Study Concludes There’s No Link

The Lewin Group, a medical research consultancy working with United Health Care — a medical insurer, has recently published the results of a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association about the MMR vaccine and its relationship with autism occurance. Lewin has 40 years experience in public health, Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP, consulting on public policy and healthcare issues.

MMR VaccinationThe Mumps-Measles-Rubella (MMR) vaccine has been the subject of great concern to parents for many years, causing a high number of parents to withhold the vaccination, particularly if they have another child with autism. Fear of this vaccination was enhanced by improper reporting by an autism charity many years ago, which until recently, held there was danger in the vaccine. They have recently flipped their position, without apology.

In recent months, the issue of the vaccine has come to everyone’s attention due to outbreaks of measles in California and other places. Each of the diseases the MMR vaccine is intended to immunize against has life-long consequences and risk for those who develop one or more of the diseases. Each is highly contagious.

The Lewin Group’s study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to analyze data collected from a variety of sources, with particular emphasis on the case histories of children from birth to 5 years of age covered by medical insurance. The broad-based study covered 95,727 children with older siblings.

You may download the study free, or read it online at the JAMA website. (Please note, this link will open a new browser tab.)

We express no formal opinion about this study’s accuracy, though it appears very conclusive and reasonably prepared without influence of special interest groups. We believe its primary purpose is to dispel some of the rumors and debunk the myths created by previous, false reporting.

Parents should review this and other studies and draw their own conclusions, with an educated understanding of the risks in not vaccinating their child. We note that several previous studies, funded by special interest groups, which suggested a link between autism occurrence and the MMR vaccine have been retracted or recanted by both their sponsors and the study teams.