Scientists and public health officials have celebrated vaccines as one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of human history. But despite the widespread scientific consensus that vaccines are safe and effective, there’s still a lot of misinformation about them and their effects.
Myth #1: Vaccines cause autism
The scientific evidence on this issue is very clear: vaccines are safe, and they don’t cause autism.
But in 1998, an esteemed medical journal published a paper with a startling conclusion: the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine — administered to millions of children across the globe each year — could cause autism.
This study, led by now-discredited researcher Andrew Wakefield, is where the modern vaccine-autism controversy started. It has since been thoroughly debunked: The Lancetretracted the paper, investigators described the research as an “elaborate fraud,” and Wakefield lost his medical license.