Get ready, everyone. Here's the validation that you anticipated.
A study of more than 650,000 people in Denmark found no link between being vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella and developing autism. The study is the largest of its kind and discounts a tiny study "published more than 20 years ago that has since been expunged from the medical literature," according to one report.
The results, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was conducted by researchers at the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, give us insight into the scope of this study, which involved 657,461 Danish children born between 1999 and 2010. Some of the researchers involved in this study published an earlier article on this same topic in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002. That study based its data from 537,303 Danish children born between 1991 and 1998.
According to Anders Hviid, one of the researchers involved in the study, conducting similar research was important because the concerns from a very vocal minority that there could be a link between vaccines and autism is as present as ever.
"The idea that vaccines cause autism is still going around. And the anti-vaxx movement, if anything, has perhaps only grown stronger over the last 15 years. The trend that we're seeing is worrying."
Hviid notes that the size of the study allowed researchers to investigate other claims that are made about MMR vaccine, such as a rather common one: That children already considered "at risk" for developing autism could develop the condition by receiving the vaccine. The same argument has also been made in cases of children who have autistic siblings.
Guess what? No connection. At all.
As Hviid and his co-authors wrote:
"We found no support for the hypothesis of increased risk for autism after MMR vaccination in … Danish children; no support for the hypothesis of MMR vaccination triggering autism in susceptible subgroups characterized by environmental and familial risk factors; and no support for a clustering of autism cases in specific time periods after MMR vaccination."
If you're wondering how such nonsense began, you have Andrew Wakefield to thank.
Wakefield is a discredited former British gastroenterologist who was the lead author of a fraudulent research paper claiming that there was a link between MMR vaccine and autism and bowel disease.
In fact, this latest study found that MMR vaccine decreases the risk of autism in certain subgroups, dealing yet another blow to Wakefield's "work."
That's a relief, right? You bet.
This news comes as reports of the consequences of anti-vaccination rhetoric continue to roll in. At this very moment, the United States is grappling with six separate measles outbreaks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that there were 206 cases reported in January and February. That amount is higher than all of the measles cases reported during 2017.
Get out there and vaccinate your kids, people! Science has spoken!