Vaccines don’t cause autism. Because science.

vaxnoautismNext time somebody says that vaccines cause autism, or that the link has not been studied extensively, hit them with this list of 99 scientific papers (including studies and reviews) showing no link between vaccines, vaccine ingredients and autism. Compiled by Nathan Boonstra, Allison Hagood, Luci Baldwin and myself.

  1. Albizzati, A., Moré, L., Di Candia, D., Saccani, M., Lenti, C. Normal concentrations of heavy metals in autistic spectrum disorders. Minerva Pediatrica. 2012.Feb;64(1):27-31
  2. Abu Kuwaik, G., Roberts, W., Zwaigenbaum, L., Bryson, S., Smith, IM., Szatmari, P., Modi, BM., Tanel, N., Brian, J. Immunization uptake in younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder. Autism. 2014 Feb;18(2):148-55. doi: 10.1177/1362361312459111. Epub 2012 Oct 8.
  3. Afzal, MA., Ozoemena, LC., O’Hare, A., Kidger, KA., Bentley, ML., Minor, PD.Absence of detectable measles virus genome sequence in blood of autistic children who have had their MMR vaccination during the routine childhood immunization schedule of UK.   Journal Medical Virology. 2006 May;78(5):623-30.
  4. Andrews, N., Miller, E., Grant, A., Stowe, J., Osborn, V., & Taylor, B. (2004). Thimerosal exposure in infants and developmental disorders: a retrospective cohort study in the United Kingdom does not support a causal association. Pediatrics, 114, 584-591.
  5. Andrews, N., Miller, E., Taylor, B., Lingam, R., Simmons, A., Stowe, J., Waight, P. Dec 2002; 87(6): 493–494.  Recall bias, MMR and autism.  Archives of Disease in Childhood.
  6. Baird, G., Pickles, A., Simonoff, E., Charman, T., Sullivan, P., Chandler, S., Loucas, T., Meldrum, D., Afzal, M., Thomas, B., Jin, L., Brown, D. Measles vaccination and antibody response in autism spectrum disorders. Archives of Disease in Childhood.2008 Oct;93(10):832-7. doi: 10.1136/adc.2007.122937. Epub 2008 Feb 5.
  7. Baron-Cohen, S. Autism and the technical mind: children of scientists and engineers may inherit genes that not only confer intellectual talents but also predispose them to autism. Scientific American. 2012 Nov;307(5):72-5.
  8. Berger, BE., Navar-Boggan, AM., Omer, SB. Congenital rubella syndrome and autism spectrum disorder prevented by rubella vaccination–United States, 2001-2010.   BMC Public Health.2011 May 19;11:340. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-340.
  9. Black, C., Kaye, JA. Relation of childhood gastrointestinal disorders to autism: nested case-control study using data from the UK General Practice Research Database. British Medical Journal. 2002;325(7361):419-21.
  10. Chen, W., Landau, S., Sham, P., & Fombonne, E. (2004). No evidence for links between autism, MMR and measles virus. Psychological Medicine, 34(3), 543-553.
  11. Christie, B. Scottish expert group finds no link between MMR and autism.British Medical Journal, 2002. May 11;324(7346):1118.
  12. Clements, CJ., McIntyre, PB. When science is not enough – a risk/benefit profile of thiomersal-containing vaccines.   Expert Drug Opinion Safety. 2006.Jan;5(1):17-29.
  13. Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines; Institute of Medicine. Stratton, K., Ford, A., Rusch, E., Wright Clayton, E. Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2012. (a review of more than ONE THOUSAND studies).
  14. Dales, L., Hammer, S. J., & Smith, N. J. (2001). Time trends in autism and in MMR immunization coverage in California.  JAMA, 285(9), 1183-1185.
  15. De Los Reyes, EC. Autism and immunizations: separating fact from fiction. JAMA Neurology. 2010;67(4):490-492. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.57.
  16. DeWilde, S., Carey, IM., Richards, N., Hilton, SR., Cook, DG. Do children who become autistic consult more often after MMR vaccination? British Journal of General Practice. 2001 Mar;51(464):226-7.
  17. Demicheli, V., Jefferson, T., Rivetti, A., & Price, D. (2005). Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 4. (a review of 31 studies)
  18. DeStefano, F. MMR vaccine and autism: a review of the evidence for a causal association. Molecular Psychiatry. 2002;7 Suppl 2:S512.
  19. DeStefano, F., Chen, RT. Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: No epidemiological evidence for a causal association. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2000 Jan;136(1):125.
  20. DeStefano, F., Bhasin, T. K., Thompson, W. W., Yeargin-Allsopp, M., & Boyle, C. (2004). Age at first measles-mumps-rubella vaccination in children with autism and school-matched control subjects: a population-based study in metropolitan Atlanta. Pediatrics, 113(2), 259-266.
  21. DeStefano F., Price CS., Weintraub, ES. Increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism.  Journal of Pediatrics. 2013 Aug;163(2):561-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.02.001. Epub 2013 Mar 30.
  22. DeStefano F., Thompson, WW.MMR vaccine and autism: an update of the scientific evidence.Expert Rev Vaccines.2004 Feb;3(1):19-22.
  23. DeStefano F., Thompson, WW. MMR vaccination and autism: is there a link? Expert Opinion on Drug Safety. 2002 Jul;1(2):115-20.
  24. DeStefano, F. Chen, RT. Negative association between MMR and autism. Lancet. 1999 Jun 12;353(9169):1987-8.
  25. DeStefano, F., Chen, RT. Autism and measles-mumps-rubella vaccination: controversy laid to rest? CNS Drugs. 2001. 2001;15(11):831-7.
  26. D’Souza J., Todd T. Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and the development of autism or inflammatory bowel disease: the controversy should end. Journal of Pedatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics.  2003 Jul;8(3):187-99. doi: 10.5863/1551-6776-8.3.187.
  27. D’Souza, Y., Fombonne, E., Ward, BJ. No evidence of persisting measles virus in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from children with autism spectrum disorder. Pediatrics. 2006 Oct;118(4):1664-75.
  28. Doja, A., & Roberts, W. (2006). Immunizations and autism: A review of the literature. The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 33(4), 341-346.
  29. Elliman, D., Bedford, H.   MMR: where are we now?  Archives of Disease in Childhood.   2007 Dec;92(12):1055-7. Epub 2007 Jul 11.
  30. Farrington, C., Miller, E., & Taylor, B. (2001). MMR and autism: further evidence against a causal association. Vaccine, 19(27), 3632-3635.
  31. Fombonne, E., & Chakrabarti, S. (2001). No evidence for a new variant of measles-mumps-rubella–induced autism. Pediatrics, 108(4), e58-e58.
  32. Fombonne, E., Zakarian, R., Bennett, A., Meng, L., & McLean-Heywood, D. (2006). Pervasive developmental disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and links with immunizations. Pediatrics 118(1) e139-e150; doi:10.1542/peds.2005-2993.
  33. García-Fernández, L., Hernández, AV., Suárez Moreno, V., Fiestas, F. Addressing the controversy regarding the association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. Revista Peruana de Medicine Experimental Salud Publica. 2013 Apr;30(2):268-74.
  34. Gentile, I., Bravaccio, C., Bonavolta, R., Zappulo, E., Scarica, S., Riccio, MP., Settimi, A., Portella, G., Pascotta, A., Borgia, G. Response to measles-mumps-rubella vaccine in children with autism spectrum disorders. In Vivo 2013 May-Jun;27(3):377-82.
  35. Gerber, J. S., & Offit, P. A. (2009). Vaccines and autism: a tale of shifting hypotheses. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 48(4), 456-461.
  36. Halsey, NA., Hyman, SL.  Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autistic spectrum disorder: report from the New Challenges in Childhood Immunizations Conference convened in Oak Brook, Illinois. June 12-13, 2000.   Pediatrics.  2001 May;107(5):E84.
  37. Hertz-Picciotto, I., Green, P., Delwiche, L., Hansen, R., Walker, C., & Pessah, I. (2010). Blood mercury concentrations in CHARGE Study children with and without autism. Environmental Health Perspectives, 118(1), 161-166. doi:10.1289/ehp.0900736
  38. Hensley, E. Briars, L. Closer look at autism and the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. Journal of American Pharmacist’s Association. 2003. 2010 Nov-Dec;50(6):736-41. doi: 10.1331/JAPhA.2010.10004.
  39. Heron, J., Golding, J., ALSPAC Study Team.  Thimerosal exposure in infants and developmental disorders: a prospective cohort study in the United Kingdom does not support a causal association.  Pediatrics.  2004 Sep;114(3):577-83.
  40. Hessel, L. Mercury in vaccines. Bulletin of the National Academy of Medicine. 2003;187(8):1501-10.
  41. Honda, H., Shimizu, Y., & Rutter, M. (2005). No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 46(6), doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01425.x.
  42. Hornig, M., Briese, T., Bule, T., Bauman, M.L., Lauwers, G., Siemetzki, U., Hummel, K., Rota, PA., Bellini, WJ., O’Leary, JJ., Sheils, O., Alden, E., Pickering, L., Lipkin, W.I. Lack of association between measles virus vaccine and autism with enteropathy: a case-control study. 2008. PLoS One, 3(9), e3140. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003140.
  43. Hurley, A., Tadrous, M., Miller, ES. Thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism: a review of recent epidemiological studies. Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2010 Jul-Sep; 15(3): 173-181.
  44. Hviid A., Stellfeld, M., Wohlfahrt, J., Melbye, M.   Association between thimerosal-containing vaccine and autism – No causal relationship found.JAMA.2003 Oct 1;290(13):1763-6.
  45. Insitute of Medicine (US) Immunization Safety Review Committee. Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autisms. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004.
  46.  Ip, P., Wong, V., Ho, M., Lee, J., Wong, W.  Mercury exposure in children with autistic spectrum disorder: case-control study.  Journal of Child Neurology. 2004. Jun:19(6):431-4.

  47. Iqbal, S., Barile, JP., Thompson, WW., DeStefano, F. Number of antigens in early childhood vaccines and neuropsychological outcomes at age 7–10years. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.2013 Dec;22(12):1263-70. doi: 10.1002/pds.3482. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

  48. Jefferson, T., Price, D., Demicheli, V., Bianco, E., European Research Program for Improved Safety Surveillance (EUSAFEVAC) Project. Unintended events following immunization with MMR: a systematic review.  Vaccine.  2003 Sep 8;21(25-26):3954-60.
  49. Jick, H., Kaye, JA. Epidemiology and possible causes of autism. Pharmacotherapy. 2003 Dec;23(12):1524-30.
  50. Kaye, J. A., del Mar Melero-Montes, M., & Jick, H. Mumps, measles, and rubella vaccine and the incidence of autism recorded by general practitioners: a time trend analysis. 2001. British Medical Journal, 322(7284), 460-463.
  51. Klein, K. C., & Diehl, E. B. Relationship between MMR vaccine and autism. 2004. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 38(7-8), 1297-1300.
  52. Lazoff, T., Zhong, L., Piperni, T., Fombonne, E. Prevalence of pervasive developmental disorders among children at the English Montreal School Board. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.2010 Nov;55(11):715-20.
  53. Lingam, R., Simmons, A., Andrews, N., Miller, E., Stowe, J., & Taylor, B. (2003). Prevalence of autism and parentally reported triggers in a North-east London population. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 88(8), 666-670.
  54. Madsen, K.K., Hviid, A., Vestergaard, M., Schendel, D., Wohlfahrt, J., Thorsen, P., Olsen, J., Melbye, M. A population-based study of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism. 2002.The New England Journal of Medicine, 347(19), 1477-82.
  55. Madsen, K.M., Lauritsen, M.B., Pedersen, C.B., Thorsen, P., Plesner, A.M., Andersen, P.H. & Mortensen, P.B. Thimerosal and the occurrence of autism: negative ecological evidence from Danish population-based data. 2003. Pediatrics, 112, 604-606. doi: 10.1542/peds.112.3.204
  56. Madsen, KM. Vestergaard, M.   MMR and Autism: what is the evidence for a causal association? Drug Safety. 2004;27(12):831-40.
  57. Makela, A., Nuorti, J., & Peltola, H. (2002). Neurologic disorders after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination. Pediatrics, 110(5), 957-963.
  58. Marin, M., Broder, KR., Temte, JL., Snider, DE., Seward, JF., (CDC). Use of combination measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).  MMWR Recommendations and Reports. 2010 May 7;59(RR-3):1-12.
  59. Marwick, C. US Report finds no link between MMR and autism. British Medical Journal.   May 5, 2001; 322(7294): 1083.
  60. Meilleur, AA., Fombonne, E. Regression of language and non-language skills in pervasive development disorders. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. 2009 Feb;53(2):115-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2008.01134.x. Epub 2008 Nov 27.
  61. Miller, E. Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and the development of autism – epidemiologic evidence against such an association is compelling. Seminars in Pediatric Infectious Diseases.2003 Jul;14(3):199-206.
  62. Miller, E., Andrews, N., Grant, A., Stowe, J., Taylor, B. No evidence of an association between MMR vaccine and gait disturbance.Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2005. Mar;90(3):292-6.
  63. Miller, L., Reynolds J. Autism and vaccination – the current evidence. Journals for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing. 2009 Jul;14(3):166-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6155.2009.00194.x.
  64. Mrozek-Budzyn, D., Kiełtyka, A. The relationship between MMR vaccination and the number of new cases of autism in children. Przeglad epidemiologiczny. 2008;62(3):597-604.
  65. Mrozek-Budzyn, D., Kiełtyka, A., Majewska, R. Lack of association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccination and autism in children: a case-control study. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2010 May;29(5):397-400. doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e3181c40a8a.
  66. Mrozek-Budzyn, D., Majewska, R. Kiełtyka, A. & Augustyniak, M. Lack of association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. Przeglad epidemiologiczny. 2011, 65(3), 491-495.
  67. Muhle, R., Trentacoste, SV., Rapin, I. The genetics of autism. Pediatrics. 2004 May;113(5):e472-86.
  68. Nelson, KB., Bauman, ML. Thimerosal and autism? Pediatrics. 2003. Mar;111(3):674-9.
  69. Offit PA. Thimerosal and vaccines–a cautionary tale. New England Journal of Medicine. 2007. Sep 27;357(13):1278-9. PubMed PMID: 17898096.
  70. Offit, PA., Coffin, SE. Communicating science to the public: MMR vaccine and autism. Vaccine. 2003. Dec 8;22(1):1-6.
  71. Patja, A., Davidkin, I., Kurki, T., Marku, J., Kallio, T., Valle, M., Peltola, H. Serious adverse events after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination during a fourteen-year prospective follow-up. 2000. Pediatric Infectious Diseases Journal. 2000;19:1127-34.
  72. Parker, S.K., Schwartz, B., Todd, J., Pickering, L.K. Thimerosal-containing vaccines and autistic spectrum disorder: A critical review of published original data. 2004. Pediatrics, 114, 793-804.
  73. Pichichero, ME., Cernichiari, E., Lopreiato, J., Treanor, J. Mercury concentrations and metabolism in infants receiving vaccines containing thiomersal: a descriptive study. Lancet. 2002 Nov 30;360(9347):1737-41.
  74. Peltola, H., Patja, A., Leinikki, P., Valle, M., Davidkin, I., & Paunio, M. No evidence for measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine-associated inflammatory bowel disease or autism in a 14-year prospective study. 1998. Lancet, 351(9112), 1327.
  75. Price, C. S., Thompson, W. W., Goodson, B., Weintraub, E. S., Croen, L. A., Hinrichsen, V. L., DeStefano, F. Prenatal and infant exposure to thimerosal from vaccines and immunoglobulins and risk of autism. 2010. Pediatrics, 126(4), 656-664.
  76. Richler, J., Luyster, R., Risi, S., Hsu, W. L., Dawson, G., Bernier, R., … & Lord, C. (2006). Is there a ‘regressive phenotype’ of Autism Spectrum Disorder associated with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine? A CPEA Study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36(3), 299-316.
  77. Rumke, HC., Visser, HK. Childhood vaccinations anno 2004. II. The real and presumed side effects of vaccination. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde.2004 Feb 21;148(8):364-71.
  78. Schechter, R., Grether, JK. Continuing increases in autism reported to California’s developmental services system: mercury in retrograde. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2008 Jan;65(1):19-24. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2007.1.
  79. Schultz, ST. Does thimerosal or other mercury exposure increase the risk for autism? A review of the current literature. Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis. 2010;70(2):187-95.
  80. Seagroatt, V. MMR vaccine and Crohn’s disease: ecological study of hospital admissions in England, 1991 to 2002.  British Medical Journal.  2005.  May 14;330(7500):1120-1. Epub 2005 April 18.
  81. Shevell, M., Fombonne, E. Autism and MMR vaccination or thimerosal exposure: an urban legend? Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences.  2006 Nov;33(4):339-40.
  82. Singh, VK. Rivas, WH. Detection of antinuclear and antilaminin antibodies in autistic children who received thimerosal-containing vaccines – mercury as in thimerosal-containing vaccines is likely not related to autoimmune phenomenon in autism.   Journal of Biomedical Science. 2004 Sep-Oct;11(5):607-10.
  83. Smeeth, L., Cook, C., Fombonne, E., Heavey, L., Rodrigues, L. C., Smith, P. G., & Hall, A. J. (2004). MMR vaccination and pervasive developmental disorders: a case-control study. The Lancet, 364(9438), 963-969.
  84. Smith, M. J., & Woods, C. R. On-time vaccine receipt in the first year does not adversely affect neuropsychological outcomes. Pediatrics. 2010. 125(6), 1134-1141.
  85. Solt, I., Bornstein, J. Childhood vaccines and autism – much ado about nothing? Harefuah. 2010 Apr;149(4):251-5, 260.
  86. Steffenburg, S., Steffenburg, U., Gillberg, C. Autism spectrum disorders in children with active epilepsy and learning disability: comorbidity, pre and perinatal backgound, and seizure characteristics.   Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 2003 Nov;45(11):724-30.
  87. Stehr-Green, P., Tull, P., Stellfeld, M., Mortenson, PB., Simpson, D. Autism and thimerosal-containing vaccines: lack of consistent evidence for an association.   American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2003 Aug;25(2):101-6.
  88. Takahashi, H., Suzumura, S., Shirakizawa, F., Wada, N., Tanaka-Taya, K., Arai, S., Okabe, N., Ichikawa, H., Sato, T. An epidemiological study on Japanese Autism concerning Routine Childhood Immunization History. Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases. 56, 114-117, 2003.
  89. Taylor, B. Vaccines and the changing epidemiology of autism. Child: Care, Health and Development Journal. 2006 Sep;32(5):511-9.
  90. Taylor, B., Miller, E., Farrington, C., Petropoulos, M., Favot-Mayaud, I., Li, J., & Waight, P. A. (1999). Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: no epidemiological evidence for a causal association. Lancet, 353(9169), 2026-20.
  91. Taylor, B., Miller, E., Lingam, R., Andrews, N., Simmons, A., & Stowe, J. Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and bowel problems or developmental regression in children with autism: population study. 2002. British Medical Journal, 324(7334), 393-396.
  92. Taylor, B., Lingam, R., Simmons, A., Stowe, J., Miller, E., Andrews, N. Autism and MMR vaccination in North London: no causal relationship. 2002. Molecular Psychiatry. 7 Suppl2:S7-8.
  93. Thjodleifsson, B., Davidsdóttir, K., Agnarsson, U., Sigthórsson, G., Kjeld, M., Bjarnason, I. Effect of Pentavac and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination on the intestine. Gut.2002 Dec;51(6):816-7.
  94. Thompson, WW., Price, C., Goodson, B., Shay, DK., Benson, P., Hinrichsen, BL., Lewis, E., Eriksen, E., Ray, P., Marcy, SM., Dunn, J., Jackson, LA., Lieu, TA., Black, S., Stewart, G., Weintraub, ES., Davis, RL., DeStefano, F., Vaccine Data Link Safety Team. Early thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological outcomes at 7 to 10 years. New England Journal of Medicine. 2007 Sep 27;357(13):1281-92.
  95. Uchiyama, T., Kurosawa, M., & Inaba, Y. MMR-vaccine and regression in autism spectrum              disorders: negative results presented from Japan. 2007. Journal of Autism and Developmental       Disorders, 37(2), 210-217.
  96. Uno, Y., Uchiyama, T., Kurosawa, M., Aleksic, B., & Ozaki, N. The combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines and the total number of vaccines are not associated with development of autism spectrum disorder: first case–control study in Asia. 2012. Vaccine, 30(28), 4292-4298.
  97. Verstraeten T., Davis, RL., DeStefano, F., Lieu, TA., Rhodes, PH., Black, SB., Shinefield, H., Chen RT. Safety of thimerosal-containing vaccines: a two-phased study of computerized health maintenance organization databases.   Pediatrics.2003 Nov;112(5):1039-48.
  98. Whitehouse, AJ., Maybery, M., Wray, JA., Hickey, M. No association between early gastrointestinal problems and autistic-like traits in the general population. Developmental Medicine and Childhood Neurology. 2011. May;53(5):457-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.03915.x. Epub 2011 Mar 21.
  99. MMR vaccine is not linked to Crohn’s disease or autism. Commun Dis Rep CDR Weekly. 1998 Mar 27;8(13):113.

Simplified searches:

The review papers (27 in total) can be found on this link:

111 papers which show vaccines, any vaccine ingredient and  the number of vaccines given do not cause autism can be found on this link: