A study at the University of Sydney revealed that there is no link between vaccines and autism or autism spectrum disorders. Many parents have not had their children vaccinated for fear of it causing autism, which has led to small outbreaks of measles and other preventable illnesses, according to The Daily Telegraph.
An international review was conducted and published by the Sydney Medical School of 1.25 million children, as well as five case-controlled studies with 9,920 children.
“There has been enormous debate regarding the possibility of a link between these commonly used and safe childhood vaccinations and the supposed development of autism,” said the paper’s senior author, Associate Professor Guy Eslick. “The data consistently shows the lack of evidence for an association between autism, autism spectrum disorders and childhood vaccinations … providing no reason to avoid immunization on these grounds.”
The research has disproved the theories that anti-vaccination groups have pushed, starting in 1998 with gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield. His paper has now been discredited. Pharmaceutical scientist Dr Dennis Flaherty called Wakefield’s theories “the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years.”
The cause of autism is still unknown.