In 1998, one of the most reckless medical studies of the past 50 years linked rising rates of autism with childhood vaccinations. The scientific and medical communities condemned the conclusion as dangerous because of the drop it triggered in immunizations.
The paper was eventually retracted and debunked, but it did not sink into the obscurity it deserved. Rates of preventable diseases such as measles, rubella, and mumps continue to rise because of the number of children and adults who never have been vaccinated.
A new report in the journal Pediatrics should bury these unfounded fears. It concludes that the benefits of early-childhood vaccinations far outweigh the rare possible side effects. There are no scientifically verified links with autism. The choice for responsible parents is plain: Get your children immunized.