A 10-year look at more than 600,000 children comes at a time when anti-vaccine suspicion is on the rise again.
At a time when measles outbreaks are mounting among clusters of unvaccinated children, notably in Washington State, New York and Texas, a new large study published this week found no association between the measles vaccine and autism — a reason often given by parents for rejecting inoculation.
The new research confirms what has long been widely accepted in the scientific community, and it echoes findings of a 2002 study by members of the same team of scientists about the vaccine, known as MMR because it protects against measles, mumps and rubella.
But the findings come at a moment of resurging suspicion about vaccine safety, that has been promulgated at the far edges of the internet and on mainstream sites such as Amazon, Facebook and Pinterest. Many of those companies have taken steps in recent weeks to remove anti-vaccine content, but on Monday, the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Kyle E. Yasuda, wrote to the chief executives of Google, Facebook and Pinterest, urging further action in “an urgent request to work together to combat the dangerous spread of vaccine misinformation online.”
In emphatic language, the researchers, who followed 657,461 Danish children born between 1999 and 2010, stated in the Annals of Internal Medicine: “The study strongly supports that MMR vaccination does not increase the risk for autism, does not trigger autism in susceptible children, and is not associated with clustering of autism cases after vaccination.”
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