A significant amount of research has already revealed that vaccines are not the cause of autism.
This week, another new study was released that found no link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, focused on the younger siblings of children who were already diagnosed with autism. These children are at an increased risk for autism, but researchers found that the likelihood of this group developing autism was not heightened by vaccination.
The study examined more than 95,000 children born between 2001 and 2007. Vaccination rates were slightly lower (10 percent) in this group, and many of the children who were vaccinated were on a delayed vaccination schedule—likely due to parents' worries. Approximately 7 percent of the individuals were diagnosed with autism; however, researchers found no link between receiving the MMR vaccine and autism in this group.
"We found that there was no harmful association between receipt of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and development of autism spectrum disorder," confirmed Dr. Anjali Jain of The Lewin Group, a health consulting group in Virginia, who led the study.
Related: 7 Vaccine Myths, Debunked!
Although the number of individuals diagnosed with autism has increased, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention attributes this to the growth of knowledge and awareness over the years.
As more and more evidence is found to prove that autism and vaccination are not linked, experts are hoping to settle the minds of parents—and begin using their resources elsewhere to explore potential causes of this disorder.
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She's a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
Image: Boy receiving vaccine via Shutterstock