New Study Shows No Link Between MMR Vaccine and Autism

Parents Can Be Assured that Vaccinations for Kids Are Not Only Effective, but Safe


Jennifer Hudman - (301) 652-1558
Diana Olson - (703) 299-0201

November 7, 2002

A new study in the November 7th New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) concludes that there is no association between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. The comprehensive study adds to the significant body of evidence showing that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism in children and makes any possible connection between the two extremely remote.

“This valuable study provides thoughtful and caring parents further assurance that vaccines, particularly MMR, not only save lives, but are safe,” said Dr. Louis Z. Cooper, Interim Director of the National Network for Immunization Information (NNii).

“Measles remains a serious threat worldwide—over one million deaths annually are caused by the virus.”  Dr. Cooper continued, “The evidence shows that a child’s chances of being harmed by measles is far greater than the chances of being harmed by the MMR vaccine. Immunizations are one of the most important ways that parents can protect their children from serious infectious diseases.”

The NEJM study is embargoed until 5 pm on Wednesday, November 6th.  Dr. Cooper is available to provide comments on the study and immunization issues.

Louis Z. Cooper, MD, is the Interim Director of the National Network for Immunization Information. He is a Professor of Pediatrics at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and Past President of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Dr. Cooper succeeds Dr. Bruce Gellin, Executive Director of NNii from 1999 to October 2002.  Dr. Gellin is now Director of the National Vaccine Program Office at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The mission of the National Network for Immunization Information (NNii) is to provide the public, health professionals, policy makers, and the media with up-to-date, scientifically valid information related to immunization to help them understand the issues and to make informed decisions.