No link between MMR vaccine and autism, confirms huge study

Researchers have found even more evidence that there is no link between autism and the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

The research flies in the face of what many anti-vaccine proponents have long claimed.

The source of these claims stems largely from a paper published in 1998 by former British doctor Andrew Wakefield that claimed that there was a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

The paper was eventually withdrawn, and numerous studies have since discredited its conclusions.

And new research in Denmark, carried out on over 650,000 children born between 1999 and 2010, showed conclusively there is no danger in children receiving the common vaccination against MMR.

"Autism occurred just as frequently among the children who had been MMR-vaccinated as it did among the 31,619 children who had not been vaccinated," said Senior Scientist Anders Hviid in a statement on behalf of the Statens Serum Institut.

"Therefore we can conclude that the MMR vaccine does not increase the risk of developing autism."

The study also looked into whether the vaccine could trigger autism in children considered vulnerable to the disorder - including those with autistic siblings, born to older parents, mothers with pregnancy-related complications, mothers who smoked and children with low birth weight.

"In none of the cases did we observe a higher risk of developing autism among the MMR-vaccinated children compared with the non-vaccinated children", said Mr Hviid.

This isn't the first time this team have investigated the impact of vaccinations on children.

"We did a similar large study in 2002," Mr Hviid told Newsweek. "However, the idea that vaccines cause autism is still around despite our original and other well-conducted studies. Parents still encounter these claims on social media, by politicians, by celebrities."

The World Health Organization recently listed 'vaccine hesitancy' amongst its top 10 threats to global health in 2019.