MMR Vaccine Study Finds No Link To Autism
There is no evidence of a link between the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and autism according to a new independent virus study - the most comprehensive ever undertaken - published today. The new report comes ten years after the original Lancet article by Dr Wakefield called into question the safety of the MMR vaccine.
The joint report by Guys Hospital, the Health Protection Agency and Manchester University, looked for the measles virus and antibody levels in children. It linked very careful assessment and diagnosis of a child's condition, with expert analysis of blood samples carried out by laboratories recognised as world leading by the World Health Organization.
The study found that there was no difference between the results from autistic and non-autistic children.
Welcoming the study, published today in the Archive of Diseases of Childhood, director of immunisation at the Department of Health Professor David Salisbury said:
"It's natural for parents to worry about the health and well-being of their children and I hope that this study will reassure them that there is no evidence linking the MMR vaccine to autism."
Dr David Brown, from the Health Protection Agency who worked on the study added:
"The study found no evidence linking MMR to autistic spectrum disorder and the paper adds to the overwhelming body of evidence from around the world supporting the use of MMR.
"Public confidence in the MMR vaccine continues to remain high as the uptake for those receiving their first dose has stayed stable. However, it is also important to remember that children should complete their full course of MMR vaccine or optimum protection."
This virus study reached the same conclusion as a number of large epidemiological studies. The studies found that rate of autism in children who have no had the MMR vaccine is the same as those who have.