Claims that the MMR vaccine might cause inflammatory bowel disease or autism continue to haunt parents. I’m asked about the connection every week. The group that began the controversy, researchers from the Royal Free Hospital in London, have since done further research vindicating the MMR. But the fears continue.
Another team of researchers has completed a large study of the MMR and its potential problems. The results are published in the March 2019 Annals of Internal Medicine. The authors conclude, “The study strongly supports that MMR vaccination does not increase the risk for autism, does not trigger autism in susceptible children, and is not associated with clustering of autism cases after vaccination. It adds to previous studies through significant additional statistical power and by addressing hypotheses of susceptible subgroups and clustering of cases.”
This study followed 657,461 children born in Denmark from 1999 through 31 December 2010, with follow-up from 1 year of age and through 31 August 2013.
Another team of researchers completed an exhaustive review of all scientific studies of the MMR and its potential problems in 2001. The results are published in the September 2001 issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood. Those authors concluded, “While the final decision rests with the parents, the evidence of the safety and efficacy of MMR vaccine is so overwhelmingly conclusive that health professionals should have no hesitation recommending its use.”
I agree that the claims that MMR causes autism or IBD are now completely unjustified. And it is far safer to give our children the MMR vaccine than to leave them unprotected from these diseases.