MMR autism fears dismissed

MMR autism fears dismissed
MMR autism fears dismissed

New research into the MMR vaccine has dismissed fears of any link between the injection and autism.

Concerns had been raised that children who were given the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine had an increased likelihood of developing autism after one research study came to that conclusion.

But a bigger investigation by the Medical Research Council has concluded that there is no such link, with autism or other pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs).

The findings were published in the Lancet journal, the same publication that sparked fears of a link when it published the findings of Dr Andrew Wakefield in 1998.

The research was conducted by Dr Liam Smeeth and other academics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

They investigated people born in 1973 or later who were diagnosed with a PDD between 1987 and 2001 and compared them with other children registered with the same GP who did not develop autism.

Figure reveal 78 per cent of the children with autism or a PDD had received MMR and 82 per cent of the other children had been given MMR. Such a small difference was said to be insignificant.

"Our findings suggest that MMR vaccination is not associated with an increased risk of pervasive developmental disorders," the researchers concluded.