Autism Speaks Makes Official Statement on Vaccines

doctor holding autism signFor years, parents have been debating the link between autism and vaccines, even after doctors vehemently denied any connection. And now, one of the most prominent autism awareness organizations is making a bold statement: Autism Speaks is officially urging parents to vaccinate their children.

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Rob Ring, the chief science officer of Autism Speaks, issued the following statement:

Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism. We urge that all children be fully vaccinated.

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The autism/vaccine connection first began in 1998 when gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield published a study about the link between the disorder and the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) shot. The study was debunked (researchers found that he fixed his data and had conflicting interests), the journal retracted it, and Wakefield lost his medical license.

Another study, published in August 2014 and funded by Focus Autism, said that African-American boys under the age of 3 are at higher risks for autism if given the MMR vaccine. It also claimed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention knew about the connection in 2004 but decided to cover it up. That study was also removed by the journal after the author's methods and interests were questioned.

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Autism Speak's endorsement effectively continues to deny any connection and comes right on the heels of the latest measles outbreak. The disease has spread to 14 states and infected at least 102 children in the past month. But this latest statement is one further step in ending the debate.

Are you surprised by Autism Speaks' recommendation?

 

Image via Artkwin/shutterstock

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