Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. It has its onset during childhood, and scientists found that certain genes are causative for the disorder. There have been studies that say the chance of occurring ASD in offsprings increases with the usage of influenza or H1N1 (swine flu) vaccines (Pandemrix) to pregnant women. It has shown that those women undergoing vaccination during pregnancy develop immunity not only in her but also her offspring. The long term risk of vaccination during fetal life has not been studied in detail.
Researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden refute such association and said that vaccinated pregnant women don’t found to put their offspring at an increased risk of autism. They conducted a study where they linked vaccination data in pregnant women form seven Sweden healthcare regions in 2009-2010 to the Swedish Medical Birth Register and the Swedish National Patient Register to identify autism spectrum disorder in the offspring.
The vaccine study in Sweden
The study included 39,726 children who were exposed to the vaccine, and 29,293 children who were not exposed. Out of the vaccine-exposed children, 394 (cumulative incidence, 1.0%)have had a diagnosis of ASD after a follow-up of six-year. Even 330 children (1.1%) who were not exposed to vaccines got diagnosed with ASD. Thus, by adjusting the confounders, the study result proved that the H1N1 vaccine exposure during fetal life was not associated with a later childhood risk of ASD. Also, the results were the same for vaccinations in the first trimester. They adjusted their analysis with confounders such as maternal smoking, height-weight, age, comorbidity, which causes ASD in children.
These findings are so important as the recent studies cannot rule out the association of the disorder with pregnancy vaccination that might initiate the anti-vaccine movement in certain countries. This can also solve the dispute occurring in the current COVID-19 vaccines, whether it can be given to pregnant women without any harmful outcomes.
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Source: Medical Xpress