United States: With measles resurfacing in several states across the USA and trends in vaccination rates for the MMR or measles, mumps, rubella vaccine on the decline, a survey shows that one in four adult Americans believe either partially or noncommittally that the MMR vaccination can cause autism in some ways. 

More about the news 

In very recent information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they were able to address this issue by explaining that there is no evidence that supports the observing relationship between the use of the measles vaccine and the development of autism. 

However, 2 percent of US adults refuse it, claiming that the given statement may be somewhat or very inaccurate, while the 3% positions themselves in the `unsure’ category, noted in the survey conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania, neurosciencenews.com reported. 

Moreover, as it turns out, the statement under discussion is considered to be somewhat or very accurate by 75 percent of the respondents. 

Measles Outbreak Spreads as 25% of US Adults Doubt Vaccine Safety. Credit | Reuters
Measles Outbreak Spreads as 25% of US Adults Doubt Vaccine Safety. Credit | Reuters

What are the results of the study? 

The results are quite similar to the approach detected in a formal appraisal conducted by NORC in October 2018 based on the APPC poll. 

There is one key and consistent message as expressed in the two surveys – a significant number of Americans either accept the fake link or simply do not know what is right. 

Moreover, the factually incorrect association was made initially by Andrew Wakefield in the 1998 Lancet paper, which was withdrawn later. 

According to Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, “The persistent false belief that the MMR vaccine causes autism continues to be problematic, especially in light of the recent increase in measles cases,” as neurosciencenews.com reported. 

Moreover, “Our studies on vaccination consistently show that the belief that the MMR vaccine causes autism is associated not simply with reluctance to take the measles vaccine but with vaccine hesitancy in general,” Jamieson added. 

More about the new survey 

The new survey results are also in accordance with the results of APPC surveys in 2021-2022 where CDC’s guidelines have not been discussed. 

This was revealed in the surveys where between 9 percent and 12 percent believed that it is probably or very likely that vaccines provided to children for diseases such as measles, mumps, and rubella cause autism, and between 17 percent and 18 percent were unsure the statement was either true or false. 

The most recent survey featured 1,500 empaneled US grown-ups sampled between April 18-24, 2024, through the Annenberg Public Policy Center quizzed on the understanding of acquiring measles, early signs, and the advice of physicians for expectant women regarding the measles vaccine for those who have not been vaccinated before. 

What are the reasons for measles growth? 

According to the CDC, the measles disease continues to display an uptrend both in the global world and the American states. 

As of this writing and up to May 30, 2024, there have been 146 reported measles cases in 21 jurisdictions in the United States, with 11 of these cases involving three or more related cases. 

The CDC was notified of 338 confirmed cases, from January 1, 2020, through March 28, 2024, and 29 percent of these were identified in the first quarter of 2024, that’s 97 cases; this was a 17 times increase compared to a mean number of cases reported in the first quarters of the years; 2020- 2023. 

Others included the patient median age, which was three years. These were most prominent in patients who received no vaccination or whose vaccination status was not documented. 

CDC stated that the percentage of kindergartners with MMR vaccine coverage against measles had declined in the US during the pandemic. 

And “Measles Outbreaks Grow Amid Declining Vaccination Rates,” according to the reports mentioned in a JAMA Network headline in November 2023 


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