The man behind the study that claimed to have established a link between MMR inoculations and autism faked the data and misrepresented his findings.
Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that Andrew Wakefield manipulated patients’ data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella was linked to the condition.As a result of his widely reported study, vaccination rates dropped from over 90% to 80%, putting many people at risk of becoming susceptible to easily preventable communicable diseases.
The research was published in February 1998 in an article in The Lancet medical journal. It claimed that the families of eight out of 12 children attending a routine clinic at the hospital had blamed MMR for their autism, and said that problems came on within days of the jab. The team also claimed to have discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease underlying the children’s conditions.
However, our investigation, confirmed by evidence presented to the General Medical Council (GMC), reveals that: In most of the 12 cases, the children’s ailments as described in The Lancet were different from their hospital and GP records. Although the research paper claimed that problems came on within days of the jab, in only one case did medical records suggest this was true, and in many of the cases medical concerns had been raised before the children were vaccinated. Hospital pathologists, looking for inflammatory bowel disease, reported in the majority of cases that the gut was normal. This was then reviewed and the Lancet paper showed them as abnormal.
Despite involving just a dozen children, the 1998 paper’s impact was extraordinary. After its publication, rates of inoculation fell from 92% to below 80%. Populations acquire “herd immunity” from measles when more than 95% of people have been vaccinated.
This man's actions are criminal in their outcome. The hysteria over vaccines grew into a cottage industry, sparking lawsuits and tons of money thrown at a problem that didn't exist. How many children suffered needlessly as a result of missing vaccines that are unrelated to autism?
Labels: Alexander Wakefield, autism, health policy, medicine, scandals, vaccines