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Vaccine Linked to Autism?

Link dismissed between MMR vaccine and autism.

WebMD Feature Eric Gallup was a normally developing 15-month-old toddler living in Parsippany, New Jersey, when his parents took him for his first measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination in 1986. Shortly after he was vaccinated, they noticed changes in his behavior and ability to communicate. In 1989 he was diagnosed with autism.

Unlike the vast majority of MMR-vaccinated children, Eric had a serious reaction to the vaccine, his parents say. The Gallups are not alone in their belief that the MMR vaccine led to their child's autism. In both the United States and the United Kingdom, parents are pushing for research into a possible link between autism and childhood vaccination.

Autism, a developmental disability, is characterized by problems in social interaction and communication and by the need for sameness or repetition in behavior. It is usually identified in toddlers and is diagnosed more frequently in boys than in girls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The cause of autism remains a mystery, with most scientists believing that it may be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

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