There's no link between vaccines and autism according to a study of more than 650,000 kids

There's no link between vaccines and autism according to a study of more than 650,000 kids

Many parents who chose not to have their children vaccinated - or anti-vaxxers as they are more commonly known - believe that there is a link between common vaccinations and disorders like autism.

Now, a new study conducted in Denmark and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has found no link between the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, the Business Insider has reported. This study did not have a small sample size either, as it involved more than 650,000 people.

In the video below, Jimmy Kimmel gives a message to the anti-vaccine movement: 

However, this is far from the first study to reach this conclusion, but despite this, many anti-vaxxer parents have clung to the results of a since-expunged study which found a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

This study disproving the link involved 657,461 Danish children born between 1999 and 2010

A doctor giving a woman a vaccine. Credit: Getty

However, for some of the scientists involved, this was their second published work on the subject, having released similar findings in 2002 involving 537,303 Danish children who were born between 1991 and 1998.

The only reason the study was conducted again is because anti-vaxxers refuse to let go of the disproven findings found in a 1997 study published by Andrew Wakefield, a British surgeon, in The Lancet, a highly-regarded medical journal.

"The idea that vaccines cause autism is still going around. And the anti-vaxx movement, if anything, has perhaps only grown stronger over the last 15 years," researcher, Anders Hviid, said. "The trend that we're seeing is worrying."

Letters spelling out autism. Credit: Getty

As a result of the growing popularity of the anti-vaxxer movement, diseases are making a comeback.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that in January and February of this year alone, there were 206 cases of measles.

To put this into context, that's more measles diagnoses than there were in the whole of 2017.

Now, State Health Secretary John Wiesman is investing in teaching people about the value of vaccines so that the problem doesn't worsen. He is hoping to obtain this money from the state "as the anti-vaccine movement has become so well organized, we are just really adequately prepared in getting out our message and to counter that."

An illustration of the measles virus. Credit: Getty

However, the value of conducting further studies into the issue has been questioned by Dr. Saad Omer of Emory University as "continuing to evaluate the MMR-autism hypothesis might come at the expense of not pursuing some of the more promising leads."

"It has been said that we now live in a 'fact-resistant' world where data have limited persuasive value," he continued.