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Study: No Link Between MMR Vaccine and Autism

We wrote awhile back about the importance of ending the philosophical exemption to the public school vaccination requirement because of the danger it posed to Michigan communities and children. Now, new research showing no link between the Mumps, Measles, and Rubella vaccine and Autism Spectrum Disorder is making headlines across the country and it is time to revisit the discussion. 

The Research

The study, titled “Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US Children With Older Siblings With and Without Autism,” is published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. It found no link between the Mumps, Measles, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), even in high-risk children. Over 95,000 children were examined by the researchers, including children with siblings that were diagnosed with ASD. The scientists thought it important to focus their research on children with older siblings with ASD, as those parents are more likely to be anxious of vaccination with regards to new children.

The researchers concluded that “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.”

Lingering Doubts

Although the body of scientific evidence over the years has consistently shown no link between the MMR vaccine and Autism Spectrum Disorder, some parents remain confused and doubtful for reasons unrelated to the science. This concern, regardless of validity, creates pockets of unvaccinated children across Michigan, lowering overall vaccination rates and increasing the risk of a disease outbreak. Michigan communities have experienced these dangers first hand, as seen by last year’s Whooping Cough and Measles outbreaks in the northern lower peninsula. We hope this research will reinforce the importance of vaccines in keeping Michiganders healthy and safe.

Image credit: CDC/ Judy Schmidt

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