Study clears MMR vaccine of autism link

Pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) like autism and Asperger Syndrome have been on the rise for years. Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccines and thimerosal–containing vaccines (which are approximately 50 percent ethylmercury) have been suggested as possible causes. A new MUHC study published in the scientific journal Pediatrics tomorrow, assesses the link between childhood immunizations and PDD in 28,000 Quebec children and finally clears MMR vaccines and thimerosal–containing immunizations as risk factors.

“There is no relationship between the level of exposure to MMR vaccines and thimerosal–containing vaccines and rates of autism,” says Dr. Eric Fombonne, Director of Pediatric Psychiatry at The Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC and lead investigator of the new study. Thimerosal was used to prevent bacterial and fungal contamination in the manufacture of various vaccines until its elimination from vaccine formulas in 1996 in Quebec. “According to our data, the incidence of autism was higher in children who were vaccinated after thimerosal was eliminated from vaccines,” says Dr. Fombonne.

“In the past, concern about a potential link between MMR vaccinations and autism led some parents to take the drastic step of refusing to inoculate their children against dangerous childhood diseases like measles,” says Dr. Fombonne. “This action resulted in resurgence of the measles, which caused the deaths of several young children in Europe.” Dr. Fombonne’s study indicates that autism rates continued to increase even with reductions in the use of MMR vaccinations. “We hopes this study will finally put to rest the pervasive belief linking vaccines with developmental diseases like autism,” says Dr. Fombonne.

Autism is a neuropsychiatry disorder that impairs a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others. The prevalence is about 65 cases per 10,000 people (about 1 child in 155) making autism one of the most common childhood disorders. The Psychiatry Department at The Montreal Children’s Hospital sees about 350 new cases of autism each year. However, Dr. Fombonne stresses that there is no demonstrated autism epidemic. He attributes the rise in autism rates to a broader definition of autism and greater awareness of the disorder.

From McGill University

2 thoughts on “Study clears MMR vaccine of autism link”

  1. “It reveals how vaccines have had a greater impact on reducing death and disability from infectious diseases than almost any other public health intervention, yet their effectiveness is being undermined by a loss of public confidence thanks to media fear-mongering.”

    The issue has never been that MMR doesn’t, in most cases, keep children from getting those three diseases. It isn’t even that in a cost/benefit analysis children are better off statistically when they’re vaccinated. It’s the fact that a small number of children, for reasons unknown, acquire one of the severest of disabilities shortly after getting their MMR shot. Statistics mean little when it’s your child who’s drawn the short straw.

    I’ve not followed this issue in much detail, but I’ve followed it well enough to notice that many in the scientific community have never been open-minded about this issue. They’ve been more concerned, as the comment above mine illustrates, about “public confidence” in what they do being “undermined” by these allegations. They want parents to do as they’re told and not question their betters. That’s not science, that’s authoritarian dogma.

    The scientific community would do well to talk less and listen more. After all two of the most effective treatments known to science, innoculation/vaccination and antibiotics, were recognized by ordinary people long before they were accepted by the medical community.

    –Michael W. Perry, Seattle
    Editor: Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized Society
    Editor: Lady Eugenists: Feminist Eugenics in the Speeches and Writings of Victoria Woodhull

  2. This report only re-inforces the position that the American Council on Science and Health has been arguing for over a decade.

    A few years ago we published a comprehensive report on the subject, “The Promise of Vaccines: The Science and the Controversy.” It reveals how vaccines have had a greater impact on reducing death and disability from infectious diseases than almost any other public health intervention, yet their effectiveness is being undermined by a loss of public confidence thanks to media fear-mongering.

    You should all take a look:

    http://www.acsh.org/publications/pubID.423/pub_detail.asp

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