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not sure if anyone posted this yet, so here it is

THE doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism, a Sunday Times investigation has found.

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.

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.

Last week official figures showed that 1,348 confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales were reported last year, compared with 56 in 1998. Two children have died of the disease.

With two professors, John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch, Wakefield is defending himself against allegations of serious professional misconduct brought by the GMC. The charges relate to ethical aspects of the project, not its findings. All three men deny any misconduct.

Through his lawyers, Wakefield this weekend denied the issues raised by our investigation, but declined to comment further.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
Urgh. That's so frustrating. But, it just emphasizes that point that you can't rely on only one study to generalize results. Plus, anyone with any sort of research background should know that you certainly can't rely on any results with such a low sample size!
Feb. 8th, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
They are all so screwed. So screwed. IDK what the rules are in England, but I'd suspect that they're opened up to civil and/or legal action.
Feb. 8th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
I read this about an hour ago...I was wondering how long it would take to turn up on my friends page.
Feb. 8th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
It's been known for years that his results weren't being replicated in further study, so this isn't surprising at all.
Feb. 9th, 2009 09:34 pm (UTC)
*nods* Exactly.
Feb. 8th, 2009 09:53 pm (UTC)
Good. I wish more people would read this. I have never believed in the vaccine/autism scare, and will never believe. Vaccines are so important.
Feb. 8th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly!
Feb. 8th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
Agreed, definitely.
Feb. 9th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
Feb. 9th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
Couldn't agree more!
Feb. 9th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
Yes. YESYESYES. I am so pro-vaccinations.
Feb. 8th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
I think its been known for quite a while that his results were faked. No one has been able to replicate the results since his study came out.
Feb. 8th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
I just went to a vaccine talk by a local pediatrician last week, and he talked about this study. He also said that since then there have been two other European studies done, on a huge number of kids (in the millions I believe) and there has been no like found between the MMR and autism. I wish I had the sources.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 9th, 2009 12:04 am (UTC)
And religious objections.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 9th, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC)
Umm, what's a "true" religious objection, in your opinion?

What do you say about MY objection to use vaccines that contain gelatin (animals bits) when we are religious/ethical vegetarians? Is that "true" enough?
Feb. 9th, 2009 11:59 pm (UTC)
Are there vegan vaccines?
Feb. 10th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
I'm not the commenter but I would say so. There are people who say they don't vax because God said not to but they don't actually believe in God (for instance).
Feb. 10th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
I'd say you have a true religious objection. A lot of people lie say they have religious objections to vaccination when they are actually atheists.
Feb. 10th, 2009 04:13 am (UTC)
I don't think religious objection should be a reason. Where in the bible does it say "thou shall not vaccinate"?
Feb. 10th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
Interesting. I'm glad to read this. I'm still delaying the MMR...but I have been leaning towards getting it and this is kind of helping.
Feb. 10th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
I am delaying MMR as well, but certainly not because of autism, that link has been disproven long ago, I am delaying only because my daughter does not go to daycare yet, but she will get it before she goes to preschool at age 3. I believe it is our social responsibility to our children and to all the other children to vaccinate our kids, so I would definitely advise it!
Feb. 10th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
That's pretty much my same reason. I think I planned to get it since my son's first vaccines...I'm not entirely sure. I was a little worried though but not anymore.

I have family members that showed Autistic signs *after* the vaccine but honestly, I don't think it was really related.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )


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