A serious measles outbreak that spread to children attending Disney parks in the United States and Mexico has brought renewed attention to the myth that the vaccine for the disease causes autism. The myth, which is popular belief among many well-educated adults, does not just outlaw the measles vaccine. It prohibits all vaccinations based on the belief that there is chance it could lead to some form of autism.
And the science says just that: it’s a myth. A paper published in The Journal of the American Medical Association outlines a detailed study that proves that the measles, mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine is not linked to autism.
The study took a sample of 95,000 children and looked for a connection between the vaccine and autism, including the possibility of autism in each subject’s family history. As many other studies before it, these researchers found absolutely no association between vaccines and autism.
In the past two decades, extremely reputable scientific organizations have been releasing proof that the vaccine is not dangerous. The Institute of Medicine and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, along with multiple health facilities in other countries, have asserted that there is no link between the two.
Public health organizations, federal courts and major opponents of the MMR vaccine have redacted false, unsupported comments that claim it causes autism. Now, after the original scare that pushed vaccines to the sidelines has calmed, and many children have contracted the disease from others who were not vaccinated, legislators are stepping in across the nation in an attempt to make the MMR vaccine mandatory.