Autism-Vaccine Link Invalid
A new review of published studies shows that there isn’t convincing scientific evidence supporting a relationship between vaccines and autism.
Experts don’t know what causes autism, although they have considered various possible associations, including vaccinations. Childhood vaccinations are given as early as possible to assure that infants are protected against those diseases that occur in early childhood. This time period often coincides with the time period that autism might be suspected or diagnosed–before age 3.
A British paper published about 10 years ago seemingly made the claim that receipt of the MMR vaccine was associated with autism. In response to this concern in the U.S., the CDC and NIH examined vaccine safety issues and after performing an in-depth review of the relevant literature, rejected a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism. Eventually most of the authors of the original British paper also asked to retract the interpretation of their findings.
Concerns have also been raised about thimerosal, which is a preservative in multidose vaccines that was removed from routine vaccines in 2001 in the US and in 1992 in Denmark and Sweden. Despite the removal in Denmark and Sweden, autism rates have continued to increase there. Other studies have failed to find a link as well.
Finally, in February of this year the U.S. Court of Federal claims found that the MMR vaccine and thimerosal containing vaccines were not causal factors in the development of autism.