Article: No scientific link between childhood vaccines and autism

Oct 08, 2009

A new article recently published in the Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing explored vaccination history, vaccine safety monitoring systems in the U.S., and the two most publicized theoretical vaccine-related exposures associated with autism - the vaccine preservative thimerosal and the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. A review of published research shows that there is not convincing scientific evidence supporting a relationship between vaccines and autism. The article is part of a special issue, which includes five articles focusing on the topic of autism.

By definition, the onset of autism occurs prior to age three. No clear cause of autism has been identified, although various possible associations have been examined. There has been growing interest in environmental exposures, including vaccinations. Childhood vaccinations are administered as early as possible to assure that infants are protected against diseases that occur in early childhood. This time period often coincides with the time period that autism may be suspected or diagnosed.

A British paper published about 10 years ago seemingly made the claim that receipt of the MMR was associated with autism.
This initial report of a possible relationship between the MMR vaccine and the onset of autism received significant attention, and in England, MMR immunization rates dropped and the number of measles cases rose dramatically over the next decade.

In response to this concern in the U.S., the CDC and NIH examined vaccine safety issues and after performing an in-depth review of the relevant literature, rejected a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism. Eventually most of the authors of the original British paper also asked to retract the interpretation of their findings.

Concerns have also been raised about thimerosal, a preservative in multidose vaccines that was removed from routine vaccines in 2001 in the US and in 1992 in Denmark and Sweden. Despite the removal in Denmark and Sweden, autism rates have continued to increase there. Other studies have failed to find a link as well. Finally, in February 2009, the U.S. Court of Federal claims found that the MMR vaccine and thimerosal containing vaccines were not causal factors in the development of .

"Nurses are often in the unique position of providing advice regarding vaccines in their formal practice areas as well as in their daily lives," the authors note. "It is thus imperative that they have knowledge of the research and its results when discussing vaccines with parents, peers, and medical health professionals."

Source: Wiley (news : web)

Explore further: Controlling Ebola in West Africa most effective way to decrease international risk

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Vaccines and autism: Many hypotheses, but no correlation

Jan 30, 2009

An extensive new review summarizes the many studies refuting the claim of a link between vaccines and autism. The review, in the February 15, 2009 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases and now available online, looks at the ...

Does the H1N1 vaccine contain mercury?

Sep 15, 2009

In the words of President Obama "don't be alarmed, be prepared" for the swine flu (or, officially, the H1N1 virus). But what if the preparation is more alarming than the flu?

Survey confirms parents' fears, confusion over autism

Oct 03, 2008

The first national survey of attitudes toward autism reveals that a small but significant percentage of people still believe the disease is caused by childhood vaccines. The survey of 1000 randomly selected adults was conducted ...

Recommended for you

WHO: Ebola vaccine trials in W. Africa in January

19 minutes ago

Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe, a top World Health Organization official ...

Ebola cases rise sharply in western Sierra Leone

29 minutes ago

After emerging months ago in eastern Sierra Leone, Ebola is now hitting the western edges of the country where the capital is located with dozens of people falling sick each day, the government said Tuesday. So many people ...

US orders new screening for Ebola

49 minutes ago

Everyone coming to the United States from the three West African countries at the center of the Ebola outbreak will now be screened for the deadly disease at one of five airports, the Homeland Security Department said Tuesday.

User comments : 0