A large study provides more evidence that MMR vaccines don't cause autism


Kids who got the MMR vaccine were seven per cent less likely to develop autism than children who didn't get vaccinated, researchers report in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The research comes as anti-vaxxers continue to rally against vaccines because they believe they cause autism, despite significant scientific research to the contrary and assurances from the Centers for Disease Control about the safety of vaccines.

Similarly, the study found no evidence that the vaccine triggered autism in kids that were at higher risk for the developmental disorder due to environmental risk factors or family history.

"It is fantastic to see another high-quality study refute the myth of an autism and MMR vaccine link", she said. "In 2011, The Lancet retracted the study after an investigation found that Wakefield altered or misrepresented information on the 12 children who were the basis for the conclusion of his study".

"The study strongly supports that MMR vaccination does not increase the risk for autism, does not trigger autism in susceptible children and is not associated with clustering of autism cases after vaccination", authors said in the journal.

Recall that the original study in 1998 from Wakefield that created the hysteria over an alleged link between MMR and autism had a sample size of just twelve children.

"The paper reinforces the important public health message of maintaining high community vaccine coverage particularly in light of the lack of any association of MMR with childhood autism", Professor Leonard said. This social shift recently caused the World Health Organization to label "vaccine hesitancy" one of the biggest threats to global health in 2019.

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"I think it is understandable that some parents are uncertain and concerned given the anti-vaccine stories that are easy to encounter on the internet".

Tens of thousands of people die every year from measles, a disease that can be prevented with a simple vaccine.

Examining 5,025,754 person-years of follow-up data, the researchers found 6,517 children that were diagnosed with autism.

Measles claimed 72 lives across Europe previous year as the number of cases reached the highest level for a decade, the World Health Organisation said.

Other researchers agree the study provides powerful new evidence supporting the safety of the vaccine.

Those theories have been blamed for a drop off in vaccination rates in some places around the world, exposing kids to childhood diseases that are known to kill and cause permanent disabilities.