Entry By: Dr. Esther Hess
A 1998 study linking autism to vaccines may be a “fraud,” according to a British journalist Brian Deer. Deer says that five of the 12 children involved in Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s controversial 1998 study linking the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism actually had documented developmental problems prior to getting the vaccine.
The result: Immunization rates for measles, mumps and rubella have dipped substantially worldwide and measles, once nearly eradicated in the U.S., is back here and abroad!
“For years, the media has mischaracterized Wakefield’s work as implicating the MMR vaccine in the autism epidemic. This was never true, as Wakefield himself wrote in the conclusion to his paper:
‘We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described.’
“We hope the media will take the time to read the actual Lancet study, rather than repeating the message of a vaccine-industry funded media circus.”
Journalist Deer also writes that all the cases were somehow misrepresented when he compared data from medical records and the children’s parents.
Wakefield’s paper has been renounced by 10 of its 13 authors and removed from the Lancet medical journal, where it was originally published. A British panel is weighing whether to strip Wakefield and two of his colleagues from the right to practice medicine in Britain.
Dr. Neal Halsey, pediatrician and director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkin’s Children Center, told AOL Health that “The most important message is for parents to get vaccinations for their children,” he says. According to Halsey, there is a very small chance that complications will arise from vaccines. “Vaccines are one of the most preventative resources against neurological problems,” he adds.