I apologise for the slight tangent.
However we have been told (quite forcefully I might add) that no such connection exists...
So as far as I am concerned the jury is very much still out on that score.
That would be correct, there is no connection between MMR, other vaccines or the mercury containing thimerosal preservative that was supposed to be the deleterious ingredient. As you know the person that started the whole fiasco has been been struck off the register or something to that effect, and the paper found to be seriously flawed and unethical hence retracted from the Lancet. So the very basis for suspecting the MMR vaccine was in fact spurious. There never was a link in the first place and thus no connection.
However, there have since been numerous studies that have found no link between vaccines and autism, not merely that Wakefield's paper was found to be in error; here are two, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa021134
. The jury has been well done on this, neither MMR, vaccines in general or thimerosal - no longer used anyway - have any connection with causing autism or related.
The forceful manner of delivering this news would likely be related to the scare that the original paper and media circus threw up, and being unambiguous in dealing with the public. There are a number of groups still existing that champion the false idea of vaccines causing autism, willfully ignorant of the science and determined to hold to the original error. Given the original scare, the subsequent confusion and the regular disinformation peddled by anti-vaxxers I'm sure the medical community want to be clear to all that there is nothing to worry about.
Hope is but the first step upon the road to disappointment.