A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association proves that vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella have nothing to do with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). So this myth of the 90s was once again debunked. The research was supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health.
The investigators who took part in the research observed over 95.000 children for a period of 11 years. Their findings show that there is no link between MMR vaccines and an enhanced risk of ASD in the case of privately insured children. Not even children who had older siblings with ASD and were exposed to either one or two doses of MMR were more exposed to ASD.
Pediatrician Anjali Jain of the health care consulting firm Lewin Group (Virginia) is one of the researchers who took part in the study. She declared:
“We found that there was no harmful association between the receipt of the MMR vaccine and the development of an autism spectrum disorder.”
In recent months a series of measles cases occurred in the US. This led to the resurface of unfounded fears regarding a link between vaccines and ASD. Jain explained that in spite the fact that there are already a lot of studies which suggest there is no link between MMR vaccination and autism people continue to believe in such things.
Parent persist so much with this unfounded believes that, according to the researchers, children who have siblings with autism are less likely to be vaccinated. According to Jain their vaccination rates are almost 10% lower than in the case of children whose siblings have not been diagnosed with autism.
This myth according to which MMR vaccines could generate autism started in the 1998. A tiny but vocal group of activists who fought against vaccines claimed that their study proved that vaccines could be associated with autism. Their study was published in a medical journal in Britain. The study is now discredited and the doctor who published it in the journal was stripped of his license. Dr. Sanjay Gupta declared that as a scientific community they are indeed not sure what causes autism, but it is a certain thing that vaccines are not one of the causes.
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