Do Vaccines Cause Autism? Major Study Says 'No'
By Silvana Peters | May 20, 2014 2:27 PM EST
There is a long-standing debate on the issue of vaccinations and the possibility of a link between childhood vaccinations and the development of autism.
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A new report has involved over a million children published by the University of Sydney which hopes to put an end to the argument. The researchers concluded there is no relationship between vaccination and autism.
Published in the science journal Vaccine, the first ever comprehensive international review of childhood vaccinations was a meta-analysis of five cohort studies covering more than 1.25 million children along with five case-control studies that involved nearly 10,000 children.
All studies examined revealed no statistical data to support that there is a relationship between autism and vaccination.
"A rising awareness of autism cases and the claimed but not proven link to childhood vaccinations has led to both an increased distrust in the trade between vaccine benefit outweighing potential risks and an opportunity for disease resurgence," Associate Prof. Guy Eslick, the paper's senior author, said.
Eslick stressed vaccines are a proven defense to preventing diseases and continue to hold a great importance in today's society.
"Our extensive international review found childhood vaccinations including measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough are not associated with the development of autism or an autism-spectrum disorder," Eslick added.
The professor from Sydney Medical School warned parents the decision not to vaccinate children has "substantially decreased 'herd immunity' among populations, subsequently increasing the risk of catching potentially more serious infectious diseases."
Following the results published of the study, Eslick concluded the lack of an association between the disorders and vaccinations provide no grounded reason to forego immunization under such reasons.
This report seeks to address skepticism over vaccine risks. Scientists have been urging parents to weigh benefits and risks before deciding to skip vaccinations for their children as vaccines can protect against fatal diseases
To read the complete news article by the University of Sydney, click here.
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