Monday, March 1, 2010
According to a new study based on a survey of 1,552 parents, one in four U.S. parents believes some vaccines cause autism in healthy children. However, extensive medical research has found no connection between the two. The unfounded fear stems from a flawed 1998 study published in The Lancet that was recently retracted after a council that regulates Britain's doctors ruled the study's author acted dishonestly and unethically. This new study is based on a University of Michigan survey of parents that took place a year ago—before The Lancet study retraction.
There is some good news, though. Many of the parents surveyed that worried about vaccine risks still think their children should be vaccinated.
"Nine out of 10 parents believe that vaccination is a good way to prevent diseases for their children," said lead author Dr. Gary Freed of the University of Michigan. "Luckily their concerns don't outweigh their decision to get vaccines so their children can be protected from life-threatening illnesses."
For more information on additional findings of the study, you can view the Pediatrics article for free here.
Christianne Johnson, Program Manager, Partnership for Prevention