Last updated April 5, 2018 at 12:19 pm
New study suggests many parents still have concerns around vaccines and autism.
Children with autism and their younger siblings are significantly less likely to be fully vaccinated than the general population, according to a US study.
Senior author Dr Nicola Klein, director of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center, said the analysis revealed “large disparities in vaccination rates between children with and without autism spectrum disorders, as well as between their siblings, across all age groups and after adjusting for important confounding factors”.
The researchers compared more than 3,700 children with autism spectrum disorders diagnosed by five years of age and nearly 500,000 children without ASD. All were born between 1 January 1995 and 30 September 2010.
They also looked at data for siblings of both cohorts born between 1 January 1997 and 30 September 2010.
In each case they reviewed whether a child had received vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
There were significant differences. For example, among children aged seven years or older, 94 per cent of those without an ASD received all vaccines recommended between four and six years of age, compared with 82 per cent of those with an ASD. For the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, 96 per cent of those without an ASD were vaccinated, compared with 84 percent of those with an ASD.
In addition, the proportion of children who were fully vaccinated with the recommended vaccines was also lower among younger siblings of children with ASD compared with younger siblings of children without ASD.
For example, for vaccines recommended between one and 11 months, 73 per cent of younger siblings of children with ASD were fully vaccinated compared to 85 per cent of younger siblings of children without ASD.
The paper was published in JAMA Pediatrics.