Reuters reports on a remarkable Polish study which found that children who were given the MMR vaccine had lower rates of autism than those who did not get vaccinated:
When the researchers looked only at children who had been vaccinated before their autism diagnosis, they found that children who had received the MMR vaccine had an 83 percent lower risk of autism than unvaccinated children. Similarly, the measles-only vaccine was associated with a 56 percent lower risk.
When the researchers looked at children who had been vaccinated before showing any symptoms of autism, MMR vaccination was again linked to a lower risk of the disorder. The measles-only vaccine showed no effect on autism risk.
This raises the intriguing question of what accounts for the appearance of a protective effect. Reuters reports that one theory may be that children who were in the early stages of exhibiting autistic behavior were not given the vaccine.
Kudos for Reuters leading the piece with a forthright assertion of the lack of evidence for a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.