Among the various fake news spread around, this can cause irreversible damage to children! There is no scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism, on the contrary, several studies show that this is just a myth spread by people adept at the anti-vaccine movement.
Unfortunately, that thesis started in 1998 when a British doctor, Andrew Wakefield, published a study suggesting that autism could be caused by the triple viral vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella.
The case had great repercussion and soon the scientific community rebutted the claim. In fact, the doctor was investigated and found misconduct, in addition to problems in the methodology, and his license was revoked, being prevented from exercising the profession. Whoever spread that vaccine causes autism certainly didn’t count that part, right?
Despite this, the lie continues to be quoted and survives today through the spread on social networks.
Where did the questioning come from?
As we have already mentioned, it was a doctor who spread the assumption that vaccine causes autism by publishing an article in the prestigious scientific journal Lancet, from the United Kingdom. There, he described 12 children who developed autistic behaviors and severe intestinal inflammation. In common, they had traces of the measles virus in the body.
So, Wakefield and his study colleagues raised the possibility of a “causal link” of these problems with the triple viral vaccine. It was enough for vaccination rates to drop in the UK, and later, around the world.
In addition, in the following years, this controversy arrived in the United States, but with another culprit: thimerosal, an antibacterial component present in some vaccines. Only in 2004, the US Institute of Medicine concluded that there was no evidence that autism was related to the component. Even in Denmark, thimerosal was removed from vaccines in 1992, but autism was still prevalent.
Still in 2004, it was discovered that before the publication of the article, Wakefield applied for a patent for a measles vaccine that would be a competitor of MMR (acronym that refers to SRC or “viral triple”). At the time, this was seen as a conflict of interest.
The accusations did not stop there. In the original study, Wakefield said there were traces of the measles virus in the 12 children surveyed. However, a doctor who helped him went public to say that he had not found any of them, but that he ignored the information so as not to harm the study. Really, right?
In 2010, the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council judged Wakefield “unfit for the profession”, calling his behavior irresponsible, unethical and deceptive. Lancet magazine retracted the published study, saying the conclusions were false.
Study refutes the thesis that vaccine causes autism
It is not the only one, but it is the most recent and complete. A Danish study evaluated a total of 657,461 children born in Denmark from 1999 to 2010, tracking the characteristics and the time elapsed after vaccination, from the first year of life until August 2013.
They assessed whether the children were vaccinated, whether they had been diagnosed with autism, whether there was any family member with this neurobiological disorder or some other risk factor for autism. Only 6,517 showed symptoms of the disorder, but there was no difference between vaccinated children and those who were not. Even in small children who had more factors susceptible to autism, such as those whose siblings are autistic.
“Our conclusion is that the triple viral vaccine does not increase the risk of suffering from autism”, write the authors in the magazine “, reinforced the study’s authors. Parents can rest easy, whoever says that vaccine causes autism is wrong!
Anti-vaccine movement is dangerous!
Experts always reinforce the importance of vaccination, even more when it has scientific proof of benefits, as in the case of the triple viral. The greatest risk is that children will develop serious illnesses and that diseases that have already been eliminated will return, such as measles, which has recently been highly contaminated. “The moment you stop vaccinating your child, you are putting other people at risk. Your decision is not just up to you ”, reinforces the pediatrician and allergist, Dr. Lucio Cury.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), one in 160 children has autism in the world and symptoms usually start in childhood and persist until adolescence and adulthood.
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