We are in the midst of a measles epidemic. Rather than being just another benign childhood illness, it is important to know that measles can result in brain damage or death. It is a serious illness with serious consequences. This is why vaccinating against it is important.
For those who worry about the risks of vaccinations, a new study should be reassuring. A large study of Danish residents has confirmed that the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine is NOT associated with an increase in autism and DOES NOT trigger autism in children who are susceptible to the disorder.
The research was retrospective, meaning that it looked back at a population of vaccinated kids over time from 1999-2010. They followed 657,461 children and looked for associations with age, birth year, gender, other childhood vaccines, sibling history of autism and autism risk factors. Of this group, 6517 children were diagnosed with autism. No difference was found between MMR vaccinated children and those not vaccinated with MMR in terms of receiving an autism diagnosis.
Moreover, receipt of the MMR vaccine was associated with a decrease in autism diagnoses in girls. Risk factors associated with a higher risk for autism included being a boy, being born late, having NO childhood vaccinations and having siblings with autism.
The sources for this information are listed below. We strongly encourage all parents to get all appropriate scheduled vaccinations for their children to save them from what could be permanent consequences of illness.
Hviid A, Hansen JV, Frisch M, Melbye M. Measles, mumps, rubella vaccination and autism: a nationwide cohort study [published online March 5, 2019]. Ann Intern Med. doi: 10.7326/M18-2101.
Omer SB, Yildirim I. Further evidence of MMR vaccine safety: scientific and communications considerations [published online March 5, 2019]. Ann Intern Med. doi: 10.7326/M19-0596.