Parental concerns that vaccines might be related to a higher risk of developing autism were initially related to the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and thimerosal-containing immunizations.
In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IoM) carried out a study which concluded that according to all evidence, there is no casual link between these vaccines and ASDs (autism spectrum disorders).
Nonetheless, parents continued (and continue) being worried about a possible link between vaccines and autism, particularly when their babies and young children have to receive many of them.
The authors of the report wrote that in a recent survey, it was revealed that parents' top vaccine-related concerns included:
- The number of vaccines children are given during their first 24 months of life
- The number of vaccines children are given in one doctor's visit
- Worry about whether there might be an autism link
The report mentions another survey which found that 1 in every 10 parents of young children delays vaccinations or flatly refuses them - most of them think that it is safer to delay the vaccines.
The new CDC study has evaluated parents' concerns regarding "too many vaccines too soon" and confirms the IoM 2004 conclusion that "there is not a causal relationship between certain vaccine types and autism."
The researchers of this latest study looked at:
- The amount of antigens babies/toddlers received on one day of vaccination
- The amount of antigens they receive in total during their first 24 months of life (Antigen - a substance in vaccines that makes the person's immune system produce antibodies to destroy the bacterium/virus/parasite)
The researchers gathered and examined data from three MCOs (managed care organizations) and compared 256 children with ASD to 752 controls (children with no ASD).
- No difference in antigen exposure - both groups of children, with an ASD and without any ASD, received the same total amount of antigens
- Antigen exposure among those with ASD with regression - children with loss of developmental skills during their second year of life (ASD with regression) received the same number of vaccine antigens as those with no ASD regression
Children exposed to far fewer antigens today - a child aged 24 months in 2013 who conformed to the routine childhood vaccine immunization schedule has received 315 antigens, compared to several thousands in the late 1990s, even though there are more vaccines during the first 24 months today than in the 1990s. This is because vaccines today are different; they contain far fewer antigens.
For example - the old whole cell whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine makes the patient produce approximately 3,000 different antibodies. The newer acellular whooping cough vaccine makes the body only produce at the most 6 different antibodies.
According to an online communiqué by the CDC:
"This study demonstrates that autism spectrum disorder is not associated with immunological stimulation from vaccines during the first 2 years of life."
MMR autism scare started in 1998A study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, which was published in The Lancet, a respectable UK medical journal, claimed that the MMR vaccine raised a baby's risk of developing autism.
A few years later The Lancet withdrew the article, saying that the study had been fraudulent.
An investigation by journalist Brian Deer published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) revealed that not only was the study linking the MMR vaccine to autism a fraud, it was also motivated by financial greed.
Written by Christian Nordqvist