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MMR/MEASLES VACCINE

  • A 32 year review of MMR vaccine finds it effective, safe and well-tolerated.  Lievano F et al. Vaccine 2012 (ahead of publication) link to PubMed (9-6-12)

  • New Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) for MMR. The first VIS to include a barcode allowing scanning of  selected information to a patient's record or immunization information system. (4-20-12)  link

  • The Editors of The Lancet, a prominent medical journal, have retracted a controversial 1998 publication by Andrew Wakefield, et al:
    Following the judgment of the UK General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practice Panel on Jan 28, 2010, it has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation. In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were “consecutively referred” and that investigations were “approved” by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false. Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record. GMC findings | Lancet retraction  (may require password)
    In 2004, 10 of the 12 original authors retracted the interpretation of the paper. (see below

  • Rulings in cases testing MMR/thimerosal-autism link
    The assigned Special Masters of the United States Court of Federal Claims filed decisions on February 12, 2009 in the three test cases that allege MMR vaccines and thimerosal-containing vaccines can combine to cause autism.   The three cases are Cedillo v. HHS, Hazlehurst v. HHS, and Snyder v. HHS.  A table briefly describing the decisions as well as links to the entire text is available here.  (02/2009)

  • Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy
    In a rigorous study,  investigators from three institutions found no differences between children with autism and gastrointestinal disorders and control children who had gastrointestinal disorders, but not autism. There was no difference in the results of testing for measles vaccine virus in the intestine or with the timing of MMR and the onset of gastrointestinal disorders.

    These findings disprove the original hypothesis about measles vaccine and autism and refute an earlier study by one of the investigators. Parents should be confident in giving their children MMR as recommended by numerous experts and advisory groups.

    Horning M et al.  "Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study.  PLoS ONE 2008;3(9):E3140. link to article (08/2008)

  • A Canadian study reconfirms older findings ruling out an association between pervasive developmental disorder [PDD] (including autism) and high levels of ethylmercury exposures or MMR vaccines.
    The specific findings by Fombonne et al in Pediatrics include:
         * Autism and Thimerosal - thimerosal exposure was unrelated to the increasing trend in PDD prevalence.
         * Autism and MMR - no association between MMR vaccinations (both 1 and 2 doses) and autism or PDD rates.

    The study found the highest rates of PDD in children with no thimerosal exposure (from vaccines). The study also noted a slight decrease in the rates of MMR vaccine at the same time as rates of PDD were increasing.

    Fombonne E et al. "Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and Links With Immunizations." Pediatrics 2006;118(1);139-50. [PubMed Abstract]  (07-2006)

  • The US FDA has approved Merck's combination vaccine, ProQuad® [Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella (Oka/Merck) Virus Vaccine Live], for simultaneous vaccination against measles, mumps, rubella (German measles) and varicella (chickenpox) in children 12 months to 12 years of age. link (09-08-05)

  • MMR Vaccination and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: no association. 
    Smeeth, et al report that MMR vaccination is not associated with an increased risk of pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs). The authors studied 1294 affected children and 4469 controls in the General Practioners Database in the United Kingdom and "We have found no convincing evidence that MMR vaccination increases the risk of autism or other PDDs".  (09-15-04) PubMed Abstract   Lancet

  • Institute of Medicine reports that MMR and thimerosal do not cause autism
    The IOM committee concluded that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism and between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.  [link] May 17, 2004

  • Authors Retract Controversial Interpretation of 1998 Lancet Paper Linking MMR Vaccine to A New Syndrome of Bowel Disease and Autism. 
    Statements from the authors and the Lancet editor.  March 6, 2004

  • Investigations Reveal an Unreported Conflict of Interest and Problems With Reporting in Wakefield's 1998 Autism-MMR Study. 
    Information on the investigation by The Lancet into problems with Andrew Wakefield's study.
    February 27, 2004.

  • Measles, Mumps, and rubella vaccination and bowel problems or developmental regression in children with autism: population study. 
    This paper by Taylor et al in the [Feb 16 2003] BMJ adds to the growing body of evidence that show no involvement of MMR vaccine in the development of autism. The authors report on their investigation of 473 and conclude that their data shows neither a "new variant' form of MMR-associated autism nor evidence of MMR contributing to the onset of autism.
    BMJ 2003;324:393-6. PubMed Abstract  BMJ

  • MMR and autistic enterocolitis: consistent epidemiological failure to find an association. 
    In News & Commentary in Molecular Psychiatry [Feb 2003], Fombonne and Cook review a recent paper by Taylor et al on MMR and Autistic Enterocolitis. Fombonne and Cook review Taylor's paper as well as the hypothesis by Wakefield et al that speculated about a connection between MMR and autism and ask, "How many more well-powered epidemiological investigations ... will be necessary for this hypothesis to be completely discarded".
     PubMed LinkMolecular Psychiatry 2003;8:133-4

  • A Population-based study of Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccination and Autism. 
    A Danish study provides strong evidence against a causal relationship between MMR vaccination and autism.  Madsen et al. NEJM 2002;347(19):1477-82.    PubMed Abstract | NEJM   

  • The risk of seizures after receipt of whole-cell pertussis or measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. 
    Barlow WE et al find
    no long-term adverse consequences from febrile seizures following administration of DTP and MMR vaccines.  NEJM 2001;345(9):656-61.  PubMed Abstract  |  NEJM

  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Report From the New Challenges in Childhood Immunizations Conference Convened in Oak Brook, Illinois, June 12-13, 2000. Pediatrics 2001;107(5). Halsey, Neal A.; Hyman, Susan L. 
    The writers of this report reviewed over 1,000 references in the medical literature and determined that the available research does not support the hypothesis that MMR vaccine causes autism, autism spectrum disorders or inflammatory bowel disease. A complete copy of this report is available in the online version of Pediatrics.
    PubMed Abstract

  • Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee Rejects Causal Relationship Between Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine and Autism Spectrum Disorder
    At a public briefing on April 23, 2001 the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Committee on Immunization Safety Review released a report in which they conclude that the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism spectrum disorder, commonly known as autism.  IOM Report
     

  • Evidence shows genetics, not MMR vaccine, determines autism (AAP News December 1999) by Charles G. Prober, MD, FAAP.

  • No evidence for measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine-associated inflammatory bowel disease or autism in a 14-year prospective study. (Lancet 1998;351:1327-8) | PubMed Link
    This Finnish study shows details of the 31 children who developed gastrointestinal symptoms after approximately three million were vaccinated. Dr. Peltola et al, after more than 10 years following adverse events associated with MMR vaccine, found no data showing an association between MMR vaccine and developmental disorders or inflammatory bowel disease.

  • No evidence to support an association between measles, measles vaccination and Crohn's disease.
    Three letters in June 6, 1998 British Medical Journal.

    - Second immunisation has not affected incidence in England. PubMed Link
    - Crohn's disease has not increased in Finland. PubMed Link
    - Age specific prevalences do not suggest association with in utero exposure. PubMed Link|

This page was last updated on February 12, 2014

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