Study on 95,000 children confirmed: vaccine doesn't cause autism
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is the latest piece of research to debunk the myth associating the MMR vaccine with autism.
Using a database from a large commercial health plan, the researchers paid particular attention to children who had older siblings with autism, ASD, which puts them at a higher genetic risk of developing autism.
The team of researchers examined the records of 95,727 children in an 11-year window. They studied the risk of developing autism in children who received the MMR vaccine compared with those who didn't.
For children with older siblings diagnosed with autism, the study's authors said they "found no evidence that receipt of either 1 or 2 doses of MMR vaccination was associated with an increased risk of ASD."
The work was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The study found that children who had an older sibling with autism were less likely to be vaccinated.
The myth about a link between vaccines and autism, propagated by a small but loud group of anti-vaccine activists, grew out of a now discredited study from 1998 that was published in a British medical journal by a doctor who was later stripped of his license. ■