New study finds no autism, vaccine link

The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Kyle E. Yasuda, has sent letters to three tech companies — Google, Facebook and Pinterest — urging them to do more about vaccine misinformation that spreads on their sites, which include YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and the Google search engine.

“Our worst fears are being realized as measles outbreaks spread across the country,” Yasuda wrote in a press release. “I reached out to the technology industry with an urgent request to work together to combat the dangerous spread of vaccine misinformation online.”

On the same day, “Annals of Internal Medicine” released a study done in Denmark that proves there is no link between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and autism. The research studied the 657,461 children born in Denmark from 1999 to 2010, from the time they turned 1 until 2013. A total of 6,517 of those children were diagnosed with autism.

When they compared those who were vaccinated with the MMR vaccine and those who were not, there was no difference in the autism rates, and they saw no increase of autism before the MMR vaccine and after the vaccine.

The anti-vaccine wave came on strong after research in 1998 by Dr. Andrew Wakefield found a link between autism and vaccines, but that research was later refuted based on poor study methods, and debunked by scientists and many other studies. Yet the misinformation is still being shared.

“We have an opportunity — and in my view, an obligation — to work together to solve this public health crisis,” Dr. Yasuda wrote in his letter. “It will take commitments across all sectors — local and federal government, the medical and public health community, and the technology industry — to do so.”