Huge review shoots down vaccine-autism link
Medical writer Letitia Stein reports here that a new report, the largest such study to date, looked into adverse reactions possibly associated with eight vaccines and the panel's findings add to a growing body of scientific literature refuting the claim that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is associated with autism.
Think that settles it? Not on your life.
The number of Florida kindergarten students receiving "religious exemptions" to avoid state-required immunizations has climbed nearly 12-fold since 1991, Stein reports. Experts believe that for many parents, the real objection is not religion, but fear of rumored vaccine adverse effects, especially autism.
Last school year, nearly 2,400 kindergarten students received such exemptions — roughly one percent of the class, according to state records. The rise worries Florida health officials, who this year are seeing the highest number of measles cases in 14 years.
So what would it take to finally set parents' mind at ease?
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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