Kids with autism -- and their young siblings -- less likely to receive vaccinations
Chicago Tribune - 3/27/2018
March 27--Parents who have a child diagnosed with autism might be less likely to vaccinate the child's younger siblings, according to a new study.
For the study, lead author Ousseny Zerbo, a postdoctoral researcher at Kaiser Permanente'sDivision of Research in Northern California, explained that the researchers were interested in learning whether children with an autism diagnosis received their remaining scheduled vaccines.
Researchers investigated vaccination patterns among these children and their younger siblings who did not have an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.
They found that children with an autism diagnosis and their younger siblings were undervaccinated compared with the general population.
"They're not getting the rest of their vaccinations, so that was a big surprise," Zerbo said about the results, published Monday in the JAMA Pediatrics journal.
In Illinois, parents can send their kids to school without vaccines if they have religious objections but are willing to meet with a health care provider and receive information about benefits.
Some states are beginning to limit exemptions to vaccines, following outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles.
Despite numerous studies that show no association between childhood vaccinations and autism, many remain concerned about the connection. The study noted that rates of undervaccination and vaccine refusal have been on the rise and are associated with vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.
The study surveyed the parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Researchers found that children with an autism diagnosis, as well as their younger siblings, were less likely to be vaccinated for diseases like measles, mumps and rubella.
"This study is showing that the children with autism and their younger siblings might be at higher risk of the vaccine-preventable diseases," Zerbo said.
The study surveyed 3,729 children with an autism spectrum diagnosis and 592,907 children without that diagnosis in six locations across the United States.
Related: Fecal transplant shows early promise against autism »Prenatal multivitamins linked to lower autism risk »With autism, tracking devices may ease parents' minds »
(c)2018 the Chicago Tribune
Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.