British researchers say they have disproved a link between the MMR jab and autism.
Their finding follows a study of 250 children - some with autistic disorders - who had been given the measles, mumps and rubella injection. They said there was no evidence of infection with the measles virus, introduced by the jab, persisting in the blood long after vaccination. It is one of the central claims among parents campaigning against MMR that autism can be caused by a lingering measles infection from the jab.
The findings come ten years after Dr Andrew Wakefield raised fears that MMR was linked with autism and bowel disease.
His study of 12 children led to parents shunning the jab for mumps, measles and rubella.
Last night the Government's top vaccine expert, Professor David Salisbury, insisted that the new study, said to be the largest of its kind, would quash concerns over MMR.
But critics said it failed to address the possible persistence of measles virus in the gut - the continuing claim of parents of autistic children with bowel problems. Researchers say it is "ethically not possible" to carry out such an investigation on children without symptoms.
But Jackie Fletcher, who runs the Jabs support group, said parents who believed their children were damaged by MMR had been left "high and dry".
Source - Daily Mail