The Measles vaccine and autism are not linked — despite reports to the contrary — according to a new study conducted on more than 95,000 children during two decades.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), was conducted between 2001 and 2012 on 95,727 children with older siblings, with and without autism.
According to the JAMA, this study is important in the efforts to dispel the belief that there is a connection between the Measles vaccine and autism in children.
“Despite research showing no link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), beliefs that the vaccine causes autism persist, leading to lower vaccination levels. Parents who already have a child with ASD may be especially wary of vaccinations.”
The erroneous information has led to a lower rate of vaccinations, putting the general population at risk. A recent measles outbreak, originating at Disneyland in California, is the perfect example of what can happen if children don’t receive the MMR vaccine between birth and five-years-old.
Consensus in the medical community is that there is no link between the measles vaccine and autism and that vaccines are safe. The most significant conclusion of the new study is that even children with family history of autism were not affected by the MMR vaccine.
Several prominent studies have also concluded there is no link between autism and vaccines of any kind. However, anecdotal information has led some parents to believe that vaccines are not safe, despite medical assurances that such is not the case.
“Families with a child affected by ASD may be particularly concerned about reports linking MMR and ASD, despite the lack of evidence… Surveys of parents who have children with ASD suggest that many believe the MMR vaccine was a contributing cause… This belief, combined with knowing that younger siblings of children with ASD are already at higher genetic risk for ASD compared with the general population… might prompt these parents to avoid vaccinating their younger children.”
The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is recommended for all children, according to WebMD, and it protects against the three potentially serious illnesses. It is a two-part vaccination, and in most states, you must have proof your children have received the vaccine before they can enter school.
In 2014, there were 644 cases of measles reported, according to CNN, an uptick compared to prior years. The U.S. had the highest number of cases of measles since 2000.
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