The MMR vaccine was first licensed in the US way back in 1971. It is considered to be one of the safest vaccines around. The vaccine has live viruses that help to immunize children against mumps, measles and rubella, disease that were earlier debilitating and at times fatal.
In 1994, it became mandatory for all children to have MMR vaccine before they start school. It was then that parents and healthcare professionals noticed a big rise in the number of autism cases. Many children were diagnosed with autism months after receiving their first MMR vaccine. The big question that parents ask is autism caused by the MMR vaccine.
Most research institutions deny that there is any link between autism and MMR vaccine. However, parents do not believe these claims and there are few researchers who support the parents.
In 1998, a British doctor, Andrew Wakefield, published a research paper that suggested that there was indeed a link between autism and MMR vaccine. According to Wakefield, the live viruses in the vaccine has a harmful effect on the child' immune system and in the long run it could lead to autism and brain damage.
However, Wakefield's claims were dismissed as faulty since his study was based on children, who were not the perfect study group and the group was too small to make this conclusion. Wakefield was forced to retract his claim. However, this opened a Pandora's Box and many large groups from the US and Denmark conducted further studies and found no connection with what Wakefield had suggested.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that there is no connection between autism and MMR vaccine.
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