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Claims that autism can be linked to the MMR vaccine have been slammed by the NHS for being “completely unjustified” yet continuing to “cause harm” amongst the public.
It comes following a new study, conducted by researchers in Denmark and the US, which suggested that the controversial vaccine does not trigger or contribute towards the development of autism in children.
The research, which was funded in-part by the Danish Ministry of Health, involved the evaluation of over 600,000 children who were followed up in the years after receiving the vaccination.
This new study follows up from controversial research by Dr Andrew Wakefield in 1998, who claimed there was a link between the MMR vaccine and autisim – which reportedly affected the take-up of the immunisation.
But now the NHS has shared its thoughts on the Danish research, blasting the 1998 controversy as harmful and “discredited” in the process.
What is the MMR vaccine?
MMR is a combined vaccine that protects against 3 separate illness – measles, mumps and rubella (German measles).
It was first introduced in 1988, and since then has become “rare” for children in the UK to develop these serious conditions.
In the UK, the vaccine is given as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule and the full course requires 2 doses.
The first dose is given around the time of a child’s first birthday, with a follow-up typically administered at 3 years and 4 months.
Described as “safe” and “effective” by the NHS, the vaccine has experienced some controversy – notably the 1998 study by Dr Wakefield, who suggested it was linked to developmental issues such as autism as well as bowel disease.