A total of 657,461 children were followed through August 2013, with the researchers documenting diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder as well as known risk factors including age of the parents, diagnosis of autism in a sibling, preterm birth and low weight at birth.
One or two out of every 1,000 children who contract the disease will die, according to the CDC. "The dangers of not vaccinating includes a resurgence in measles which we are seeing signs of today in the form of outbreaks".
Of the children studied, 6,517 kids developed some form of autism, but, the study found, "the MMR vaccine did not increase the risk of autism in children who were not considered at risk for the disorder and did not trigger it in those who were".
Concerns about a potential link between the MMR vaccine and autism have persisted for two decades, since a controversial and ultimately retracted 1998 paper claimed there was a direct connection.
"In a study of more than 650 000 Danish children, there was no difference in the risk of autism in vaccinated and unvaccinated children", said lead researcher Anders Hviid.
"The idea that vaccines cause autism is still around despite our original and other well-conducted studies", Hviid wrote in an email. It's also possible that the onset of autism symptoms might lead parents to skip the vaccine.
The study was later debunked and Wakefield lost his medical license.
"Over 20 years have passed since the publication of a controversial Lancet paper that turned a number of parents around the world against the MMR vaccine due to an implied link with autism", says Dr Hannah Kirk from the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences. This social shift recently caused the World Health Organization to label "vaccine hesitancy" one of the biggest threats to global health in 2019. Critics had complained that earlier efforts had failed to focus on the effects of the vaccine on kids at increased risk of autism, according to an editorial accompanying the new study.
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The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in question is a two-dose course that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention touts as 97 percent effective.
"However, the anti-vaccine movement is not influenced by facts, by science or by logic, so I fear that another study demonstrating the safety of MMR vaccination will not sway those whose allegiance is not to reality, but to irrational arbitrary beliefs".