According to a recent study, flu vaccines in pregnant women and autism spectrum disorder in children are not associated with each other. The study has been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and conducted by researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
The study has been conducted on nearly 70,000 infants. Researchers followed these infants who were born between October 2009 and September 2010. About 40,000 of the infants received the influenza A (H1N1) vaccine in utero.
Every infant was followed by researchers for an average of 6.7 years. After the follow-up, it was found that 1 per cent of those infants whose moms had taken the vaccine, developed autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In infants, whose moms haven’t taken the vaccine, the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) developed in 1.1 per cent of them. The study suggests that flu vaccines in mothers and autism spectrum disorders in children are not linked with each other.
The study contradicted the finding of a previous study that showed that mothers who received the vaccine during the first trimester of pregnancy had infants who are more likely to develop autism spectrum disorder or ASD than infants of those who receive the vaccine in the later stage of pregnancy.
A previous study conducted in the year 2016 has also made a similar claim that flu vaccines in mothers and their infants being at ASD risk are not associated with each other. But, that study didn’t use H1N1 vaccines in the study which the present study did.
An author of the study conducted in 2016 commented, “This new study provides additional reassurance that maternal H1N1 alone is not associated with increased risk of ASD or AD in their children”.
The study will hopefully encourage more mothers, who may be hesitant to take flu vaccines due to skepticism over its safety, to take the vaccines for protection of both her and her baby.