Another study concludes the MMR vaccine does not cause autism

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Some people believe vaccines cause autism, but a new decade-long study says that's not the case.

In 1998, British doctor Andrew Wakefield and colleagues published a paper that suggested the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine causes autism.

Dr. Steve Dick, chief of emergency services, Rapid City Regional Hospital, says, "That study's been retracted. It was found to be a poor, inadequate study. Since then, there have been a number of studies involving millions of children, studies that had to be done over and over just to try to convince people of the inaccuracy of those conclusions."

Many studies over the years debunked Wakefield's theory, including a new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study looked at more than 650,000 children born in Denmark between 1999 and 2010 evaluating whether the MMR vaccine increased the risk of autism.

After over a decade of follow-up, roughly 6,500 children were diagnosed with autism.

The study concluded that the MMR vaccine does not increase the risk of autism and does not trigger autism in susceptible children.

And with recent measles outbreaks around the country, some doctors say every adult born between 1957 and the early 70s may need to be re-vaccinated for measles because the vaccine given at the time was not as effective as the one today.

Dr. Steve Dick says, "Generally speaking, I don't think we would say in this community, people should be rushing off to the doctor to get that. It would be less of a concern or worry because the outbreaks are isolated."

If someone is going to Washington, Oregon or any other state or country with a measles outbreak, Dr. Dick suggests getting another measles vaccine.

But he also wishes people to stay up to date on their vaccines in general.

Dr. Steve Dick says, "There are people who have serious illnesses who can't be vaccinated because of the nature of their illness. Now your choice is imposing on their safety and you have no right to do that."