The Sun MMR Jab Autism article 01 August 2007

The MMR Debate. Is it safe? Does it cause Autism?


MMR is in the press once again. There has been a dangerous increase in the rates of Measles developing in children, which is attributed to the fact that many parents are refusing to give their children the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine due to the concern that it causes autism.

However, there is no proof that there is a connection between MMR and Autism. In fact, research has concluded the opposite, i.e. that there is no relationship at all between MMR and the development of Autism. The New Scientist published results of research, but this has so far not stamped out the irrational fear that many people have.

The problem is mostly fuelled by the tabloid press writing sad stories about children developing Autism shortly after having the MMR vaccine. However, the fact is, that children are likely to develop Autism at around the same time that MMR is given, therefore, there will always appear to be a connection. The whole issue started out after the “Wakefield” report appeared in the tabloid press.

“Parents need have no more fears about the triple vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella. A study of more than 30,000 children in Japan should put the final nail in the coffin of the claim that the MMR vaccine is responsible for the apparent rise in autism in recent years….  parents panicked and vaccination rates plummeted after gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield claimed in a 1998 study that MMR might trigger autism, although the study was based on just 12 children and later retracted by most of its co authors. Not one epidemiological study has revealed a link between the vaccine and autism.” Source: New Scientist report on Autism and MMR.


People should really look at diet and environment (pollution, indoor chemical as well as outdoors). Really parents should stop using all sprays, including air fresheners, spray on deodorants and perfumes, cleaning sprays etc, especially with children around. These toxins that people spray inside their homes is far more likely to cause serious harm!

The BBC’s guide to the “Wakefield” story is here:

Read this also (environmental):

And some more research proving that there is no link between autism and MMR:
The committee concludes that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism.”

Of course, you are more than welcome to continue to believe the tabloid press (2003) if you wish, although bear in mind that your children’s health will be put at more serious risk if you do.

The Sun MMR Jab Autism article 01 August 2007

The Sun MMR Jab Autism article May 2003, updated in 2007

21 MAY 2003


However, even The Sun printed the truth about MMR in July 2007.

The Research The Sparked the Panic

Wakefield A, Murch S, Anthony A et al. (1998). “Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children”. Lancet 351 (9103): 637–41. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(97)11096-0. PMID 9500320. Retrieved 2007-09-05. Retracted:

Further Reading

Lancet retracts ‘utterly false’ MMR paper – The Guardian, 2 February 2010

Lancet retracts Wakefield’s MMR paper – British Medical Journal, 2 February 2010

Wakefield’s article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent – British Medical Journal,  6 January 2011


About Medimise

JP studied Health Sciences with the Open University between 2008 and 2011 and attained a Certificate in Health Sciences. Focus areas included T2 diabetes, trauma and repair, pain management, alcoholism, COPD, and cancer diagnosis and treatment. JP has been working as lead editor of several health publications since 2006 and works full time in the health industry.

2 comments on “The MMR Debate. Is it safe? Does it cause Autism?

  1. My brother has severe autism and associated learning disabilities. I do not know what caused his autism. I do not blame the MMR. I have had the MMR myself, as have thousands with no adverse reaction. My brother developed normally in all cognitive areas, including speech and language and hit all milestones until he had his MMR vaccine. On the night of his MMR vaccine, he had several fits and convulsions and following these he began to go downhill and developed both a dairy and gluten intolerance, both of which were not previously present. His autism was regressive.
    HOWEVER, you cannot say from this that the MMR causes autism.
    1) If the MMR CAUSED autism, everyone who had the MMR would develop autism.
    2) The MMR vaccine may not be at fault, but the substances used to preserve it perhaps.
    3) It may be that certain factors cause individuals to have a pre-disposition to having such a reaction the MMR vaccine that we are yet to understand. In the case of my brother, he had a difficult birth and was also given other vaccines on the same day as his MMR (talk about overload – in fact, his medical records were then changed to suggest he had his vaccines on different dates… when we presented them with both copies they realised that they had made a “typo”…)
    4) It may be that only some batches of the MMR vaccine were somehow contaminated with a substance that caused autism in some individuals (we learnt that the batch of MMR vaccines used for my brother’s vaccination was subsequently withdrawn)
    This being said, you cannot say the MMR does not cause autism. The reason it is called the MMR controversy or the MMR debate is because the answer is still unknown.
    One of the main defences of the MMR vaccine is that “children are likely to develop Autism at around the same time that MMR is given, therefore, there will always appear to be a connection.”
    I don’t see why this is used as a defence of the MMR as this does not explain regressive autism, which is the type of autism we are talking about in terms of “is there a link?” Children who have autism from birth do not develop normally in all cognitive areas and hit all the milestones, only to lose it all within days of the MMR vaccine. They would be autistic from the word go.
    My family suspected a connection between the MMR and my brother’s autism before the MMR controversy actually hit the media, so it is unfair to say, as I have heard some suggest, that all parents that suspect the MMR are hysterical and are just jumping on the bandwagon to find something to blame for their precious darling’s condition.
    This being said, I am sure there are plenty of parents whose children have autism that has present from birth but are blaming MMR because of what they read in the papers. Autism has, after all, been around for long before the MMR was introduced, but it is always difficult to come to terms with a child’s disability.
    In the same way, I believe that the increase in autism is largely due to better diagnosis of the condition. When my brother became autistic, it took my mother 6 years to get a diagnosis of autism – at that time autism was almost a dirty word! Now, in some areas autism diagnoses are being handed out like sweets, sometimes even to children that do not actually have autism!
    To say “parents need have no more fears about the triple vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella” is not the case, it is more that parents do not have a choice. We’re never going to know the truth about the MMR vaccine because the debate has gone too far. Sometimes you just have to live with what life throws at you and stop the constant tit for tat that the MMR debate has become.

  2. Some good news today. Dr. Andrew Wakefield has today been found guilty by the General Medical Council for serious professional misconduct over the way he presented his research on the MMR and autism.

    He says that he will appeal against the verdict. However, this news, which is hitting the tabloid press today, will hopefully make it clear to parents that there is no risk with the MMR vaccine.

    Since Wakefield’s report MMR vaccination has fallen and the number of children developing measles has increased. Measles is a terrible disease that can be fatal.

    What few people knew was that Dr. Wakefield was being paid by legal teams that were looking for evidence of a connection between autism and MMR. Also, he gathered blood samples from places such as children’s birthday parties (paying £5 per blood sample to the kids). His interest in the results seemed to be driven by money and not the progress of science and led to many people becoming ill. Plus it undermined the advice from government and has wasted enormous amounts of money that could be looking at different causes of autism.