One Danish study strongly suggests how the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is not associated with an increased risk of autism.
The concerns regarding the link between the MMR vaccine and autism have gone on for almost two decades after a controversial and retracted 1998 paper claiming there was a direct connection.
Despite the multiple studies that have found no link to autism — parents across the globe continue to live in fear.
In the current study, researches examined data on 657,461 children and during this time — 6,517 were diagnosed with autism.
Those children who received the MMR vaccine were 7 percent less likely to develop autism than those children who did not get vaccinated according to the Annals of Internal Medicine researchers report.
“Parents should not skip the vaccine out of fear for autism,” Dr. Anders Hviid of the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark and lead study author shares.
“The dangers of not vaccinating includes a resurgence in measles which we are seeing signs of today in the form of outbreaks,” Hviid shared.
Measles can be fatal — as it is considered a highly contagious virus that stars with a fever that can last up to a couple of days.
It is then followed by a cough, runny nose and pink eye.
The rash then develops on the face and neck, then spreading to the rest of the body.
Those with measles can spread the virus for multiple days prior to, as well as after the rash appears.
The virus is able to live up to two hours on surfaces where an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Infection is caused by breathing in droplets or touching a contaminated surface and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
Researches note how just a five percent reduction in vaccination coverage can triple measles cases in the community.
Researchers studied the connection between autism and the MMR vaccine in a nationwide study of children born in Denmark to Danish-born mothers from 1999 to 2010.
They then followed children from the age of one all the way to the end of August 2013.
In the study, 95 percent of the children overall got the vaccine.
Those children who had autistic siblings were more than seven times more likely o be diagnosed with autism than kids without this family history.
The study also found how boys were four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
Children with no childhood vaccinations were also 17 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism than those who did not receive the recommended vaccinations.
Early symptoms of autism include behaviors that are repetitive like hand flapping or body rocking as well as extreme resistance to change.
It should be noted however that the study was not a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how vaccines may cause autism.
Dr. Saad Omer of Emory University in Atlanta, shares how the study continues to add to an overwhelming amount of evidence showing how vaccines do not cause autism — saying:
“Any myth should be clearly labeled as such,” Omer shares.
“Even in the face of substantial and increasing evidence against an MMR-autism association, the discussion around the potential link has contributed to vaccine hesitancy.” Omer continued.
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