Contrary to some opinions about vaccinations, a new study has found the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is indeed safe for children. (Via Flickr / U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers In Europe District)
The journal Pediatrics released a report Tuesday that analyzed more than 20,000 studies and 67 papers on the topic. The research determined vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, do not lead to autism.
The study comes on the heels of a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that indicates a rise in measles across the U.S. Most years only have 60 cases of measles, but in 2014 there have been 539 cases and 17 outbreaks across 20 states.
"Recently we've heard about these huge measles outbreaks. And really the reason for them is people are choosing not to vaccinate their children." (Via CNN)
Time points out researchers hope the study will help dispel fears MMR vaccines are linked with autism. While the vaccines can occasionally have side effects of fevers or seizures, the report concludes the "MMR vaccine is not associated with autism."
The autism-vaccine link started with a 1998 study linking the MMR vaccine and autism. Despite that study being debunked and retracted, public figures such as Jim Carrey and Michele Bachmann have been vocal about their opposition to vaccines. (Via The Lancet, ABC, The Huffington Post)
One co-author of the Pediatrics' most recent study told USA Today: "There is a lot of misinformation out there about vaccines. With the rise of the Internet and the decline of print journalism, anyone can put anything on the Internet." Another co-author said, "This report should give parents some reassurance."
This year's measles outbreak in Ohio is the largest outbreak since 1989 in Houston, where pediatrician Dr. Carrie Byington witnessed the disease firsthand.
She told HealthDay: "I saw myself about 1,000 cases of measles in children. I saw six pregnant women and their babies die. These things stay with you, because knowing it was all preventable, it is heartbreaking."
In 2000, the U.S. declared measles had been eliminated as a disease native to the country.