Autism prevalence is up but scientists have consistently found that vaccines don’t cause it – Full Fact

A post on Facebook has claimed that the autism rate in US children has increased along with the number of vaccines they receive.

“1983: US Children 10 vaccines

Autism rate: 1 in 10,000

2008: US children 36 vaccines

Autism rate: 1 in 150

2013: US children 46 vaccines

Autism rate: 1 in 88

David Icke, Facebook page, 9 July 2019

Most of the numbers in the graphic are wrong. Although the estimated rate of autism has been increasing since the 1980s in the USA (and UK) and the number of recommended vaccines has also increased, it’s consistently been shown that there is no link between vaccines and autism.

Vaccines do not cause autism

Multiple academic studies have proven that there is no link between autism and vaccines. One particularly large study looked at over one million children and found no link between autism disorders and vaccines. A large number of studies have shown there is no link between the MMR vaccine (the vaccine which this type of claim is most often made about) and autism.

The children’s vaccination schedule in the US doesn’t recommend as many vaccines as the image says

In 1983, it was recommended that children (aged 0-18) in the US got four vaccinations, not ten as the image says. Getting these four vaccines involved about 11 doses in total between birth and age 18.

In 2008, the standard US children’s immunisation schedule for children included around 13 vaccines. Counting individual doses of all the recommended vaccines including flu (which doesn’t have good uptake), it comes to 39 doses. Without flu it comes to 34.

In 2013, the schedule also recommended US children get 13 vaccines. If you count the total number of individual doses, it comes to about 53 counting individual doses of the recommended flu vaccines. Without flu it comes to 35 doses.

In 2008 flu jabs were recommended annually until the age of five, and in 2013 were recommended annually until the age of 18. We counted the number of doses with and without flu jabs here as the vaccine’s coverage for children in the US was between 40% and 60% between 2009 and 2013.)

We’ve not included vaccines only recommended for high risk groups in our figures.

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