So, you know that debunked study freaked out people regarding vaccines and autism from a UK-based doctor* who got his license revoked as a result of ethical violations? Well, a new study that involved over 95,000 kids proves that there is no link between the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine and autism (the Guardian):
The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Jama). It sought to find out whether children who had older siblings with autism and therefore were at higher risk than most, were more likely to develop an autistic spectrum disorder themselves after having the MMR jab. They found no association between the jab and autism, even among the high-risk children, and regardless of whether they had just the first shot, under the age of two, or the booster as well at around the age of five.
The study included anonymised data from 95,727 privately insured children from across the US, 2% of whom had an older sibling with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). The research team, led by Anjali Jain of the Lewin Group, Falls Church, Virginia, say that those families with a child already affected by autism may be less likely to have younger children vaccinated.
“Families with a child affected by ASD may be particularly concerned about reports linking MMR and ASD, despite the lack of evidence,” they write. “Surveys of parents who have children with ASD suggest that many believe the MMR vaccine was a contributing cause.”
Following up the children in the study, funded by US government institutions, the team found that 994 had been diagnosed with autism, with a higher proportion (6.9%) in the high-risk group with older siblings with ASD than among the majority (0.9%). But whether or not they had been given MMR vaccination did not make a difference.
Christine reported on the recent–and entirely avoidable–measles outbreak that occurred in California last year. Disneyland was the epicenter. It sparked a renewed debate about vaccination and whether the “personal belief” exemption should be curtailed or done away with altogether. Ironically, folks who don’t vaccinate often, like the residents of California, seem to be wealthy, white liberals–you know, the pro-science crowd.
The evidence is overwhelming. Vaccines do not cause autism.
Nevertheless, anti-vaxxers have fought back in a concerted campaign against legislation in Oregon, Washington State, and North Carolina that targeted exemptions. Those bills have been shelved or killed during the current session of these states’ respective legislatures.
*The discredited doctor is Andrew Wakefield