Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism: Studies

This is a work-in-progress list:

Andrews, N., Miller, E., Grant, A., Stowe, J., Osborne, V., & Taylor, B. (2004). Thimerosal exposure in infants and developmental disorders: A retrospective cohort study in the united kingdom does not support a causal association. Pediatrics, 114(3), 584-591.

  • Summary:   Looking at 109,893 children born between 1988 to 1997, this study investigated whether there was a relationship between the amount of thimerosal that an infant receives via diphtheria-tetanus-whole-cell pertussis (DTP) or diphtheria-tetanus (DT) vaccination at a young age and subsequent neurodevelopmental disorders.  Authors concluded that, “with the possible exception of tics, there was no evidence that thimerosal exposure via DTP/DT vaccines causes neurodevelopmental disorders.”

Hviid, A., Stellfeld, M., Wohlfahrt, J., & Melbye, M. (2003). Association between thimerosal-containing vaccine and autism. Journal of the American Medical Association, 290(13), 1763-1766. 

  • Summary: Population-based cohort study of 467,450 children born in Denmark from 1990 to  1996,  comparing children vaccinated with a thimerosal-containing vaccine with children vaccinated with a thimerosal-free formulation of the same vaccine.The risk of autism and other autistic-spectrum disorders did not differ significantly between children vaccinated with thimerosal-containing vaccine and children vaccinated with thimerosal-free vaccine and no evidence of a dose-response association. Conclusion: “The results do not support a causal relationship between childhood vaccination with thimerosal-containing vaccines and development of autistic-spectrum disorders.”

Madsen, K. M., Hviid, A., Vestergaard, M., Schendel, D., Wohlfahrt, J., Thorsen, P., . . . Melbye, M. (2002). A population-based study of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism. New England Journal of Medicine,347(19), 1477-1482. 


  • Summary:  Using national registries, 537,303 children born between 1991 to 1998 in Denmark were included in retrospective cohort study.  Authors concluded: 1) the risk of autism was similar in vaccinated and unvaccinated children, in both age-adjusted and fully adjusted analyses; 2) there was no temporal clustering of cases of autism at any time after immunization; and 3) neither autistic disorder nor other autistic-spectrum disorders were associated with MMR vaccination. 

Mrozek-Budzyn, D., Kiełtyka, A., & Majewska, R. (2010). Lack of association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccination and autism in children: A case-control study. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 29(5), 397-400. 

  • Summary: Study comparing 96 cases of autism with 196 non-autistic children to determine whether there was a relationship between MMR and autism or a difference between MMR and the single measles vaccine for development of autism.  Not only was there no association between vaccination and autism, the risk for autism was lower for children who received the combined MMR as compared to the single vaccine. 

Smeeth, L., Cook, C., Fombonne, P. E., Heavey, L., Rodrigues, P. L. C., Smith, P. P. G., & Hall, P. A. J. (2004). MMR vaccination and pervasive developmental disorders: A case-control study. Lancet, 364(9438), 963-969. 

  • Summary: Study compared individuals with pervasive developmental disabilities with those without to see whether there was an association between PDD and vaccination. Conclusion: “We have found no convincing evidence that MMR vaccination increases the risk of autism or other PDDs. No significant association has been found in rigorous studies in a range of different settings.” 

Uchiyama, T., Kurosawa, M., & Inaba, Y. (2007). MMR-vaccine and regression in autism spectrum disorders: Negative results presented from japan. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(2), 210-217. 

  •   Summary : 904 Japanese patients (born between 1976 and 1999) diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder were included in the study.  Study focused exclusively on patients with “regressive” autism. Conlcusion: “the rate of regression in those who received MMR was not higher than those who did not.”


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