Is the MMR vaccine safe, or does it cause autism?
I have a 1 year old baby boy. According to the vaccination booklet, he needs to take the MMR jab. I would like to know if the MMR vaccine is safe? I've heard that there are risks of autism associated with the vaccine.
The MMR vaccine is completely safe, and does not cause autism.
Vaccination is very important because it prevents diseases that can cause permanent complications and death.
In the case of the MMR vaccine, it prevents measles, mumps, and rubella.
Measles complications include ear infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, brain damage, and death.
Mumps complications include swelling of the testicles or ovaries, deafness, inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis/meningitis) and, rarely, death.
Rubella complications include bleeding problems, testicular swelling, and inflammation of nerves.
The first signs of autism typically appear in a toddler who is 12 months to 18 months old, which is around the same time that children are recommended to receive the MMR vaccine.
This may be why some parents think that the MMR vaccine causes autism.
However, vaccination safety experts at the CDC and many robust studies have concluded that the MMR vaccine is not responsible for increases in the number of children with autism.
Please speak to your doctor if you have any other particular concerns about vaccination.