It seems silly that this is still an argument. Major public health organizations, courts all the way up to the Federal Circuit, and even the journal that published the fraudulent paper that initially set off the MMR vaccine scare—they all agree that vaccines do not cause autism.
But a new paper published in JAMA should end debate once and for all.
In a study of 95,000 children, researchers were unable to find any association between the measles, mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. The researchers also examined whether each child had a family history of autism; even for children within this high-risk category, they found no association between MMR and autism.
Not that we needed this study to prove it—there has never been a single high-quality scientific paper to suggest a connection between vaccines and autism. Yet, over the past 15 years, numerous studies have examined vaccines and their ingredients, and consistently found them safe and effective.
But just in case you were unable to hear the past decade of solid science over Jenny McCarthy’s shrieks, we’ll recap. Back in 2004 the Institute of Medicine examined a large body of epidemiological evidence and confirmed that the MMR vaccine did not cause autism. In 2011, the same group reviewed another eight major vaccines and found, once again, that vaccines don’t cause autism. Two years later, the CDC tracked 256 children with autism and investigated whether they had received the MMR vaccine—no connection. And we stopped even counting pro-thimerosal papers after nine studies from several countries proved that the mercury-containing chemical was entirely safe.
If there weren’t lives at risk, it wouldn’t matter that all of these studies dispel the vaccine-autism link. But now that epidemiologists are nearly certain the Disneyland Measles Outbreak was caused by unvaccinated children, it’s really time to stop humoring parents who opt out because the research isn’t in yet. Here’s your research: 95,000 children, two decades of science.