Is there a link between vaccines and autism?

Short Answer

No. Despite a few vocal and celebrity-led campaigns that blame vaccines for causing autism, there is no scientific proof that links vaccines, or their ingredients, to autism.

This myth originated when a study linking the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine with autism was reported in The Lancet in 1998. It has since been retracted by the publishers when they discovered it was false. Since that time, a significant body of evidence has demonstrated the development of autism is entirely unrelated to childhood vaccines. Twelve large-scale studies have produced no evidence that children who receive MMR vaccine are at greater risk of autism than those who don’t. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a consensus report concluding that the body of epidemiological evidence found no relationship between MMR and autism, or thimerosal (a preservative used in certain vaccines) and autism.

A summary of these studies can be found here: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4026.pdf

More detailed information can be found here: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4028.pdf