|Topic:||Immunization Safety Review: Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine and Autism|
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Institute of Medicine
Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Immunization Safety Review Committee
Monday, April 23, 2001 -- 10:30 a.m.
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Immunization Safety Review:
Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine and Autism
Steven Goodman, M.D., M.H.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, Division of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Member, Immunization Safety Review Committee, Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Institute of Medicine
Immunization is widely regarded as one of the world's most effective tools for protecting public health. In the United States alone, child-vaccination programs have resulted in the elimination of smallpox and polio and rendered once-common, often debilitating, and potentially life-threatening infectious diseases--such as diphtheria, pertussis, and measles--exceedingly uncommon.
But along with these benefits have come concerns about safety, making some immunization policies a subject of public debate. One such issue is whether or not the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), frequently referred to simply as autism.
A new Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Immunization Safety Review: Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine and Autism, summarizes the body of evidence on the MMR vaccine and its hypothesized association with autism in children, and recommends an appropriate level of action. It is the first in a series by an IOM committee reviewing immunization safety.
This briefing was for members of Congress and congressional staff only. The report was publicly released at 4:00 p.m. of the same day. The full text can be read online at the Web site of the National Academies Press.