A study of more than 95,000 children has found that the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) does not bring an increased risk of autism, time.com reports.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that vaccinated siblings of children with autism do not have an increased risk of developing the disorder compared to the siblings of children without autism.
Researchers analyzed records of 95, 727 children, paying particular attention to autism risks in children who received the MMR vaccine compared to those that didn’t.
“We found that there was no harmful association between the receipt of the MMR vaccine and the development of an autism spectrum disorder,” said lead researcher Dr. Anjali Jain.
They also found that the vaccination rate of children with siblings affected with autism was only at 85% compared to the 92% of those without brothers and sisters who have autism.
“Our study confirmed that in kids with older siblings who we know are at increased risk of developing autism themselves, those kids are being vaccinated less.
“But in the kids who did develop autism who were vaccinated, there was no increased risk from the vaccine compared to kids who did not get the vaccine.
The information the researchers used was collected from a health insurance database. This, and the large sample size of the study, should put to rest parents’ concerns about vaccinating their children in fear that they will develop autism because of it, said Jain.
“There could be a host of both genetic and environmental factors. But we are able to look at the vaccines themselves and show there is no association with autism,” she added.
Sources: April 21, 2015. "Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism, Even in Kids at Higher Risk". time.com April 22, 2015. "Study of more than 95,000 kids finds no link between MMR vaccine and autism". cnn.com