Medicine

Study finds no evidence MMR vaccine increases risk of autism

Study finds no evidence MMR vaccine increases risk of autism

The discredited link between the MMR vaccine and autism dates back two decades to a study published in The Lancet that claimed a handful of children had been diagnosed with autism within four weeks of receiving the vaccination.

Subsequent studies have been unable to repeat the same results of Wakefield's study and have found no link between vaccines and autism.

"The idea that vaccines cause autism is still around despite our original and other well-conducted studies", Hviid wrote in an email.

They found no difference in autism rates when they compared children who had the vaccine, with those who had not. "It's imported from other parts of the world, finds those pockets of susceptible children and causes illness, also among children who at the moment are too young to be vaccinated".

The researchers also found no increased risk among subgroups of children who might be unusually susceptible to autism, such as those with a brother or sister with the disorder.

While most survive without any consequences, 1 in 15 go on to get middle-ear infections, 1 in 25 pneumonia and 1 in 2,500 encephalitis. Will a new study from Denmark - one involving hundreds of thousands of subjects - finally convince the skeptics and activists?

Associate Professor Helen Leonard from Perth's Telethon Kids Institute said it was an important study based on registry data on over 650,000 Danish children to see if the MMR vaccine was linked to an increased likelihood of an autism diagnosis.

More news: Trump again slams Cohen, Democrats: 'I am an innocent man'

The study was later debunked and Wakefield lost his medical license.

"MMR does not cause autism", Hviid told NPR. Worldwide, incidents of measels increased 48.4% between 2017 and 2018, according to the WHO.

The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in question is a two-dose course that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention touts as 97 percent effective. Ten countries, including Brazil, the Philippines and France, accounted for almost three-quarters of the total increase in measles cases in 2018.

The uptick is so disturbing that the WHO made "vaccine heistancy" - which they believe is directly responsible for the increase - one of the world's top ten threats to global health in 2019.

"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".

That paper, which included just 12 children, was later retracted because of errors, but myths around the vaccine continue to be shared. "It's a choice to take a greater risk, and unfortunately right now, we are experiencing that greater risk".


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