What Exactly Is Autism Or Asd
Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder , is a brain development disorder in children that leads to problems with communication, behavior, and social interaction. A child may not show signs until age 2 or 3, and symptoms may continue throughout the childs lifetime.
What exactly causes autism is not known, but most experts agree it is genetically linked. Researchers are also studying whether environmental factors such as viral infections, pregnancy complications, or air pollutants could increase the risk of autism.
ASD is 4 times more common in boys than girls; about 1 out of every 54 children are diagnosed with this disorder, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control .
There is no known cure for autism, but children can learn new skills.
Mmr Vaccine And Autism
|This article is part of a series on|
Claims of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism have been extensively investigated and found to be false. The link was first suggested in the early 1990s and came to public notice largely as a result of the 1998 Lancet MMR autism fraud, characterised as “perhaps the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years”. The fraudulent research paper authored by Andrew Wakefield and published in The Lancet claimed to link the vaccine to colitis and autism spectrum disorders. The paper was retracted in 2010 but is still cited by anti-vaccinationists.
The claims in the paper were widely reported, leading to a sharp drop in vaccination rates in the UK and Ireland. Promotion of the claimed link, which continues in anti-vaccination propaganda despite being refuted, has led to an increase in the incidence of measles and mumps, resulting in deaths and serious permanent injuries. Following the initial claims in 1998, multiple large epidemiological studies were undertaken. Reviews of the evidence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK National Health Service, and the Cochrane Library all found no link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Physicians, medical journals, and editors have described Wakefield’s actions as fraudulent and tied them to epidemics and deaths.
How Cdc Monitors Vaccine Safety
CDC and FDA monitor the safety of vaccines after they are approved or authorized. If a problem is found with a vaccine, CDC and FDA will inform health officials, health care providers, and the public.
CDC uses 3 systems to monitor vaccine safety:
- The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System : an early warning system, co-managed by CDC and FDA, to monitor for potential vaccine safety problems. Anyone can report possible vaccine side effects to VAERS.
- The Vaccine Safety Datalink : a collaboration between CDC and 9 health care organizations that conducts vaccine safety monitoring and research.
- The Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project: a partnership between CDC and several medical research centers that provides expert consultation and conducts clinical research on vaccine-associated health risks.
Why Your Baby Needs A Measles Vaccine At 9 Months
Babies generally receive protection from measles through passive immunity. As a mum, you are providing it through the placenta and also during breastfeeding. But, this immunity may not stay for long. When your child turns 2.5 years or when you stop breastfeeding, he/she may also lose this passive immunity.
So ensure that your baby get his/her measles vaccine at 9 months and above, or as recommended by the doctor. It is important because children under 5 years are more likely to have complications and/or suffer from pneumonia, encephalitis, and ear infections that can result in hearing loss.
In Singapore, measles vaccination is compulsory by law. The National Adult Immunisation Schedule also advises people who have not been vaccinated to do so at the earliest. The Centers for Disease Control And Prevention also recommends all children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose between 12 and 15 months of age . They need to get their second dose between 4 and 6 years of age.
But, in a high-risk setting, infants need to get their first dose of vaccine at 9 months. The Indian Academy of Pediatrics recommends a measles vaccine at 9 months of age.
Why Are People With Autism At Higher Risk Of Covid
The higher risks of COVID-19 that researchers found in people with autism arent due to the developmental or intellectual disabilities themselves, but rather because people with them are more likely to live in a group setting, be unable to communicate about having symptoms, or have trouble understanding or following safety measures, according to the CDC.
Sometimes it is difficult for people with ASD to wear masks and keep social distancing, themselves and others at increased risk of spreading or acquiring COVID-19, says;Robert Hendren, DO, a psychiatrist and the director of the program for research on neurodevelopmental and translational outcomes at the University of California in San Francisco.
Early symptoms may be overlooked because people with ASD may not be able to express their discomforts, such as sore throat. If someone with ASD gets COVID-19, they may have a very difficult time being in the hospital and receiving treatments that are unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and potentially scary, Dr. Hendren explains.
Further, and as noted by the authors of the NEJM Catalyst report, people with intellectual disabilities are more likely to have other health problems at the same time that put them at higher risk for infection and COVID-19 disease, such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Banks says this is true of people with ASD as well.
Don’t Miss: Does Autism Affect Life Expectancy
The Data Are In Again
The researchers compared autism rates in children who had received the MMR vaccination and compared them against children who had not had the jab.
As expected, there was no increase in risk associated with the vaccination. Similarly, even in children with a higher risk of developing autism, the MMR vaccination made no difference.
The autism risk factors that the team accounted for included having a sibling with an autism diagnosis, low birth weight, maternal age, paternal age, and smoking during pregnancy. The authors conclude:
ur study does not support that MMR vaccination increases the risk for autism, triggers autism in susceptible children, or is associated with clustering of autism cases after vaccination.
In further analyses, they also looked for links between vaccinations other than MMR and autism; again, they found none.
One of the studys main strengths is the large number of individuals included in the analysis. As the authors write, the studys size allowed them to conclude that even minute increases in autism risk after MMR vaccination are unlikely.
editorial , written by Dr. Saad B. Omer and Dr. Inci Yildirim from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
With an air of frustration, the authors write, Even in the face of substantial and increasing evidence against an MMR-autism association, the discussion around the potential link has contributed to vaccine hesitancy.
Can The Mmr Vaccine Cause Autism In Kids Heres The Real Truth
Measles is a deadly viral infection that attacks the respiratory system and can seriously affect an infants health, if they are not given measles vaccine at 9 months. In fact, it is so fatal that the World Health Organisation declared it to be one of the worlds most contagious when its percentage increased to 300 , in the first three months of 2019. This, in comparison to the same period in 2018.
Singapore hasnt exactly been immune to measles either.
In 2019, the number of measles cases in Singapore hit the highest since its outbreak in 1997. At the time, the islanders were urged to remain vigilant due to its position as an international travel hub. Thankfully, the situation was brought under control and MOH announced there was no outbreak.
Today, we are dealing with another type of virus. But that still hasnt changed the fact that measles remains to be a concern for more parents. And with more questions about its vaccine connected to autism, it is all the more important to know about this deadly infection.
You May Like: Printable Visual Aids For Autism
Mmr Vaccine Side Effects
The MMR vaccine is very safe, and it is effective at preventing measles, mumps, and rubella. Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. Most people who get MMR vaccine do not have any serious problems with it. Getting MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps or rubella.
- Sore arm from the shot
- Mild rash
- Temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women who did not already have immunity to the rubella component of the vaccine
MMR vaccine has been linked with a very small risk of febrile seizures . ;Febrile seizures following MMR are rare and are not associated with any long-term effects. Because the risk of febrile seizures increases as infants get older, it is recommended that they get vaccinated as soon as recommended.
Some people may experience swelling in the cheeks or neck. MMR vaccine rarely causes a temporary low platelet count, which can cause a bleeding disorder that usually goes away without treatment and is not life threatening.
Extremely rarely, a person may have a serious allergic reaction to MMR vaccine. ;Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of MMR vaccine, should not get the vaccine.
Making Sure Vaccines Are Safe
Vaccines must be tested;to make sure theyre safe and effective before being approved for use in Canada. Once a vaccine has been approved for use in Canada, its monitored for:
- effectiveness in people
Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada share the responsibility for ongoing safety monitoring, which also involves:
- provincial, territorial and local public health authorities
- health care professionals
Also Check: Does Gestational Diabetes Cause Autism
Beyond The Autism/vaccine Hypothesis: What Parents Need To Know About Autism Research
A decade ago most researchers agreed that we needed to study vaccines in relation to autism. We had to reconcile the fact that the number of vaccines children were receiving was increasing, and at the same time, the number of children who were being diagnosed with autism also was on the rise. Fortunately this was a question that could be studied and answered by science. We looked at children who received vaccines and those who didnt, or who received them on a different, slower schedule. There was no difference in their neurological outcomes. 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. Read the studies themselves below and browse our recommended reading list.
The Mmr Vaccine And Autism: Sensation Refutation Retraction And Fraud
Address for correspondence:
In 1998, Andrew Wakefield and 12 of his colleagues published a case series in the Lancet, which suggested that the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine may predispose to behavioral regression and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Despite the small sample size , the uncontrolled design, and the speculative nature of the conclusions, the paper received wide publicity, and MMR vaccination rates began to drop because parents were concerned about the risk of autism after vaccination.
Almost immediately afterward, epidemiological studies were conducted and published, refuting the posited link between MMR vaccination and autism. The logic that the MMR vaccine may trigger autism was also questioned because a temporal link between the two is almost predestined: both events, by design or definition , occur in early childhood.
The next episode in the saga was a short retraction of the interpretation of the original data by 10 of the 12 co-authors of the paper. According to the retraction, no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient. This was accompanied by an admission by the Lancet that Wakefield et al. had failed to disclose financial interests . However, the Lancet exonerated Wakefield and his colleagues from charges of ethical violations and scientific misconduct.
The systematic failures which permitted the Wakefield fraud were discussed by Opel et al.
Autism And Vaccines In The Media
A Journalists Guide to Covering Outbreaks of Vaccine-Preventable DiseaseFrom the producers of the PBS-NOVA special VaccinesCalling the Shots.
On January 21st, 2011, Dr. Paul Offit was on The Colbert Report speaking about his new book, Deadly Choices: How The Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All..
On September 9, 2014, ASF President Alison Singer was on The Leonard Lopate Show to talk about the risks of not vaccinating.
If we ask the same questions well get the same answers. Weve asked the autism vaccine question over two dozen times and each time we get the same response: no relationship. We need to move on. We need to invest in studying genetics, the brain structures of children with autism, and environmental factors that may be playing a role.
Timing Of First Symptoms
Using a sophisticated movement analysis, videos from children eventually diagnosed with autism or not diagnosed with autism were coded and evaluated for their capacity to predict autism. Children who were eventually diagnosed with autism were predicted from movies taken in early infancy. This study supported the hypothesis that very subtle symptoms of autism are present in early infancy and argues strongly against vaccines as a cause of autism.
Also Check: What Does The Puzzle Mean For Autism
Who Evaluation Of Whether Mmr Vaccine Increases The Incidence Of Autism
In 1998, a researcher claimed that MMR vaccine increases the incidence of autism. Parents expressed their concerns and media reported widely on this statement. Global scientific advice on this issue was needed for professional staff to take informed decision on this issue.
WHO, based on the recommendation of its advisory body the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety , commissioned a literature review by an independent researcher of the risk of autism associated with MMR vaccine. The existing studies did not show evidence of an association between the risk of autism or autistic disorders and MMR vaccine.
Based on the extensive review presented, GACVS concluded that no evidence existed of a causal association between MMR vaccine and autism or autistic disorders. The Committee expressed its belief that the matter would likely be clarified by an improved understanding of the causes of autism.
GACVS also concluded that there was no evidence to support the routine use of monovalent vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella vaccines over the combined vaccine, a strategy which would put children at increased risk of incomplete immunization.
GACVS recommended that there should be no change in current vaccination practices with MMR.
Vaccine Ingredients Do Not Cause Autism
- One vaccine ingredient that has been studied specifically is thimerosal. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative used to prevent germs from contaminating multidose vials of vaccines. Research shows that thimerosal does not cause ASD. In fact, a 2004 scientific review by the IOM concluded that the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosalcontaining vaccines and autism.Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism external icon
Since 2003, there have been nine CDC-funded or conducted studies that have found no link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and ASD. These studies also found no link between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and ASD in children. Learn more about the CDC Studies on Thimerosal in Vaccines pdf icon.
Even before studies showed that thimerosal was not harmful, there was a national effort to reduce all types of mercury exposures in children. As precaution, thimerosal was removed or reduced to trace amounts in all childhood vaccines between 1999 and 2001. Currently, the only type of vaccine that contain thimerosal are flu vaccines packaged in multidose vials. There are thimerosal-free alternatives available for flu vaccine. For more information, see the Timeline for Thimerosal in Vaccines.
Besides thimerosal, some people have had concerns about other vaccine ingredients;in relation to ASD. However, no links have been found between any vaccine ingredients and ASD.
You May Like: High Functioning Autism Prognosis
Doubt Cast On Alleged Link
The accompanying commentary cast doubt on the alleged link.2The case series was subject to both selection and recall bias, the pathological findings were non-specific, there was no clear case definition and confirmatory virological studies had not been completed. The commentary also noted that although the authors had found measles virus in inflammatory bowel disease, the investigations of other researchers were negative. Indeed, the same edition of the Lancet included another study which failed to find measles virus genome in inflammatory bowel disease even though the researchers used a highly sensitive assay.
How Can Vaccines Cause Damage
It seems to be unduly restrictive to keep any enquiry about Wakefieldand the MMR/Autism factor to his paper. What the public is demanding byits concerns about the MMR vaccine and its possible ill effect onchildren, is not only for research to be stepped up but also for previousresearch to be compiled and analysed in an attempt to come to genuineconclusions. By genuine I mean those that are not just subservient toepidemiological policy of mass vaccination to create herd immunity.
Below are just a few examples of work that has been done. Much of isprobably not in public knowledge. Even more striking is the argument putforward by the pro-vaccine adherents that there is no evidence thatvaccines cause harm.
How can vaccines cause damage?
No vaccine is perfectly safe. An adverse event can be said to becaused by a vaccine if it is associated with aspecific laboratory finding and a specific clinical syndrome or both.Alternatively, a clinical or epidemiological study is needed to find outwhether the rate of a given syndrome in vaccinated individuals exceedsthat expected among unvaccinated controls.
Immune panels and other laboratory tests, medical histories, and thesupporting medical literature support a causal association, with increasedrisks among those children who are sick or have recently been sick.
Vaccination may damage children in several ways. Live or attenuatedvirus vaccination can actually produce the infection that the vaccine issupposed to prevent.
The DPT Vaccine
Recommended Reading: What Is The Meaning Of Autism In Hindi