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Are They Safe?

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  • Too Many Vaccines?
  • Historical Perspective
  • Vaccine Regulation
  • Expert Commentary
  • Institute of Medicine Studies
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  • A Mother's Choice

Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccine and Autism Studies

The MMR vaccine was first alleged to be a cause of autism in 1998, when Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a British researcher, published a study in The Lancet claiming that the 12 children with neurodevelopmental delays (eight of whom had autism) he examined had the measles virus in their guts. Serious ethical problems such as financial ties to trial lawyers and a skewed sample group brought the validity of the study into question. Subsequent studies have failed to replicate Dr. Wakefield's results and he is currently facing professional misconduct charges as a result of this study in front of the United Kingdom's General Medical Council.

Ten of the 13 original authors have since retracted their names from the paper, and The Lancet has discredited its findings, yet the controversy has continued despite the lack of science connecting the MMR vaccine to autism.

Below are links to the studies disproving the hypothesis that MMR vaccines cause autism.

Safety of Vaccines Used for routine Immunization of US Children: A Systematic Review.
Pediatrics, Maglione et al. (July 1, 2014)

"Measles Vaccination and Antibody Response in Autism Spectrum Disorders"
-Archives of Disease in Childhood, Gillian Baird, F.R.C.Paed. (February 2008)

"Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and Links With Immunizations"
-Pediatrics, Eric Fombonne, MD (Volume 118, Number 1, July 2006)

"MMR Vaccination and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: A Case-Control Study"
- The Lancet, Liam Smeeth, MRCGP (September 11, 2004)

"Association of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine"
- Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Kumanan Wilson, MD, MSc, FRCP (July 2003)

"Neurologic Disorders After Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination"
- Pediatrics, Annamari Makela, MD (Volume 110, Number 5, November 2002)

"No Evidence for a New Variant of Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Induced Autism"
- Pediatrics, Eric Fombonne, FRCPsych (Volume 108, Number 4, October 2001)

Learn More

  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Medical Association
  • Autism Science Foundation
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Emory Vaccine Center
  • Every Child By Two
  • Families Fighting Flu
  • The History of Vaccines
  • Immunization Action Coalition
  • Johns Hopkins Institute of Vaccine Safety
  • Meningitis Angels
  • National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
  • National Meningitis Association
  • National Network for Immunization Information
  • Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases
  • Shot By Shot
  • The Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Voices for Vaccines
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