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Large-Scale Study Again Finds No Link Between MMR Vaccine And Autism

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The safety of vaccines were once again highlighted in sweeping new research Monday. With outbreaks of the measles reported in several states and some parents choosing not to get their children vaccinated, researchers are hoping a new study will send a life-saving message.

The MMR vaccine guards against measles, mumps and rubella does not increase the risk of autism, according to a new large-scale study.

"The new study – if we needed it – puts to rest once again that there is no association between measles vaccine and autism," Dr. William Schaffner said.

The study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine looked at all the children born in Denmark over more than a decade and found that the MMR vaccine does not trigger autism in children at high risk of developing the disorder.

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The vaccine that's recommended for all children in a series of injections was able to eliminate measles. That was declared in 2000, but cases have been rising in recent years.

So far this year, 159 cases of measles have been confirmed in 10 states.

"Because children have been withheld from vaccination, the disease has recurred," Schaffner said. "It's imported from other parts of the world, finds those pockets of susceptible children and causes illness also among children who are too young to be vaccinated."

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For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from the disease. Measles can also causes serious complications such as pneumonia and brain swelling.

Children need two doses of the MMR vaccine. One at 12-to-15 months old and then the second between 4 and 6 years old.

The two doses are considered to be about 97 percent effective except with mumps. That part of the vaccine can wear off over time as evidenced last week with the outbreak at Temple University.

But there is a booster for mumps.

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