"Vaccines do not cause autism," and "all children (should) be fully vaccinated," according to a prominent autism advocacy organization.
In a statement on its website, the nonprofit Autism Speaks stressed that studies have confirmed the safety of inoculations which protect kids from infectious diseases.
"Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism," said Rob Ring, Autism Speaks' chief science officer. He explained that there is no credible evidence of such a connection.
The confusion stems from a 1998 report by a British doctor, who cited a correlation between vaccines and autism. The Huffington Post noted that the paper was later retracted, and the doctor's license was revoked in 2010.
However, the issue continues to be hotly debated across the country. In response to the measles outbreak, many are calling for the government to require all children to be vaccinated. Some states allow parents to exempt their kids from the shots for medical, religious or philosophical reasons.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a record-high 644 cases of measles in 27 states last year. Officials fear the numbers will grow if vaccination exemptions continue being allowed.