Half of Americans are confident vaccines don’t play a role in the development of autism, according to a new poll. The other half say they believe there’s a connection or simply aren’t sure.

The results from the poll released Thursday by Harris Interactive and HealthDay indicate just how pervasive fears remain about a link between autism and vaccines.

Of the 2,026 adults surveyed earlier this month, 52 percent said they believe vaccines do not cause autism. Meanwhile, 18 percent said they believe vaccines are to blame for the developmental disorder and 30 percent are uncertain.

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This comes two weeks after a British Medical Journal investigation found that the research first suggesting that autism was linked to the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine was an “elaborate fraud.”

Worries about a link between autism and the MMR vaccine spread on the heals of a 1998 study by Andrew Wakefield. But last year, the journal The Lancet retracted the study and Wakefield’s British medical license was stripped.

Of those polled, 69 percent said they were familiar with Wakefield’s study, but just 47 percent were aware that it had been withdrawn by the journal.

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