Two decades ago, a later-retracted paper published in The Lancet by the now-disgraced Andrew Wakefield led to a conspiracy theory about how vaccines were linked to autism. Wakefield had falsified the data, used a small sample set, and his results were never duplicated. Yet the lie took on a life of its own, promoted by celebrities and crackpots alike.
With measles outbreaks and other diseases springing up again, it’s as good a time as ever to note that a decade-long study with 650,000 subjects has found no link — none — between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, even when other risk factors were taken into account. The study, which was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine by researchers at the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, looked at every child born in Denmark between 1999 and 2010.
The study found no increased risk of developing autism after getting the MMR vaccine, no clustering of autism cases among children who were given the vaccine, and no increase in the rate of autism among susceptible children who were given the vaccine.
Australian immunisation expert Professor Ian Frazer, who along with his team at the University of Queensland developed the vaccine for HPV, said the Danish study definitively confirms the findings of previous studies that vaccines do not cause autism.
This is as definitive as it gets.
The fear, of course, is that the people who need to hear about this information the most will either ignore it or dismiss it. Their feelings about vaccines trump any facts about them. As Flat Earthers could tell you, once you’ve accepted a conspiracy, there’s very little in the way of evidence that will get you to change your mind.
Still, shout it from the rooftops: There’s no link between autism and vaccines. None. There never were. And if you’re looking for proof, this is it. Print the paper out and send it to Jenny McCarthy.
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