In a word, yes. “There is no link between any vaccine and autism,” says Dr. Brown.
As the autism rate increased over the last two decades, different theories surfaced blaming vaccines for the rise. In addition to Dr. Wakefield’s theory, that the MMR vaccine caused a “leaky gut,” which developed into autism, some people believed that thimerosol, a mercury-derived preservative found in several inoculations, was the culprit.
But thanks to numerous scientific studies, including a definitive 2004 Institute of Medicine report, both theories have been debunked. In fact, before BMJ released its recent findings, the Lancet completely retracted the Wakefield study. And not only has Thimerosol been removed from most childhood vaccines (it’s still in some versions of the flu shot), studies show that babies exposed to it don’t have an increased risk of autism.
Even so, one study found that 1 in 4 parents believes some vaccines cause autism, but still follow doctors' advice to vaccinate their children. Confused? Don't be.