The Journal of the American Medical Association has published a major study today that once more shows that there is no link between the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and autism. You can read the paper here. As this news report on the study concludes:
The findings from the study of a cohort of around 95,000 children will not surprise most scientists, who have been reassuring parents of the jab’s safety for 17 years, since the publication of now discredited research by the gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Jama). It sought to find out whether children who had older siblings with autism and therefore were at higher risk than most, were more likely to develop an autistic spectrum disorder themselves after having the MMR jab. They found no association between the jab and autism, even among the high-risk children, and regardless of whether they had just the first shot, under the age of two, or the booster as well at around the age of five.
The study included anonymised data from 95,727 privately insured children from across the US, 2% of whom had an older sibling with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). The research team, led by Anjali Jain of the Lewin Group, Falls Church, Virginia, say that those families with a child already affected by autism may be less likely to have younger children vaccinated.
But while I welcome the study, I am not hopeful that this will change many minds among the anti-vaxxer community, many of whom have a quasi-religious belief that there is a vast conspiracy between the medical science community, Big Pharma, and the media to hide the dangers of vaccines. After all, as far back as ten years ago there were already claims that the MMR-autism link had been conclusively debunked by a study of over 30,000 children that had added to an already large existing body of evidence disputing the links, and yet that did not end the matter.