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MMR Vaccine Does Not Cause Autism, Says IOM

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 26, 2011

An Institute of Medicine committee has found convincing evidence that some common vaccines – varicella zoster; measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); influenza, hepatitis B, meningococcal and tetanus – may in rare cases cause 14 adverse health effects, according to an influential report released Thursday.

However, the 667-page report said the 16-member committee found no or insufficient evidence to link the MMR vaccine with autism or type I diabetes, nor did it connect the tetanus vaccine with type I diabetes, or the inactivated influenza vaccine with Bell's palsy or exacerbation of asthma or reactive airway disease. The committee reviewed more than 1,000 research articles to draw its conclusions.

"The MMR vaccine does not cause autism, and the MMR and the DPT or diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis vaccines do not cause type I diabetes and killed flu vaccine or the flu shot does not cause Bell's palsy and does not trigger episodes of asthma," Ellen Wright Clayton, M.D., director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, said in a news briefing to release the report.


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"It is important to note that just because something bad happened after getting a vaccine, or a drug for that matter, it does not mean that the vaccine or drug actually caused that. It could have been just a coincidence or it could be that the health problem was caused by something else," she said.

The committee placed vaccines into one of four categories: evidence convincingly supports a causal relationship, evidence favors acceptance of a causal relationship but is not firm enough to be convincing, evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship and evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship.

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4 comments on "MMR Vaccine Does Not Cause Autism, Says IOM"


Craig (9/14/2011 at 9:23 AM)
No correlation, yeah right. Why did George Bush seal all MMR court cases in 2001??? Why dont the amish, who dont vaccinate, have any autism, add, or adhd??? Its all money to you people...

WaltB (8/26/2011 at 10:34 AM)
"You cannot convince me that there is not a link in some way." This tells me two things: You are not interested in finding out what the truth is, and no one need bother showing any evidence to you anyway.

Pohtikle (8/26/2011 at 9:12 AM)
Old news really. You would think that the 1000 or so studies themselves would have closed this issue already. But once more conclusive evidence is not going to convince those people that choose not to vaccinate their children. I think the problem is more psychological now; if you don't have your children vaccinated then you are intentionally exposing them to harm and thus you are a bad parent. Nobody wants to admit to themselves that they are a bad parent, especially those zealous enough about their children's health to forego vaccination. (exaggerated for emphasis, please don't excoriate me). It almost begs for social psychology experiment.