New study finds that measles vaccine does not cause autism

Kelly Mc Menimen with her son Tobias Halpern 8 whom she opted not to vaccinate at Lagunitas Elementary school in Lagunitas California. The New York Times

New study finds that measles vaccine does not cause autism

A hyperlink between autism and the MMR vaccine has lengthy been erroneously advised, because of a controversial paper revealed in the prestigious journal The Lancet over 20 years in the past.

For 10 years, data were collected for 650,000 Danish children born between 1999 and 2010.

Of the children studied, 6,517 kids developed some form of autism, but, the study found, "the MMR vaccine did not increase the risk of autism in children who were not considered at risk for the disorder and did not trigger it in those who were".

"There was some added effect from some vaccine hesitancy in the 1990s arising from the myth that arose from a mistaken belief in association with childhood autism". Over the a year ago, there has been a 30 percent increase in measles cases worldwide and deadly outbreaks in areas with large amounts of unvaccinated children.

Noting that measles outbreaks are becoming more commonplace in the United States as well as Europe, Hviid said: "US researchers concluded that even a 5 percent reduction in vaccination coverage would triple measles cases, with significant health economic costs".

In 1998 British researcher Andrew Wakefield and 12 colleagues fraudulently produced study results alleging the MMR vaccine caused bowel disease and autism.

It also did not lead to increased risk in children who received other childhood vaccines, or during certain time periods after receipt of the vaccine, and was not associated with clustering of autism cases after vaccination.

Unfortunately, the new study may not change many minds in the anti-vaxxer community.

While the biological mechanism behind the condition is still unclear, the researchers were able to identify groups that had the highest risk for autism. The best protection is two doses of the MMR vaccine.

"Not only are these vaccines safe, but they're effective in preventing diseases that could have some very harsh long term outcomes", said Jordan Johnson, SwedishAmerican pharmacist.

"Anti-vaxxers" refuse to immunise children, in the (mistaken) belief that vaccines cause conditions such as autism.

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

Researchers strongly recommend parents have their children vaccinated.

The new study may not increase the uptake of vaccination but will help doctors in convincing the parents, said Yogesh Jain, physician and public health activist at the NGO Jan Swasthya Sahyog in Chhattisgarh.

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