007, and immediately began speaking out against vaccinations on a show watched by a little over 2.5 million people every day.

“Personally, I believe that not vaccinating your children is irresponsible, considering the one kid who isn’t vaccinated could pass diseases into schools,” said student Emily Varnell, a registered nursing assistant and junior at EWU. “Now, suddenly, you’ve got measles everywhere.”

Since the start of McCarthy’s tenure on the view, the CDC reports 130,730 preventable illnesses being diagnosed, 1,381 preventable deaths.

“It’s disturbing to me that, despite the evidence, people still oppose them,” junior Mikayla Daniels said, herself a mother of four. The antagonism hit Daniels close to home after her own children were inoculated. “There were a lot of women who wouldn’t talk to me after they found out, they were so vehemently opposed to them.”

Many of the figures used by anti-vaccination supporters stem from a study conducted in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield, who at the time had an M.D. His medical license was revoked after 10 of his co-authors refuted the findings, and the entire study was deemed a falsification.

So far, there have been no legitimate scientific studies that have concluded that any form of vaccination has any impact whatsoever on the development of autism and similar diseases.