Q: Is it true that having a lot of vaccinations can cause autism?

A: No. Concerns about a link between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and autism were raised by a UK doctor in 1998. Studies involving hundreds of thousands of children carried out over more than a decade since then have found no evidence of a link. The doctor’s research has since been totally discredited and he is no longer allowed to practice medicine. The exact cause of autism is not known.

Unfortunately, the myth that vaccines are linked to autism still persists. To address this issue, US researchers compared the vaccination histories of children with autism, to those without autism.

The study included about 1,000 children, including 256 with Autism Spectrum Disorder. They found the total number of vaccines a child has before the age of 2 makes no difference to their risk of developing autism. The number of vaccines given on a single day also makes no difference. This study indicates that parents do not need to worry that giving multiple vaccines at an early age increases their child’s risk of autism.

Read more about how the MMR vaccine-autism controversy came about.