Some childhood illnesses are very serious and can be life threatening. These include measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). The MMR vaccination stops children from getting these illnesses and protects them throughout their lives. Children are usually vaccinated by a doctor or nurse with a quick injection or sometimes a nasal spray. Because vaccinations are so effective, by 2017 measles was no longer present in the UK.
However, some parents decided not to vaccinate their children and this led to many new cases of measles. Children died from measles from every community including the Somali community. These deaths could have been prevented if more children had been vaccinated. Some parents worry about the side effects of vaccinations.
They think that the MMR vaccine can cause autism. We now know that this is not true. It is a myth.
There is no evidence to support it.
Scientific research from all over the world shows that there is no link between a child being vaccinated against MMR and having autism. Autism Independence is a community group working with Black, Asian and minority ethnic families in the UK, specialising in the Somali community. They have worked for many years with lots of Somali families who all have children with autism. Some of these families gave their children the MMR vaccine and others didn’t. This shows that having the MMR vaccine is not a cause of autism. Vaccinating your child stops them from getting seriously ill and protects them for the rest of their life.
To download this information and some top tips, click the links below.
Autism Independence worked with NIHR to produce these videos to be watched alongside the fact sheet.