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Primary care
Evidence from large Danish cohort does not support an association between the MMR vaccine and autism: facts in a post-truth world
  1. Denise Campbell-Scherer
  1. Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1C4, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Denise Campbell-Scherer, Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB T6G 2R3, Canada; denise.campbell-scherer{at}

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In a cohort of 657 461 children born in 1999–2010, no association between the measles mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination and autism was observed. Despite this, it is unclear whether increasing medical evidence and facts about the lack of association between the MMR vaccination and autism will have beneficial impact in easing the minds of parents and preventing unnecessary deaths.

Prior to the availability of a measles vaccination in 1963, the majority of children contracted measles by the age of 15. Approximately 3–4 million US citizens were infected annually, with about 400–500 deaths, 48 000 hospitalisations and 1000 cases of encephalitis due to measles.1 Lofty aims were the complete eradication of measles by the early 1980s; the goal was finally achieved in the USA in 2000. This was due to a highly effective programme for vaccination. This success was at a time when the population believed in institutions, collective action and in the pursuit of the advancement of health and reduction in death, poverty and disease.

Fast-forward 20 years and we are confronted with media headlines in New York City declaring a public health emergency with the Brooklyn measles outbreak: 285 confirmed cases of …

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  • Contributors Denise Campbell-Scherer

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.