Some parents are still confused about who they should listen to for advice about vaccines and autism.
Is there any controversy or a real debate going on about whether vaccines are associated with autism?
What do the experts say?
They say that vaccines are not associated with autism.
More and more, experts are also stating that continuing to focus attention on vaccines is hurting autistic families.
And no, it’s not just one or two of them and it is not just your pediatrician…
Autism Science Foundation
“Multiple studies have been completed which investigated the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination in relation to autism. Researchers have also studied thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, to see if it had any relation to autism. The results of studies are very clear; the data show no relationship between vaccines and autism.”
American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics, an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists, has long advocated for the health and safety of our children.
“Claims that vaccines are linked to autism, or are unsafe when administered according to the recommended schedule, have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature. Delaying vaccines only leaves a child at risk of disease. Vaccines keep communities healthy, and protect some of the most vulnerable in our society, including the elderly, and children who are too young to be vaccinated or have compromised immune systems.”
The AAP has consistently emphasized the safety and importance of vaccines to help reassure parents who are scared by anti-vaccine misinformation.
Autistic Self-Advocacy Network
“Vaccinations do not cause autism – but the use of autism as a means of scaring parents from safeguarding their children from life-threatening illness demonstrates the depths of prejudice and fear that still surrounds our disability. Autism is not caused by vaccines – and Autistic Americans deserve better than a political rhetoric that suggests that we would be better off dead than disabled.”
Autism Society of America
“There is no known single cause for autism spectrum disorder, but it is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. Brain scans show differences in the shape and structure of the brain in children with autism compared to in neurotypical children. Researchers do not know the exact cause of autism but are investigating a number of theories, including the links among heredity, genetics and medical problems.”
Autism Women’s Network
“Vaccines do not cause autism. Neither does thimerosal.”
National Autistic Society
“In the light of concern around the continuing activities of anti-vaccine campaigners, including promotion of the film ‘Vaxxed’, we feel it’s important to restate that research has comprehensively shown that there is no link between autism and vaccines…
We believe that no further attention or research funding should be unnecessarily directed towards examining a link that has already been so comprehensively discredited. Instead, we should be focusing our efforts on improving the lives of the 700,000 autistic people in the UK and their families.”
“The biggest myth of all is that vaccines, specifically the MMR vaccine, cause autism. The safety of vaccinations has been repeatedly tested across large groups of people. High quality research studies involving hundreds of thousands of people have consistently shown that vaccinations do not cause autism.”
Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism
“So I want to ask you to be careful about how you make your pro-vaccine arguments when autism is involved — because when we use our many many mountains of evidence in statements such as “there is NO evidence linking vaccines to autism” without adding the statement “and fear of autism hurts autistic people,” then we’re actually contributing to negative stereotypes about autism and autistic people, rather than furthering autistic people’s acceptance and inclusion in our society.”
American Medical Association
The American Medical Association, which was founded in 1847, has just over 240,000 members.
“Each year vaccines prevent an estimated 2.5 million deaths among children under age 5, according to the World Health Organization. The AMA adopted policy this week continuing its efforts to promote public understanding and confidence in the safety of vaccines in order to prevent resurgence in vaccine-preventable illnesses and deaths. The new policy specifically supports the rigorous scientific process undertaken by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and its development of recommended immunization schedules for the nation. The policy also recognizes the substantial body of scientific evidence that has disproven a link between vaccines and autism.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“There is no link between vaccines and autism.”
March of Dimes
“The implication that vaccinations cause autism is irresponsible and counter productive,’ said Michael Katz, M.D., senior vice president for Research and Global Programs for the March of Dimes…
Although several carefully performed scientific studies have searched for a link between autism and the use of thimerosal in vaccines, no such link has been found.”
“Each family has a unique experience with an autism diagnosis, and for some it corresponds with the timing of their child’s vaccinations. At the same time, scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism.”
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
“Despite an abundance of evidence that there is no correlation between the vaccine and autism, the story noted in the movie has unfortunately made a lasting impact. It is the responsibility of pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and colleagues to speak out against false information and educate patient families about vaccine safety and efficacy to prevent unnecessary and potentially fatal outbreaks.”
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
“Years ago, some people questioned whether the onset of characteristic symptoms of autism coincided with the timing of immunizations. Since then, multiple studies conducted in several different countries have demonstrated that there is no causal association between vaccines and autism. Neither vaccines nor their preservatives increase the rate of autism compared to unvaccinated children. Vaccines do not change the timing of autism symptoms, nor is there any effect on autism severity. Even in families at greater risk for autism, for example, where there is already a child with autism, there is no increase in the likelihood that the second child will have autism if he or she is vaccinated. Recent studies have also demonstrated that brain changes associated with autism risk most likely occur before birth and well before any immunizations are ever administered.”
World Health Organization
“Available epidemiological data show that there is no evidence of a link between measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism spectrum disorders. Previous studies suggesting a causal link were found to be seriously flawed.
There is also no evidence to suggest that any other childhood vaccine may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorders. In addition, evidence reviews commissioned by WHO concluded that there was no association between the use of vaccine preservatives such as thiomersal and autism spectrum disorders.”
Institute of Medicine
“Based on a thorough review of clinical and epidemiological studies, neither the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal nor the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine are associated with autism… Furthermore, the hypotheses regarding how the MMR vaccine and thimerosal could trigger autism lack supporting evidence and are theoretical only .”
Child Neurology Foundation
“There are many myths linked to vaccines that this article hopes to have helped dispel. As discussed, any potential risk associated with vaccines administered to healthy children is small and outweighed by the risk of the naturally occurring disease. Maintenance of herd immunity and avoidance of vaccine exemptions are critical. Both of these practices disproportionately affect, at times with deadly consequences, our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.”
Canadian Paediatric Society
“Thus, the evidence is in, and the assessment of purported causality is clear. The MMR vaccine and immunization with thimerosal-containing vaccines are not causally associated with, nor are they a cause of, autism or ASD. There is mounting evidence that ASD has a strong genetic component – a very plausible cause for the disorder.”
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
“Autism is such a strong and emotive issue and something we all care about. However, the link made by one doctor to autism has been firmly discredited, and I can show you study after study that demonstrates that there is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Unfortunately, once a seed of doubt has been planted it tends to grow, and is fueled by sensational media and internet coverage that isn’t concerned with the facts. The real issue here is the very real risks from not being protected. I wish the voices of those who have been victims of not getting vaccinated could be heard more loudly and clearly.”
Robert Koch Institute
“There has been an ongoing debate in recent years whether autism, diabetes and even multiple sclerosis could be triggered by vaccinations. To date, there is no evidence for this and there are numerous studies that suggest that there is no link between vaccinations and these diseases.”
Hopefully it is clear that these position statements about vaccines and autism come from experts around the world, including many that directly take care of and support autistic families.
What to Know About Expert Statements on Vaccines and Autism
There is no debate and it is not a controversy – experts agree – vaccines are not associated with autism.
More on Expert Statements on Vaccines and Autism
- Autism Science Foundation on Vaccines and Autism
- ASAN Statement on GOP Primary Debate Comments on Autism and Vaccination
- American Academy of Pediatrics Emphasizes Safety and Importance of Vaccines
- Autistic People Spoke
- Restating our position – no connection between autism and vaccines
- Autistica on Autism myths and causes
- Busting Anti-Vaccine Myths While Supporting Autistic People
- AAP – Vaccine Safety Studies: Examine the Evidence
- AMA Adopts New Public Health Policies to Improve Health of Nation
- ‘Vaccines save lives’: 350 groups sign letter to President Trump
- An Important Immunization Message from the AAP
- CDC – Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism
- Autism Speaks on What causes autism?
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry on Autism and Vaccines
- NAPNAP Opposes Anti-Vaccination Film
- WHO – Questions and answers about autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
- CDC – Vaccines & Immunizations
- Child Neurology Foundation on Immunization
- CPS – Autistic spectrum disorder: No causal relationship with vaccines
- ECDC – Let’s talk about protection. Enhancing childhood
- The 20 Most Frequent Objections to Vaccinations – and Responses by Immunisation Experts of the Robert Koch Institute and the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut
- ACOG – Immunization for Pregnant Women