SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Study finds no link between vaccines, autism

A new study found that at least 10 percent of parents of young children choose to skip or delay routine vaccinations out of a fear that kids are getting too many shots at too young of an age.

The study, however, found that children receiving the full vaccination schedule are at no risk of increased autism, USA Today reports.

"This is a very important and reassuring study," Geraldine Dawson, the chief science officer at Autism Speaks, who wasn't involved in the new study, said, according to USA Today. "This study shows definitively that there is no connection between the number of vaccines that children receive in childhood, or the number of vaccines that children receive in one day, and autism."

Published last week in the Journal of Pediatrics, the study is the newest of more than 20 studies that have found no connection between autism and vaccines when given either individually or as part of the standard schedule.

The study is the first to take into consideration not only the number of vaccinations but also the total exposure of a child to substances inside vaccines that trigger an immune response. The study found that though children are vaccinated against more diseases now - 14 compared to only nine 20 years ago - next-generation vaccines are easier on the immune system.

"A lot of parents are concerned about the number of 'owies' that children get," Michael Smith, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, said, USA Today reports. "But there's no benefit to delaying vaccines. When you delay your child's vaccines, you put them at risk."