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Vaccine & Autism Study: “A Fraud”

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Wow, more news just in from the British Medical Journal relating to Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 article on vaccines and autism.  According to the BMJ, Dr. Wakefield’s article was “an elaborate fraud” in which he falsified information for “his landmark” study in which he claimed that the MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) vaccine caused autism.

In the years since the article was published, thousands of parents have chosen not to immunize their children for fear of autism.  As a result of Dr. Wakefield’s “doctored” data, immunization rates in England dropped dramatically and measles outbreaks occurred causing hospitalizations and even deaths. We also saw outbreaks of measles and mumps in this country in children who had not been immunized.

Although some parents think that these diseases have been eradicated, the reality is that immunizations provide the protection to keep the diseases at bay and as immunization rates drop, the diseases may re-emerge. (remember discussions of herd immunity?)

The investigation into Dr. Wakefield’s data showed that some of the children that he stated had been “developmentally normal” prior to their MMR vaccine, actually had evidence of developmental delay even prior to immunization.  It was also reported that Dr. Wakefield was paid more than $675,000 by a lawyer who hoped to sue vaccine makers. In a nutshell, he lied and jeopardized many lives.

The falsified data and journal article which suggested the link between MMR vaccine and autism has continued to cause some parents to be afraid to vaccinate their children.

A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control showed that nearly 40% of American parents have declined or delayed a vaccine, many of whom may have questioned vaccines due to the aforementioned Wakefield article.

It is somewhat incredible to me that one man and a article that has be denounced and retracted, can still cause parental concern over giving vaccines, and this despite the fact that over 14 independent studies have failed to show a link between vaccines and autism. How is it that one doctor (who has since has his license terminated) managed to cause such an enormous distrust of vaccines?  I am just happy that even further investigation has shown that Dr. Wakefield was not motivated by “the greater good” as we are taught as physicians, but rather by his own personal gain.

This latest BMJ article is one more reason to denounce Dr. Wakefield’s studies and move onward to restore the trust in vaccines.  Vaccines have saved hundreds of thousands of lives; we just need to keep up the good work to keep children and adults healthy.

Do you have a question about vaccines? Join me and USA Today for a live chat on Monday, 1/10/11 from 2:00pm-3:00pm EST. Details to come.

Related Posts on www.kidsdr.com

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2 Responses to “Vaccine & Autism Study: “A Fraud””

  1. P. Neisman says:

    The media hype and negative reporting surrounding Brian Deer’s complaint does not make MMR vaccines safe. If you look at who funds the British Medical Journal and If Brian Deer submits his bank account records, you will see where the money trail is and who is funding this witch hunt.
    Firstly the BMJ is funded by pharmaceutical sponsorships and they admit that up front, because it is the law. Secondly, Brian Deer has ties to Rupert Murdoch * news mogul and he is on the board at GlaxoSmithKline. Now do you see the connection?

    Don’t believe everything you here, or see in the media, its run by corporations.

    The Parent should be the sole person to decide whether to vaccinate 40 times before the age of 5 of their kids, not a vaccine company. I only got 12 vaccines in the 1950’s and I am very healthy. Never got a measles vaccine, flu shot in my life. Polio was already decreasing when the polio vaccine was manufactured, not the other way around.

    If you believe that the mounting criminal charges against drug company’s prove they have your safety at heart, you are very gullible and best of luck to you. But remember you cannot sue if your kids are damaged, and you will need approximately 3.1 million dollars per child during its lifetime for special care.

  2. Rebekah says:

    I think it is obvious that you have not actually read the study because Wakefield never said that the MMR “caused” autism.

    The verdict is not obvious to all who have been following this from the beginning.

    It is very important for all of us to question authority especially when informed by the corporations that manufacture the vaccines and also fund the research that determines their efficacy.

    A concerned parent of two.

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