Autism and MMR vaccines – still not linked

A new study was published recently that showed, once again, that there is no link between autism and MMR vaccines. Are we still wasting good research dollars on showing that there is not one single link between autism and MMR vaccines (to prevent mumps, measles and rubella)? Apparently, we are going to do this until the evidence is literally the size of a mountain.

Despite the fraudulent claims of one MrAndy Wakefield, there is simply no evidence that vaccines are related to autism. Moreover, when we have gone looking, there is evidence that that autism is totally unrelated to vaccines.

And it’s more than just me yelling this loudly. Orac says soScience Based Medicine says soEmily Willingham says so. Oh I know, these are all bloggers, which isn’t real science–except, like me, whatever they write is actually linked to real science in the form of peer-reviewed studies. And we all conclude that there is simply not one shred of evidence to support the implausible hypothesis that autism and MMR vaccines are linked.

By the way, the CDC agrees with all of us. And they’re really smart people–Ph.D.’s, MD’s, and other public health specialists, whose backgrounds are in relevant areas of medicine like immunology, virology, epidemiology, microbiology, and so many other fields of research.

So despite overwhelming tons of evidence that vaccines, especially the MMR vaccine, do not cause or are completely unrelated to autism and autism spectrum disorders, the loud noise from the antivaccine cult continues. Using false balanced “debates” to pretend that there is actually some sort of scientific discussion about this point, some news reports will often make you think that there are really two sides to this story. But there isn’t. There’s one side with real science, and the other side with, well, nothing.

One more study

vaccines_do_not_cause_autism

Over 100 studies have found that various childhood vaccines, including MMR, do not cause autism or are not related to autism. However, there was one possible link between vaccines and autism that had not been thoroughly dismissed–it was hypothesized that immunizations could cause autism in a small group of children who already had other potential risk factors for developing autism.

That possibility was ruled out by new research recently published in JAMA.

A study of over 95,000 children found that infants and toddlers known to have an elevated risk of autism showed that there was no difference in likelihood of being diagnosed with autism between those vaccinated with MMR and those who were not. Additionally, the rate of autism diagnosis was the same for high risk children after the MMR vaccination as those who were vaccinated and had no family history of autism.

This study hunted for, and failed to find, any link between autism and MMR vaccines in children with an older sibling who had been diagnosed with the disorder. This finding further solidifies the conclusion that autism and MMR vaccines are not linked. This further rejects the belief that vaccines are causal to or even correlated with autism.

The authors of the study could not make a more clear and concise conclusion:

In this large sample of privately insured children with older siblings, receipt of the MMR vaccine was not associated with increased risk of ASD, regardless of whether older siblings had ASD. These findings indicate no harmful association between MMR vaccine receipt and ASD even among children already at higher risk for ASD.

In an accompanying editorial in JAMA, Dr. Bryan H. King, an autism specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital, who was not involved in the new research, stated that:

Could it be that if all the requisite genetic and other risks are present, MMR can lead to the development of autism? If so, the population in which there might be such a signal would be families already affected by autism.

The age of onset of ASD does not differ between vaccinated and unvaccinated children, the severity or course of ASD does not differ between vaccinated and unvaccinated children, and now the risk of ASD recurrence in families does not differ between vaccinated and unvaccinated children.






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TL;DR version

Here is one more study that shows that autism and MMR vaccine is unrelated. A groundbreaking study that provides overwhelming evidence that the MMR vaccine does not increase the risk of autism even in kids who have high risk factors for autism.

But it probably doesn’t matter to the true believers in the antivaccine cult. It wouldn’t matter if I provided evidence from a million different articles. They want to believe despite the overwhelming high quality evidence. And this is sad.

Vaccines do not cause autism.

Key citation:

The Original Skeptical Raptor
Chief Executive Officer at SkepticalRaptor
Lifetime lover of science, especially biomedical research. Spent years in academics, business development, research, and traveling the world shilling for Big Pharma. I love sports, mostly college basketball and football, hockey, and baseball. I enjoy great food and intelligent conversation. And a delicious morning coffee!