Do vaccines cause autism?

Question 7 of A Parent’s Guide to Vaccines: A Conversation About Vaccines for New Parents

A newly released survey reports that the number of children with autism is now 1 in 45. This shows an increase from the CDC’s 2014 number of 1 in 68. These numbers are enough to motivate any new parent to consider every possible risk factor for the condition – and vaccines continue to be part of that conversation.

2015_11_4 do vaccines cause autism

The problem with answering the question “Do vaccines cause autism?” is that currently, no one knows what causes autism.

The most current research is showing that environmental factors can act on genetic vulnerabilities to change the way genes are expressed. This phenomenon – known as epigenetics, could be contributing to autism.

Some environmental exposures that increased at nearly the same rate as autism include PBDEs (flame retardants), the cumulative aluminum adjuvants used in many vaccines, cumulative total immunizations, glyphosate, and maternal obesity (Nevison). Many environmental factors probably contribute to autism, not just vaccines.

Unfortunately, the existing research regarding the correlation between vaccines and autism is contradictory, leaving the question open to debate.

All parents strive to protect their child from every health threat – from the rising trend in neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and ADHD, to the increasing prevalence of autoimmune disorders like celiac disease and Type I diabetes, to the risk of infectious diseases like measles and polio.

No matter what choice a parent makes regarding the recommended vaccine schedule, interventions to safeguard children should be based on whole-body wellness initiatives like nutrition, hygiene, and a reducing environmental toxins whenever possible.

  • Autism is only one concern related to vaccines. Lack of safety testing, government regulatory transparency, losing the right to informed consent, and parental choice are also viable concerns.

Learn more about the causation of autism:

  • 2015_10_20 iStock What Causes Autism square

    What causes autism?

    Despite millions of dollars spent on research about the causation of autism, the official answer from the CDC and medical community is still the same: We don’t know. But there are things we do know.


  • 11_3_15 red plane square

    Return to A Parent’s Guide to Vaccines

    Navigate pediatric immunizations – Inspired by a first time mom

    read more

Stay Informed. . . Stay Healthy!

Join the Conversation

your thoughts matter

  1. Nevison, A Comparison of temoral trends in United States autism prevalence to trends in suspected environmental factors, 2014
  2. Estimated Prevalence of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities Following Questionnaire Changes in the 2014 National Health Interview Survey


Manisha lad

Yes vaccines cause autism. Our only son Akhil started regressing after 5 months when his Ped gave him 4 shots at one time. During his first birthday he got MMR and went into rapid regression. He lost his eye contact ,stopped responding to his name , head banging ,tantrums, stims, hand flapping, lost in his own world, chewing non edible objects etc. finally 18 months official diagnosis on one single piece of paper Autism.

Ann Frost

The evidence is in. The scientific community has reached a clear consensus that vaccines don’t cause autism. The public health consequences are serious and are likely to get worse before they get better — a load of unscientific nonsense has put us all at risk.


Actually that is not entirely accurate. Studies that are reviewed are ones conducted by the pharm companies themselves- independent research does exist and is available but time consuming to find and read-this body of scientific review does point out many concerns with vaccines including autism. There are also many neurologists and doctors that do not share the view they are safe and do not contribute to spectrum diseases.


I’m a molecular biologist. I have worked on immunology related research. I have received $0 from pharmaceutical companies or any corporate interests in my entire career. Vaccines do not cause autism. There is absolutely no evidence that they do in any model.

Moreover, the constant harping on thimerosal simply demonstrates a lack of scientific literacy. Organic mercury and elemental mercury have completely different toxicity profiles.

Vaccines do not cause or in any way contribute to autism or any other spectrum disorder.


Do you have any children? There are no facts that vaccines do not cause autism. My son was diagnosed at 2 1/2 years old. I also had my daughter with us while he got tested. The first thing to doctor said was that he has autism, but my daughter was perfectly fine. Now she is 3 with speech delay and no communication after she got double vaccinated.


There are absolutely facts that vaccines do not cause autism. Correlation does not impoly causation. Autism can mainfests at different times. Autism has GENETIC and environmental factors


There is a growing body of researched based evidence suggesting that vaccines, in particular, those with mercury and aluminum, are a leading factor in the development of autism.


I hope you know that Autism is a GENETIC disorder, you either have it and develop it over time, or you don’t have it, plain and simple

Mark Colgate

You are completely incorrect, maybe do some research on the subject. There are over 162 peer reviewed studies showing that vaccines correlate to Autism. The PREVAILING theory is that Autism is triggered by vaccine adjuncts and preservatives. There are over 30 known carcinogenic and neurotoxic compounds in vaccines in the USA . Most of the European countries would put a doctor in prison if he injected a kid with an American vaccine. Those of us who can comprehend the studies and have taken the time to read them, know that vaccines don’t have to cause Autism. They do in the USA because Big Pharma is greedy and wants to make huge batches and give kids 36 shots when the 12 they use in Sweden is healthier. If you believe they have proven that vaccines don’t cause Autism you have been brainwashed by corporate media owned by Big Pharma.

Patrick McGean

Vaccines do cause autism, and nothing more positive than that, NO vaccine has ever worked to prevent any disease, dump heavy metals and the eye of a newt into our children. VACCINE DO AUSE AUTISM, anyone up for Russian Roulette

amber rose crescent

as someone with autism, i can say that what you just said is utter bullshit. autism is a genetic disorder meaning in short, you have it or you don’t, vaccines don’t cause autism. and if it wasn’t for the vaccines you probably have, you would have things like measles and tetanus, and smallpox would still be kicking it today. also autism is as bad as you’d think. i am above average in maths and English. your not playing Russian roulette. your more likely playing a dart board, the reason autism is more common is because we can detect it easier.


We must stop saying “No one knows what causes autism”. Just because our policy makers ignore 15 years of research that demonstrates how and why adjuvants in vaccines, including mercury and aluminum, it does not mean that know one knows they cause autism. Other chemicals cause autism, too – teratogens such as thalidomide and valproaic acid are KNOWN causes. Pesticides are highly suspected as well. Here is how much effort those who want you to believe that vaccines do not cause autism put into ignoring the available research:

Kayla Wildman

Thank you for this intelligent comment. As you probably know, not only are federal government agencies ignoring hundreds of studies that illuminate the vaccine-autism connection, federal government agencies have deliberately refused to conduct or fund any studies that could actually identify causes of autism. For about a decade now, only epidemiological studies have been conducted/funded, and this type of study cannot show causality.


That is completely false. There have been dozens if not hundreds of large scale attempts, many that are still ongoing, which aim to illuminate the mechanisms underlying autism. Thousands of genomes have been sequenced and thousands of patients followed to assess the impact of environment.

We are just beginning to discover biological mechanisms that are associated with spectrum disorders. But, like any behavioral phenomenon, it takes time.

However, as a molecular biologist who has never been paid a single $1 or even received a pen from any pharmaceutical company or other corporate interest, I can unequivocally say that vaccines do not cause autism. There is absolutely no evidence for it.


How do explain such a large number of children that regress and develop autism IMMEDIATELY after getting the MMR vaccine? Everyone who has a child with autism most likely knows parents whose child developed autism after the vaccine was given. Like within a week of the vaccine. The percentage is small but it does happen. I’ve seen it. I know the parents.

Shell Tzorfas

When asking about results or raising issues about vaccines it is important to list the ingredients especially for older folks whose children had only 5 or so vaccines delivered 1 at a time through age 18. They have no idea what has changed. So we can list the schedule-more than 70 vaccines starting during pregnancy affect the fetus and the first day of life. Aluminum, thimerosal/mercury, formaldehyde, anaphylactic causing peanut byproducts, cells of pigs, cows, dogs, chicks, monkeys, insects, fetal DNA, ether, ammonium salts, coal -tar derivatives and other interfering chemicals.


Ether – just no
Peanut oil – just no
These are misconceptions repeated over and over by anti-vaxxers

David Bauman

Prior to the introduction of vaccines there is record in the medical literature of autism. I can see vaccinating a young child for measles but what about hepatitis? What are the chances a young child will get hepatitis? I think these vaccines should be looked at in a case by case basis and no more than two given at a time. David Bauman MSW/ND certified nutritionist.

David Bauman

Prior to the introduction of vaccines there is no mention of autism in the medical literature. I believe that no more than two vaccines should be given per shot and that they should be spaced out. David Bauman Federally certified nutritionist

Focus For Health Team

Thanks for your comment. Hepatitis B is transmitted through sex or sharing of drug needles, but can be passed, in approximately 1 to 2% of the population, to newborns from a Hepatitis B positive mother. We agree that our aggressive Hepatitis B vaccination protocol of all newborns on their first day of life does not allow for targeted and individualized care. Parents should retain the right to refuse this vaccination if they have been tested and are negative for the viral illness. Hepatitis B cannot be caught or transmitted through any casual contact, so there is no threat to public health when families opt to delay or refuse this vaccination at birth.


Are there any cases of children with autism
Who did NOT receive the measles shot?


Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *