No Autism Risk from Vaccines

Increasing vaccines exposure has no effects on risk of developing autism

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Dozens of studies have debunked the one study that falsely tried to link vaccines to autism. Yet some parents remain concerned about possible negative effects of children's vaccines.

A new study provides even more evidence to show there may not be a risk of autism from vaccines.

This study looked specifically at children's immune system responses to the childhood vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Follow the CDC immunization schedule."

The study, led by Frank DeStefano, MD, MPH, of the Immunization Safety Office at the CDC, looked at the risk of autism as it compares to the effects of childhood vaccines up to age 2.

The researchers gathered data from three different managed care organizations from 1,008 children. This group included 256 children with autism spectrum disorder and 752 children without autism.

The children with autism were evaluated in person to confirm their diagnosis. The group without autism were matched to the autistic children according to year of birth, sex and the managed care organization they were in.

The researchers investigated both autism and the children who had autism with regression, which occurs when a child appears to be developing typically but then loses speech and social skills and is later diagnosed with autism.

To compare the effects of the vaccines on the children, the researchers added up the antigens in all the vaccines each child had received based on their medical records.

Antigens are the components of a vaccine that cause an immune system response. Antigens could be a killed version of a virus, a protein of the virus or another component that causes the body to develop antibodies for the disease.

The antibodies are the immune system cells that fight off the disease. Once a vaccine has stimulated the body to create them, they are available to protect a child if the child later encounters the disease.

The researchers found that each additional 25 units of antigens in children resulted in exactly the same risk of autism or not having autism in the children.

In other words, as the antigens amount in the vaccines increased, no increase or decrease was found in the likelihood of autism.

The risk of autism was exactly the same, regardless of how many vaccines a child did or did not receive.

This finding was true for total vaccines received up to three months, up to seven months and up to two years. The results were the same for autism with regression. No risk existed for vaccines.

The study was published March 29 in The Journal of Pediatrics. The research was funded by the CDC, America's Health Insurance Plans and Abt Associates. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
March 29, 2013
Last Updated:
August 1, 2013