By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The anti-vaccine movement got a shot in the arm in the late 90s, when a medical journal published a paper claiming the Measles Mumps Rubella inoculation caused autism. It was discredited, but some people remain unconvinced by the science.
Dozens of studies, hundreds of thousands of kids who did and didn’t get the shot — the finding, across the board?
“The MMR vaccine doesn’t increase your risk of autism — not at all,” Dr Paul Offit says. Offit is Professor of Pediatrics in the division of Infectious Disease at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia.
He says look back to diabetes debate a century ago: “There were all these fanciful notions of cause and cure.”
Until: insulin. “And all that went away,” says Offit. “I don’t think any of this is going to go away until there’s a clear cause or causes for autism or cures.”
It’s dangerous, Offit says, to play politics with a medical matter. “The argument that they’re making is that it’s my right to have my child catch and potentially transmit what could be a fatal disease,” he says. “I think our civil liberties end certainly well before that.”
At current infection rates, he says we could see measles deaths before the end of the year.