Final debunking for vaccine/autism hypothesis

An Australian meta-analysis has hammered a final nail into the theory that vaccines can trigger autism.

Data from five cohort studies involving well over a million children revealed no relationship between vaccination and autism, the researchers from the University of Sydney found.

Nor did sub-analyses find any relationship between autism and the MMR vaccine, thimerosal-containing vaccines or mercury-containing vaccines, they said.

The authors also looked at five case-control studies involving 10,000 children which also showed no evidence of increased risk of developing autism or autism spectrum disorders following MMR, thimerosal or mercury exposure.

However they cautioned that adverse events associated with the MMR vaccine did exist and included aseptic meningitis, febrile seizures and thrombocytopenic purpura in some populations.

Reporting in Vaccine, the authors said they found little evidence of bias in the studies analysed and noted that of the 12 previous reviews of the evidence, 11 found no link between autism and vaccination, with only one not entirely ruling it out.

Their findings supported “the continuation of immunisation programs according to national guidelines”, they concluded.