Last December, when nine NHL players from the New York Rangers, the Anaheim Ducks and the Minnesota Wild all came down with the mumps, teams gave all players who wanted them booster shots of the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine.
Since a mumps vaccine became available in 1967, incidents in the U.S. have plummeted from around 186,000 cases annually to less than 1,000 in 2014. But mini-epidemics do pop up in places where people who are unvaccinated or who have lowered immunity (due to age or medical conditions) live in close contact. That lack of vaccination and subsequent outbreaks occur mostly as a result of the unwarranted suspicion that the MMR vaccine is unsafe and somehow linked to autism spectrum disorder.
Now, yet another study, this one looking at almost 100,000 kids, has found that there is no link between vaccinations and developing ASD, even if a child is considered at high risk because he or she has a sibling diagnosed with ASD.
In fact, the study found less incidence of autism among vaccinated kids!
In the group of high-risk 5-year-olds, ASD developed in 23 of 269 who weren’t vaccinated (8.6 percent), compared to 30 of 796 (3.8 percent) who had gotten two doses of the MMR vaccine. Many other studies have found no correlation between autism and vaccinations. We hope that researchers will now focus on more troubling potential causes of autism, such as hormone disruptors in plastics, environmental pollutants such as pesticides and smog, and genetics. Maybe all parents will vaccinate their children.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.