Q: Do vaccines cause autism? A: No.

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This is one of the most common misconceptions about vaccines. There is no link between vaccines and autism.

How did this rumor start?

This misconception started in 1998, when a study was published in the British medical journal The Lancet which was rumored and presented by the media as having “proved” a link between autism and the MMR vaccine. The study was later retracted.

The study, led by gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield, is widely cited by the vaccine-refusing crowd as “evidence” of how vaccines cause autism. There are many problems with this “study,” most notably the fact that it states right within the study that no link was found between autism and the MMR vaccine. A study must include thousands of participants in order to be considered statistically relevant. The Wakefield “study” only includes a small sample size of 12 participants and he collected their blood samples at a kid’s birthday party, not in a controlled lab with other medical professionals to witness the collection. Further, the 12 participants never had blood tests to verify that they had even received the MMR vaccine in the first place.

The many problems with this study led to eleven of the original coauthors rescinding their involvement with the study and the remaining two coauthors losing their medical licenses. Including Andrew Wakefield. Andrew Wakefield has no medical license and continues to use his flawed study to encourage parents to forgo the recommended vaccine schedule.

This article further discusses Wakefield’s fraudulent behavior:


Fact: the rate of autism continued to rise in Japan after the MMR was discontinued

In 1993, Japan stopped using the combo MMR vaccine in Yokohama and used separate measles, mumps and rubella vaccines instead. However, the rate of autism continued to rise. If the MMR vaccine caused autism, then the rate of autism should’ve gone down instead of up when it was discontinued.

Fact: There is not an autism epidemic

The vaccine-denying crowd often states that there is now an increase in the rates of autism due to the MMR vaccine. Some refer to it as an autism “epidemic.” The fact is that there is not an autism epidemic.

Here’s a link which demonstrates that the rates of autism have not decreased even though the number of children who get the MMR vaccine has decreased.

Here’s an article from The Scientific American which discusses that the rates of autism are not at an epidemic level and that changes in the criterion for diagnosis autism have led to an “increase” in the number of cases of autism which would otherwise go undiagnosed.


Fact: vaccines do not cause autism: Here are some links which demonstrate that vaccines do not cause autism

This 2015 study paid for entirely by anti-vaxxers demonstrated no link between vaccines and autism.

This study of over 530,000 children in Denmark demonstrated no link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

This study of 95,000 American children demonstrated no link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

This Polish study of over 300 children demonstrates no link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

Here’s a link to over 100 studies that demonstrate no link between vaccines and autism.

Here’s a great blog post which explains that vaccines do not cause autism.

This American study of over 95,000 pregnant women demonstrated no link between the flu vaccine during pregnancy and autism.

This study demonstrates no link between the flu vaccine during pregnancy and autism.

This study examines over 200 American children and found that “too many vaccines too soon” did not lead to autism.

This study found that vaccines given to infants had no effect on neurological development at all.


Books which debunk the vaccine-autism myth:


Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure

by Dr. Paul Offit

The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy

by Seth Mnookin


Back to other FAQs

“This is why I don’t vaccinate”

Elyce Powers

Often times where you find opposition to vaccines on social media there will be a long list of links, cut and pasted to support the personal belief that vaccines are dangerous. Recently I was correcting some vaccine related misinformation on facebook when an individual exclaimed; “this is why I don’t vaccinate!” This statement was followed by this long list of links, annotated with claims for what those links “proved.” After investigating each claim I can conclude that the person who cut and pasted the “proof” either didn’t understand what she was reading, or did not read the linked studies at all. I have found that this is what individuals who spread misinformation count on when promoting this “do your own research” fad.

If you are going to “do your own research” you are going to have to actually read and comprehend what the research states. You cannot trust that the link provided to you is the end all for the proposed claim; please be skeptical, and investigate the claims being made. It is highly likely that if you see a Gish Gallup like the one that follows, the individual who provided it didn’t read it! Don’t be lazy your child’s health is on the line here. It is your job as a parent to think critically, assess risks logically, and protect your children.

The following list includes around 33 short claims, each with a link. I have made each original claim bold and put them in quotes to distinguish them from my commentary. I can assure you that I did not find a single claim that was supported by the link provided. Multiple claims used the same link; there was an instance where 6 different claims used the same link. I encountered multiple instances where graphs or sections were cherry picked, or taken out of context to try and prove a point; in reality the data did not support the argument. I encountered multiple occasions where misleading language was used to help strengthen the argument, or outdated studies were used.  I encountered alarming language, meant to incite fear, and I encountered flat out lies. If this list is the reason you do not vaccinate, you need to do a double take here.

The Claims

History of asthma twice as prevalent in vaccinated children.

This study is from 2000. The author of this article is a chiropractor; the topic is outside of his professional and educational scope. If this is peer reviewed (I can’t tell it is behind a pay wall), it would be reviewed by individuals who are also outside of their scope. Both authors hold a Ph.D in epidemiology, though I have found all of their work is in Chiropractic treatment of back pain, and injury. I do not see any published work in infectious disease from either.

The information collected is in reference to the DTP vaccine; this vaccine is not used anymore, and hasn’t been since 1996.

Collection of data was “based on parental or guardian recall” which is far less reliable than medical documentation.

The conclusion of this “study” indicates that “the small number of unvaccinated subjects and the study design limit our ability to make firm causal inferences about the true magnitude of effect.”

Elevated risks on ER visits 1-2 weeks following vaccines.

This study found that 20 additional children (12 and 18 months old) suffered from a febrile seizure per every 100,000 vaccinated (within two weeks) children. This is as compared to the same amount of not vaccinated at the same time controls. Febrile seizures are fever related, they can occur with any fever, and are not just vaccine related. The study states that “The largest relative risk was associated with febrile seizures” meaning that febrile seizures were the primary reason for ER visit.

How common are febrile seizures?

Febrile seizures are the most common type of convulsions in infants and young children and occur in 2 to 5 percent of American children before age 5.  Approximately 40 percent of children who experience one febrile seizure will have a recurrence.

At 12 months old one “excess event” per 168 children, meaning that one additional recently vaccinated (within two weeks) child visited the emergency room for every 168 that were vaccinated, in comparison to the same number of not vaccinated at the time controls.

At 18 months old there was at least one “excess event” per 750 children, meaning that one additional recently vaccinated (within two weeks) child visited the emergency room for every 750 that were vaccinated, in comparison to the same number of not vaccinated at the time controls.

The top diagnoses for the presentations to the emergency room during the 12 month risk interval would all be consistent with a mild viral illness. Meaning these children are not going to the ER for serious adverse events. There were non-significant increases in hospital admissions. Essentially, children were not seriously affected, and were discharged from the ER without admission to the hospital.

Yellow fever vaccine caused a similar but more deadly disease

The Yellow Fever Vaccine is not routinely given in the United States; it is generally given before travel to certain areas of the world. This study cites VAERS as a source, claiming 0.4 cases per 100,000 doses of vaccine administered. Yellow Fever Vaccine–Associated Viscerotropic Disease (YEL-AVD)

A reanalysis of multiple studies on this subject found an increased risk of YEL-AVD only in the elderly. This reanalysis stated “our analysis supported an increased risk of YEL-AVD among the elderly, particularly elderly travelers, however this evidence may be weaker than originally thought.” 

Overuse of vaccines overcomes natural autoimmunity and creates autoimmune disorders” a Japanese study

The title of this study is: “Repeated immunization with antigen causes systemic autoimmunity in mice otherwise not prone to spontaneous autoimmune diseases.”

Please see this article entitled “Troublesome variability in mouse studies.”

The journal in which this article is published, PLoS ONE, has a low (and continuing to decline) impact score.

Almost no SIDS prior to vaccine programs” 

In short this is not true, a thorough dismantling of this article can be found, HERE.

Contamination of vaccines

This article is behind a pay wall, I can only read the abstract, which is about contamination of the first small pox vaccine, which was introduced in 1796. There have been a few scientific advancements since 1796…

The SV-40 contamination of the polio vaccine (1955-1963) is also mentioned. It is often claimed that this has caused cancer; this is just a myth that has been thoroughly debunked.

Most importantly the article states that… “These incidents have lead industry to change certain practices and regulatory authorities to develop more stringent and detailed requirements.”

Cancer contamination in vaccines

“Virus-based vaccines are made in living cells (cell substrates). Some manufacturers are investigating the use of new cell lines to make vaccines. The continual growth of cell lines ensures that there is a consistent supply of the same cells that can yield high quantities of the vaccine.”

This article is a narrative about manufacturers investigating the use of different cells in vaccine creation. It is about research that is being done, and future guidelines that would be made available from the FDA to make sure these cell lines are safe for use in humans. These are not cell lines that are currently used in vaccine development.  Essentially, this article is not about what it is claimed to be about.

Contamination in vaccines

This article is behind a pay wall, so all I can see it the abstract. It states:

“This study showed that Vero, MRC-5, and CEFs, which represent cell substrates used in some U.S. licensed vaccines, and other cell lines used in investigational vaccines, such as MDCK, HEK-293, HeLa, and A549, were negative for PCV1 using a nested PCR assay; some were also confirmed negative by infectivity analysis. However, MDBK cells, which are used for some animal vaccines, contained PCV1 sequences, although no virus was isolated. Although the results showed that PCV infection may not have occurred under previous culture conditions, the recent cases of vaccine contamination emphasizes the need for continued efforts to reduce the likelihood of introducing viruses from animal-derived materials used in product manufacture.

Furthermore, these viruses have not been shown to cause disease in humans, and they are also present in the pork we eat.

Questions and answers relating to finding of porcine circoviruses in rotavirus vaccines.

Vaccines increase the risk of cardiovascular events

This is a 2011 article that pertains only to the Influenza A vaccine (not “Vaccines”). It states:

“The vaccine-related platelet activation and cardiac autonomic dysfunction may transiently increase the risk of cardiovascular events.”

A 2013 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that “getting the influenza vaccine lowers a person’s odds of a having heart attack, stroke, heart failure, or other major cardiac event—including death—by about a third over the following year.” Basically further research proved that the “may” is now a “doesn’t.”

Notice to pediatricians to consider vaccines and myodarditis

This case study is entitled “Acute Myopericarditis, After Multiple Vaccinations in an Adolescent: Case Report and Review of the Literature.” It is behind a pay wall, all you can see is the title, and there is no information about this single case available. This is not a “notice to pediatricians” as claimed. It is highly possible that the individual featured in the case had a virus prior to vaccination, which resulted in the Acute Myopericarditis. “The most common cause of viral myopericarditis is coxsackieviruses.” 


SIDS and vaccines

This is the case study of a single sudden unexpected death, 24 hours after vaccination; this was not a SIDS death. The study is behind a paywall and I cannot see anything except the abstract. I reached out to a medical professional to help me  interpret this one, due to the conditions described in the abstract it can be reasonably assumed that this baby died from anaphylaxis, possibly from a vaccine. This is a very remote possibly, and anaphylaxis is not just cause by vaccine components.

Rest assured; it has been found that:

“Just 33 people had a serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction — also known as anaphylaxis — out of 25 million vaccines given, according to research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s 1.3 people in every million who gets a vaccine.”

Please see our article on Vaccines and the Infant Mortality Rate.


2-phenoxyethanol (ethalene glycol) connection with infertility

“Some vaccines do contain the additive 2-phenoxyethanol, which is an organic chemical compound, but it is not the same as antifreeze (ethylene glycol). 2-Phenoxyethanol is also a glycol ether and doesn’t sound much better than antifreeze, so why is it in vaccines? It is a safe preservative that can help prevent bacterial and fungal contamination of the vaccine. It is also used as a stabilizer in some vaccines.”


Ethalene glycol and significant reproductive and developmental toxicity” 

As stated above, there is no Ethalene glycol in vaccines.

Infant mortality and vaccine schedule

This “study” is by Neil Z. Miller and Gary S. Goldman, this article is about the linked “study.”

It uses VAERS as a source, which is problematic.

Again, please see our article on Vaccines and the Infant Mortality Rate.


“Repeated immunization with antigen causes systemic autoimmunity in mice otherwise not prone to spontaneous autoimmune diseases”

This is a repeat of the same article that is posted above, labeled as “Overuse of vaccines overcomes natural autoimmunity and creates autoimmune disorders” a Japanese study.

“Increased ER visits after 12 and 18 month vaccines…further study needed”

This is repeated from above, “Elevated risks on ER visits 1-2 weeks following vaccines.”

“Fetal cells that are tumorgenic(sp*) can contaminate healthy cell DNA”

This is repeated from above, “Cancer contamination in vaccines”

“Connection between the number of vaccines and the % of hospitalizations and deaths”

This is repeated from above “Infant mortality and vaccine schedule.”

Adjuvants and increased risk of   ASIA autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome,  Guillain-Barre syndrome, and Adult-Still’s disease

 “At present, there is no evidence to suggest that ASIA syndrome is a viable explanation for unusual autoimmune diseases. Since the initial paper, over 80 publications have discussed ASIA. This systematic review examines the research that has been done to investigate whether ASIA is a broad umbrella term with little clinical significance, or whether there is some underlying mechanism which could be utilised to reduce the occurrence of adjuvant mediated disease. Twenty-seven animal, epidemiological and case studies were reviewed. Unfortunately, a robust animal model of ASIA using biologically relevant doses of adjuvants has yet to be defined.”

Essentially “AISA” is not a real diagnosis, it is non-existent syndrome.

More on “ASIA” claims from Skeptical Raptor.

Adult-Still’s Disease is not proven to be vaccine related.

Per the CDC:

“Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare disorder in which a person’s own immune system damages their nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. It often follows infection with a virus or bacteria. Most people recover fully from GBS, but some people have permanent nerve damage. In the United States, an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 people develop GBS each year, whether or not they received a vaccination.”

vaccines and auto immune disease

This study is behind a paywall, only the abstract is view-able. It states “Vaccines, in several reports were found to be temporally followed by a new onset of autoimmune diseases.”

A more detailed look at vaccines and autoimmunity; Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Vaccines Cause Allergic or Autoimmune Diseases? 

“Connection between vaccines and GBS, ITP, MS, and myperiocarditis”

This link is repeated from above; “vaccines and auto immune disease.”

“Connection between vaccines and autoimmune diseases”

This is the second time this link is repeated from above; “vaccines and auto immune disease.”

Asthma more prevalent in vaccinated populations

This study covers individuals vaccinated with the DTP vaccine which hasn’t been used since 1996, as discussed above. The conclusion of the study states that “the small number of unvaccinated subjects and the study design limit our ability to make firm causal inferences about the true magnitude of effect.” It is another study from the same Chiropractic journal discussed above, under “History of asthma twice as prevalent in vaccinated children.”, the link is repeated.

Adverse effects on vaccinating premies

This is a graph that is cherry picked from a study, when you click on the “full text link” it takes you to the full study “Immunisation of premature infants.” The graph itself is a collection of events following vaccination, they may or may not be vaccine related, and realistically they are probably just premie related. Noted items include “no change in apnoea” (US, apnea), “20%” (probably supplemental oxygen they are on), and other cardiorespiratory events that are common in premies.

The actual study states:

“Premature infants are at increased risk of vaccine preventable infections, but audits have shown that their vaccinations are often delayed. Early protection is desirable.”

It concludes:

“While absolute primary antibody responses may be lower in preterm infants vaccinated according to chronological age than in term infants, the majority achieve concentrations generally accepted to correlate with protection. For vaccines where there are no clear serological correlates of protection, such as pertussis, such conclusions must be made with caution. For both preterm and term infants, antibody concentrations decline rapidly after primary immunisation, but this may be more clinically relevant in preterm infants as they start from a lower baseline. This reinforces the need for a booster dose in such infants, particularly as memory induction on the whole does not appear to be compromised by prematurity.

It seems likely that an accelerated 2‐3‐4 month schedule will achieve protective concentrations earlier in such infants than a more extended schedule, which is important given their susceptibility to infection. However, such schedules may be less immunogenic overall and require an early additional or booster dose to ensure persistence of protection. The timing of such booster doses requires further study.”


“Infant mortality and vaccines study”

This is the third time this same link from Neil Z. Miller and Gary S. Goldman has been repeated.


Peer reviewed study on fetal cell contamination with retro virus associated with autism and cancer

When you go to the actual study, it has nothing to do with what it is claimed to; it actually explains why there was an “increase” in autism at the same time human cell lines were introduced. “Association between approval of human fetal cell line manufactured vaccines and autistic disorder change points.” Essentially at the same time these vaccines were introduced, there was a change in autism diagnostic criteria.

“The first DSM of Mental Disorders, DSM I, was published by the American Psychiatric Association in 1952. Since then there have been five major revisions: DSM II (1968); DSM III (1980); DSM III – R (1987); DSM IV (1994) and DSM IV – TR (2000). The impact of DSM revisions on the diagnosis of autism depends on the significance of changes to diagnostic criteria and on the rapidity with which the DSM revisions are disseminated and applied.”


From RtAVM 

“Correlation between the number of infant deaths and the number of vaccines”

This is the fourth time this same link from Neil Z. Miller and Gary S. Goldman has been repeated.

“Relative trends in hospitalizations and mortality among infants by the number of vaccine doses and  age, based on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), 1990-2010.”

This is the fifth time this same link from Neil Z. Miller and Gary S. Goldman has been repeated.

Is infant immunization a risk factor for childhood asthma or allergy?

This study is behind a paywall, you can only see the abstract. It followed 1,265 children who were born in 1977. Out of the 1,265 children followed, there were only 23 children who were not vaccinated with the DTP vaccine. Essentially, there was not equal representation of vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, therefore you could not conclude with any certainty that vaccinated children have higher rates of asthma.

“Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given”

This is the sixth time this same link from Neil Z. Miller and Gary S. Goldman has been repeated.

“Infection, vaccines and other environmental triggers of autoimmunity”

This link is repeated from above: “Connection between vaccines and autoimmune diseases.”

“SIDS after hexavalent vaccine”

This is the same single case that is repeated from above.

“Thimerosal and adverse events”

Thimerosal has not been in childhood vaccines, with the exception of some flu shots, since 2001.

I can only see the title of this “study” though I see that Brian Hooker, David  Geier and Mark Geier (an advocate for the chemical castration of autistic children) are involved, I wouldn’t trust it if I could see it.


#CDCwhistleblower and “Vaxxed”

By Dr. Paul Offit

“Age at First Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination in Children With Autism and School-matched Control Subjects: A Population-Based Study in Metropolitan Atlanta”

From Left Brain Right Brain

From Liz Ditz

A Pro-Vaxer Watched Vaxxed (and still vaccinates!)
From The Vaccine’s Work Blog

from RtAVM
From Science Based Medicine

From Science Based Medicine

The original 143 page document from Andrew Wakefield’s “Fitness to Practise Panel” which resulted in him losing his license to practice medicine.

“I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue  to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated  with their administration are vastly outweighed  by their individual and societal benefits.”

From the Statement of Dr. Thompson

The Effect of Vaccination on Infant Mortality Rates

Elyce Powers

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) “The infant mortality rate in the United States showed a consistently downward trend between 1935 and 2000, with the rate declining from 55.7 per 1,000 live births in 1935 to 6.9 in 2000, at an impressive pace of 3.1% per year.”

Meaning, as the number of vaccines on the CDC schedule increased, our Infant Mortality Rate Decreased. Of course, vaccines are not the only advancement to thank for this. I simply want to point out that if vaccines regularly killed babies, we would not expect to see a dramatically lowering infant mortality rate, as we increased the number of vaccines given.

Neonatal and Postneonatal Mortality 

Rates by Race, United States, 1935-2007
Source: HRSA (linked below)

Causes of Infant Mortality 1970 

Source: HRSA (linked below)

Causes of Infant Mortality 2007

Source: HRSA (linked below)
Noted Dramatic Declines
Respiratory Distress (from 13% to 3%)
Pneumonia and Influenza (from 8% to 1%)

***Remember, the IMR decreased from 1970 to 2007, so we know that overall the pie chart from 1970 represents far more deaths than the pie chart from 2007. 


The decline of Pneumonia, Influenza, and respiratory distress deaths

A 2014 study found that the Influenza Vaccine reduced flu related Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) admissions by 74% (Flu Season 2010-12). Pneumonia is a complication of influenza, in addition to many other vaccine preventable diseases. Children are now routinely vaccinated with the Prevnar 13 immunization, which protects against 13 different strains of Pneumonia causing pneumococcal bacteria. Additionally respiratory distress can be caused by a number of vaccine preventable diseases, such as Pertussis, Measles, and Diphtheria.
Unfortunately some parents still fear the Prevnar 13 vaccine, primarily due to the spread of misinformation.

Are SIDS and Vaccines Related?
No, in fact a 2007 meta-analysis found that immunizations are associated with a halving of the risk of SIDS.

Good Reads: 

Infant Mortality Rates and Vaccines from Vaxopedia

READ THIS: USA Infant Mortality Rate is low, Part 1 & Part 2, from the Vaccines Work Blog

Vaccines and infant mortality rates: A false relationship promoted by the anti-vaccine movement from Science Based Medicine

Vaccines and Infant Mortality Rate from Just the Vax Blog

The CDC Addresses Vaccine Concerns