The Short of It
While there's been no scientific evidence showing a link between vaccines and autism, many people still believe there may be a connection. And now a new study has been published that shows vaccines don't cause autism, even when kids are already at higher risk of having the disorder.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, focused on children who have siblings with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), since their parents "may be especially wary of vaccinations."
Researchers looked at data of more than 95,000 kids—994 of them had been diagnosed with an ASD, and 1,929 of them had an older sibling with an ASD. About 84 percent of them had received the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. In their analysis, the researchers found no association between having the MMR vaccine and an increased risk of ASD, both in kids with an older sibling with an ASD and in kids without one.
Scientists believe there may be a genetic component to ASDs—meaning they likely run in families. But these findings suggest that even when a child is at greater risk for autism because they have a sibling who has it, getting vaccinated won't increase the risk even further.
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