Smallpox and polio come to mind. Eradicated because of the advent of vaccines.
All diseases have their own natural rise and fall! It is NOT solely BECAUSE of vaccines.
Improved standards of living and general health are the REAL cause for when a disease is eradicated. It is also the best form of prevention of any disease.
The suffering those infants, children and families went through in those days because there were no vaccines at the time, I could not imagine, nor want to.
No one is saying that those families didn't suffer from these conditions, and I agree that I can't even imagine how awful it must have been for them. It certainly wasn't because there were no vaccines though- it was because living conditions weren't as good as they are today, and not as much was known about general good sanitation, how germs and diseases are spread, not as easy access to good nutirition, etc.
Hand washing wasn't seen as important! A doctor would go from performing an autopsy to catching a baby to examining a child with a fever without once washing his hands. No wonder those diseases ran rampant at the time!
I am willing to bet that it is going to be practically impossible to pin many of these conditions such as autism, ADHD, etc to any one thing because THERE IS SO MUCH THAT MESSES WITH OUR BODIES and our cellular make-up, starting when we are forming.
Whatever toxins our mothers were exposed to before conceiving, or before knowing they'd conceived.
Tests and drugs and toxins our mothers were exposed to while gestating. Think: ultrasounds, prescriptions, etc. All with risks.
Drugs and interventions in birth. Think ultrasounds, artificial pitocin, antibiotics, narcotics, opioids, need I go on? Not even to mention the ramifications of instrumental birth, or the ramifications of when a baby is born by cesarean, and the way THAT affects an infants' body functions and systems (something to think about when 1 in 3 babies is born by cesarean today). All with risks.
Antibiotic eye drops and an injection of vitamin K at birth. With risks.
The breastfeeding vs. formula feeding debate, that I won't even get into here
Additives in vaccines. Whether you are pro- or anti- vaccines, I don't know of ANYONE who thinks it's a GOOD thing to inject a child with thimerosol, formeldahyde, aluminum, etc. All with risks.
Chemical exposure through foods. All with risks.
Flouridated water. With risks.
All homes have some forms of mold, mildew and bacteria; countless people still live in housing with asbestos and lead present. With risks.
SO much affects the individual health, immune system, and behaviors of each person, that it would be impossible to blame one thing for a particular problem; which also means it would be impossible to give credit to just one thing like vaccines for eradicating certain diseases.
I said it before, and I'll say it again:
There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer for vaccination. We could debate it all we want but I can guarantee we'd all never agree. Maybe what we could all agree on though is that it's the parents' right and responsibility to make an educated, informed decision on what they feel is in the best interests of their children.