There is little evidence that receiving the flu vaccine will cause ASD in children.
It’s long been suggested that there has been a link between receiving the flu vaccination during pregnancy and the risk of the baby developing autism, but a new study has provided convincing evidence that it is, in fact, safe to receive the flu vaccination and not have any complications with the foetus.
Researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Northern California, analyzed data from 196,929 babies born between 2000 and 2010 during the 24 gestation period and followed up with them between two and 15 years later.
They found that only 1.6 percent of those children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with less than one percent of mothers of those autistic children having suffered from the flu during pregnancy. Twenty-three percent had received the flu vaccine showing that there is little risk.
“Our data showed pretty convincingly that there was no association with influenza at any time during pregnancy and autism in the child,” said senior author Lisa Croen, of Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland. “We’re not recommending that any changes be made to the vaccination policy, we are encouraging women to get vaccinated while pregnant.”
A separate study was conducted looking at 60,000 Danish children who’s mothers received the influenza A (H1N1) vaccination during pregnancy between 2009 and 2010. Again, no link was found between the vaccine and a higher risk of autism.
The results of the two studies back up the current recommendations of pregnant women receiving the flu vaccination and stress that the benefits of receiving the vaccination strongly outweigh any risks or theoretical risks that has been seen previously.
Details of the study were published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.