There is no link whatsoever between vaccinations and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), says an Australian professor who has reviewed 10 international studies involving more than one million children.
‘‘We analysed the data and it shows there is no link,’’ says Associate Professor Guy Eslick of the Sydney Medical School.
He was inspired to conduct the study after watching two TV documentaries that linked vaccinations to autism.
Such documentaries may have been inspired by the now debunked theories of Dr Andrew Wakefield, who was the first to publicly link vaccinations with ASD in the 1990s.
‘‘I went to check what the evidence said and found nobody in the world had pulled it all together," said Prof Eslick.
‘‘I thought it was time to do something. I organised a team to see what would come out.
‘‘There’s so much rhetoric going around, I was pleasantly surprised the data shows no relationship with autism or autism spectrum disorder.’’
There’s also no autism link with vaccine ingredients, including mercury and thimerosal.
The vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough, as well as the MMR shot for measles, mumps and rubella are given a clean bill of health by the study, which has been published in the journal Vaccine.
‘‘MMR has been one of the anti-vaccination group’s big concerns,’’ says Prof Eslick.
‘‘This is an important finding. It’s about the lives of children. I’m hoping it will change the minds of some parents who are worried about autism.
‘‘The risks with vaccinations are usually pretty minor, like a fever, rash or a sore arm. Serious adverse events are uncommon,’’ says Prof Eslick.