The measles vaccine does not increase the risk of autism. A major new study confirms this fact, which has been accepted science for years.
The study of 650,000 Danish children investigated the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. The results were published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine: “The risk for autism was no different in children who got the MMR vaccine than in children who did not. This remained true even among children who had risk factors for autism, such as a sibling with autism or an older father.”
Anyone with cockamamie reasons to flout established science will still do so. But for someone with a shred of doubt, or just in need of fresh fuel to push back on a friend or family member who avoids vaccines, it’s a timely dose of new evidence.
The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board weighed in previously on anti-vax parents on Feb. 10, after measles was diagnosed in downstate Illinois and spread alarmingly in the Pacific Northwest.
“Measles can cause lifelong effects including deafness. It is ugly, with its blotchy, fevered spots, some of which leave permanent scars. It’s highly contagious and miserable to experience,” that editorial said.
With a touch of sympathy for worried parents, it also noted:
“Watching plump, pure baby flesh pierced and feeling trepidation about how the child’s system will react can be legitimately nerve-racking for a parent. That’s no license to avoid a medical necessity that protects child and community. The right to resist comes with a corresponding responsibility to back up that impulse with rigorous research.”
Now there’s even more research to back that up.
There’s been other measles news since then, too:
Ethan Lindenberger of Ohio, who sought vaccines when he reached age 18, told a U.S. Senate committee Tuesday that his mother’s fear of vaccines was fueled by anti-vax groups that manipulate parents with misinformation online. He also gave support to worried kids of anti-vax parents who want to seek vaccines on their own. The Senate panel supported a national campaign to counter anti-vaccine messages, the Washington Post reported.
Pinterest led the way in blocking anti-vax posts on social media, and YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have stepped up their attempts to block the spread of misinformation. Health officials reported possible measles exposure in the Chicago area several days ago.
The wretched pox is getting closer. We hope you and yours are vaccinated.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE