In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing diseases to spread. Examples include measles, COVID, flu, and polio.
Samantha Wildow at The Dayton Daily News:
Myths regarding the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and its debunked link to autism persist as reasons some parents put off vaccinating their children. This has contributed to a recent measles outbreak that began in Franklin County before spilling over to other counties, including infecting an infant in Clark County.
“(The MMR vaccine) has been very safe since it was given out in the 60s,” said Dr. Sara Guerrero-Duby, a pediatrician at Dayton Children’s Pediatrics.
...Subsequent studies have shown there is no link between vaccines and autism spectrum disorder, including a 2013 study in the Journal of Pediatrics. This study involved 256 children with autism spectrum disorder and 752 control children. The study found that increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines during the first two years of life was not related to the risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder.
Guerrero-Duby said one of the definitive studies involving vaccines and autism was one done in 1999 by the researcher Brent Taylor and his colleagues, also published in The Lancet. This epidemiological study sought to see if there was a causal association between the MMR vaccine and autism by studying children with autism born since 1979 as the MMR vaccine was not introduced in the UK until 1988. The study found no sudden “step-up” or change in the percentage of autism cases after the introduction of MMR vaccination.
There was also a Danish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that was a retrospective cohort study of all children born in Denmark from January 1991 through December 1998. The study found the occurrence of autism was the same in both unvaccinated children and vaccinated children.
“Over 20 years, the definitive study proving that there was no connection to autism has been out there, and people still want to cling to misinformation, because they’re afraid, and we try to dispel their fear, but we do know people are afraid,” Guerrero-Duby said.
Mohammed SA, Rajashekar S, Giri Ravindran S, Kakarla M, Ausaja Gambo M, Yousri Salama M, Haidar Ismail N, Tavalla P, Uppal P, Hamid P. Does Vaccination Increase the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder? Cureus. 2022 Aug 12;14(8):e27921. doi: 10.7759/cureus.27921. PMID: 36110492; PMCID: PMC9464417.Abstract:
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that can cause significant social, communicative, and behavioral difficulties. With autism rates rising dramatically in recent years, researchers and concerned parents have theorized the causes of autism, and the subject has received much attention. Is the high rate of autism now due to increased diagnosis and reporting, changing autism definitions, or a rise in the number of people with ASD? People started to blame vaccines as a cause of the increased number of people with ASD. Vaccines and their connection to autism have been the subject of continuous debate. Some parents are concerned that vaccines, particularly the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and preservatives used in other childhood vaccines, may play a role in developing autism in their children. This systemic review explores the link between vaccination and autism in children. We conducted a literature search using PubMed and Google Scholar. We included papers written in the English language from 1998 to 2022, conducting human research that examines the relationship between vaccination and the development of autism using appropriate quality assessment tools. Two reviewers independently reviewed the content of the included studies. In total, 21 studies were deemed eligible.Conclusion:
According to our review, there is no link between the development of ASD and immunization. The dramatic increase in the prevalence of ASD created widespread concern. Many theories have been offered to explain the link between vaccination and the development of autism, including changes in immune system function, abnormal organic acid synthesis, mercury toxicity, the effects of gliamorphin on cerebral function, and the link between MMR and autism. However, all these theories remain theoretical, and our review finds no evidence of a link between them and the development of autism. Parents experienced vaccination reluctance following the release of the Wakefield study on the supposed MMR vaccine-autism relationship. It raises concern and challenges vaccine acceptance among parents, leading to the re-emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases. It still raises concern in some parents; we recommend that public health officials continue to advocate and encourage vaccination. The public may require more studies to rule out the association between ASD and vaccination.