In the wake of the measles outbreak earlier this year comes even more evidence that no link exists between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Published in the prominent Journal of the American Medical Association, the study retrospectively looked at nearly 96,000 children with older siblings; about 2% of the children had older siblings who had been diagnosed with autism. Children who were vaccinated did not have an increased risk of having autism, regardless of whether their older siblings did. These latest results echo those of other reputable studies, such as a 2014 meta-analysis of 5 cohort studies and 5 case-control studies involving more than 2 million children, which drew the same conclusion.
It has been more than 10 years since the Lancet retracted an article by Andrew Wakefield claiming a link between childhood vaccination and autism. The study was found to be fraudulent and the former doctor was stripped of his medical license in 2010 by the UK’s General Medical Council for ethical violations. However, despite numerous studies that have been published since then debunking the myth, there are still families that choose not to vaccinate their children, creating a health threat to the rest of society. We think it’s time to put this unsubstantiated claim to rest.
See our related blog post, To Immunize or not to Immunize: The Debate Continues for our take on the recent outbreak of measles in the United States.