24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Can Medical Marijuana Help Kids With Autism?Developmental Tests Might Spot Autism at Even Younger AgesFor People With Autism, Encounters With Police Can Turn DangerousTreatments Targeting Social Behavior Hormone Show Promise With Autism'Microbiome' May Be Key to Autism SymptomsAutism Diagnoses Reliable at 14 Months, Study FindsYoung Adults With Autism Need Jobs, But Resources Vary By StateCould Treating Gut Bacteria Help Ease Autism Symptoms?Kids With Autism 'In Tune' With Mom's Feelings: StudySmartphone App May Boost Social Skills in Kids With AutismPesticides Tied to Autism Risk in KidsCan Some Children Outgrow Autism?Burden of Autism in Teens Weighs Heaviest on Minorities, PoorLargest Study Ever Finds No Link Between Measles Vaccine, AutismPoor Sleep Plagues Many Kids With AutismAutism, ADHD in One Child Tied to Raised Risk in SiblingsAnother Tally Puts Autism Cases at 1 in 40Prolonged Brain Connections Seen in Adults With AutismU.S. Autism Rate Rises to 1 in 40 Children: ReportMusic Therapy Helps Kids With Autism Connect to OthersDoes Air Pollution Raise Autism Risk?Stigma of Autism Can Take Toll on PsycheAutism Risk: Mom's Health May Matter More Than MedsKids With Autism, Delays More Likely to Be Overweight by Age 5: StudyNumber of Autism Genes Now Tops 100Depression Strikes Nearly 1 in 5 Young Adults With Autism: StudyWhat You Need to Know About Autism Spectrum DisorderKids With Autism Learn, Grow With the 'Social Robot'Research Links Long-Banned Insecticide DDT to AutismNo Link Between Tdap Vaccine, Autism: StudyGoogle Glass Helps Kids With Autism Navigate Emotions of OthersBrain Scans Yield More Clues to AutismResearchers Probe Part of Brain Where Autism Might BeginGuideline Changes Have Asperger's Community on Edge
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses

No Link Between Tdap Vaccine, Autism: Study

HealthDay News
by By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Aug 13th 2018

new article illustration

MONDAY, Aug. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Children born to women who got the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy have no greater risk of autism than other kids, a new study finds.

The Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, which is better known as whooping cough. U.S. health officials advise pregnant women to get a booster shot in order to protect their newborns from whooping cough.

Young infants are at greatest risk of life-threatening complications from the respiratory infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When a pregnant woman gets the Tdap vaccine, she passes along antibodies that will protect her baby in the first months of life, explained Tracy Becerra-Culqui, the lead researcher on the new study.

Infants get their first vaccination against whooping cough at the age of 2 months.

Parents, of course, want to know that the vaccine is safe, as well, Becerra-Culqui pointed out. Research has shown there is no link between Tdap vaccination during pregnancy and the risks of preterm delivery or low birth weight.

Now the new findings, published online Aug. 13 in Pediatrics, show no association with autism, either.

"If a woman has had any hesitancy about getting the vaccine, this can help reassure her that it's safe," said Becerra-Culqui, a postdoctoral researcher with Kaiser Permanente, in Pasadena, Calif.

The notion that vaccines could be related to autism goes back to the 1990s -- starting with a small, and now-debunked, study that linked the childhood MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, to a heightened autism risk.

In the years since, research has consistently turned up no connection between autism and any vaccine or vaccine ingredient, according to the CDC.

The new study adds to that large body of evidence, said Dr. Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"Any parent can understandably be concerned that vaccines given during pregnancy might inadvertently affect their unborn child," said Offit, who was not involved in the study.

These findings, he said, add to the "mountain of evidence" showing that vaccines given during pregnancy -- including Tdap and the flu shot -- are safe for women and their children.

The findings are based on medical records for nearly 82,000 children whose mothers were in the Kaiser Permanente Southern California health plan. All of the women gave birth between 2011 and 2014.

Among more than 39,000 women who received the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy, between 1.2 percent and 1.8 percent of their children were later diagnosed with autism -- depending on the year they were born.

Among children born to moms who did not get the vaccine, the rate ranged from 1.5 percent to 1.9 percent.

The study did find differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated mothers-to-be: Those who received the Tdap shot were more educated and more likely to have their pregnancy go full-term, for example.

But even when the researchers factored in those differences, there was no link between vaccination and autism risk.

Dr. Lisa Waddell is deputy medical officer at the non-profit March of Dimes.

"This study adds to the body of literature clearly showing this vaccine is safe," said Waddell, who was not involved in the research.

And while some people may think whooping cough is a disease of the past, that's not the case, Waddell pointed out: The United States sees outbreaks annually, and the infection has actually been on the rise in more recent years.

That, according to the CDC, is partly because immunity from the current vaccine wanes over time.

Because immunity declines, women need to get the Tdap vaccine with each pregnancy, Waddell said. And anyone who cares for the baby should also get a booster, she explained.

"It's a potentially deadly infection. Often, an infant will get sick very quickly and just stop breathing," Waddell said.

"This vaccine is the best way to protect your newborn from whooping cough," she added.

More information

The CDC has more on Tdap vaccination.