MYTH: Vaccines cause autism
BUSTED: “This is definitely a myth. It is one of the biggest tragedies of our time, where a doctor falsified his research and published a paper which stated that autism is caused by the MMR vaccine (measles mumps rubella vaccine). This resulted in many people not taking the vaccine, which led to many illnesses, deaths and deafness. It was then proven that he had fabricated most of his research and he was struck off the register. It was one of the largest blows to the vaccination efforts and they have still not recovered from it. Vaccines are the single most important breakthroughs in reducing infections. In the olden days people used to have many children because only a few children would survive to adult life because of infections such as tetanus, diphtheria, mumps which were all killer diseases that reduced the population of the children at the time. Now we hardly ever hear of these infections causing mayhem as they are all preventable by vaccination. We should congratulate Sri Lanka as 95% of children receive the vaccines that are provided free by the Government.” explained Dr. Enoka Corea, Senior Lecturer, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo.