What is the link between the MMR vaccine and autism?

Hayden M. Pasco, MD
Family Medicine
Some people are concerned that vaccination causes autism. However, there is no scientific evidence linking vaccinations with autism. In fact, the initial report originally published in England describing the link between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine was refuted by large-scale studies and eventually retracted by the journal. The notion of the link arose from the coincidental timeline of autism development. The disease tends to emerge around the timeline that the MMR vaccine is given, thus creating a perceived link. The absence of this link has been confirmed by metadata (an aggregation of major studies over a period of time), effectively closing the case on this misinformation.
Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
A study unleashed a storm of anxiety and concern that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine might be linked with autism. The study has been discredited and the scientists who published it have retracted it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that many carefully designed studies have not been able to find a causative link between the MMR vaccine and autism. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies has also published a report, "Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism," that concluded that the body of epidemiological evidence could not find a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Nor have studies been able to find a link between MMR and inflammatory bowel disease, another source of parental concern.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.