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In May of 2014, the journal Vaccine published an article  by the University of Sydney which confirms that there is no association between vaccines and autism or between vaccines and the autism spectrum disorder. Although this information is not new, scientists have known for a long time that there is no link between vaccines and autism, the study is notable as it examined seven sets of data involving more than  1.25 million children. It concluded that there was no evidence to support a relationship between vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough and the development of autism. To repeat (because honestly, we can’t repeat it enough), there is no link between the MMR and autism, between ADS and autism, or between any vaccine and autism. None.

Of course, as is true of all things, vaccines do harbor some risks. They can cause rashes or other allergic reactions, but such instances are exceedingly rare (far rarer than the number of people that contract these illnesses without vaccines). Ultimately, the important thing to remember is this: Vaccines save lives. For example, smallpox is one of the deadliest known diseases, plaguing humanity for thousands of years. Researchers believe that it first emerged in human populations around 10,000 BCE. Although the overall death toll is unknown, in the 20th century alone it killed over 300 million people. In 1967, the World Health Organization estimates that smallpox killed an estimated 2 million people worldwide. And keep in mind, this is just one virus over the course of one year. Ultimately, the total number of people killed by viruses is simply staggering. Today, no one dies of smallpox. Not one person. It was eradicated by vaccinations. The last natural occurring case was in 1977.

If you want more information on how many lives have been saved by vaccines, the charts below give you the facts and figures. All information comes from the Center for Disease Control. This first infographic was designed by Leon Farrant and was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Information via CDC. Image by Leon Farrant

This next chart discusses the testing process that is used to ensure that vaccines are safe:

Image via CDC

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