Wakefield is not a fraud – His study linking MMR vaccine to autism vindicated
Wakefield is a fraud! Wakefield is personally responsible for the resurgence of measles and whooping cough! Wakefield is to blame for the Disneyland measles outbreak!
Read any pro-vaccine article that disputes the link between vaccinations and autism and chances are Andrew Wakefield and his “fraudulent study” will be mentioned. Dubbed the “father of the anti-vaccine movement”, Wakefield has been both revered and vilified, depending on which side of the argument uses his name. The funny thing is, he is not anti vaccine. He is, however, a critic of the MMR vaccine and has publicly stated that the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines should be given separately.
In 1998, Wakefield, Prof. John Walker Smith, Dr. Simon Burch, and 10 other co-authors published a paper in the Lancet, a British Medical Journal, which showed a possible correlation between the MMR vaccine and resultant gastrointestinal dysfunction along with developmental delays and autism. Though the paper itself did not state a conclusive causal effect, it did state the need for further study into the possibility that the MMR shot was to blame. Wakefield went on to publicly bring attention to the possibility, criticizing the MMR shot and calling for separation of the three vaccines.
The publication, the publicity, and the controversy caused an uproar, which is credited with a sharp decline in vaccine compliance in the UK and to some extent in the U.S. The United Kingdom General Medical Council regulatory board (GMC) investigated and came to the conclusion that the study and the published paper were fraudulent. The paper was retracted by the Lancet. Ten of the authors signed a letter retracting the claim that the MMR vaccine caused autism (even though the paper did not state that conclusion.) Wakefield, Smith, and Burch did not sign the paper. They were brought up before the GMC on misconduct charges. Wakefield and Smith both lost their medical licenses.
In 2012, Prof. Smith won an appeal against the GMC. Although he was already retired, his license to practice medicine was restored. Unlike Wakefield’s insurance, Smith’s insurance covered his expensive appeal. There was a clear ruling that the published paper and study met standards and that the GMC was at fault for the earlier ruling. The GMC has not taken the opportunity since then to restate Andrew Wakefield’s license or to clear his name.
Andrew Wakefield recently came back into the news with the CDC whistleblower case in which Dr. William Thompson reached out to Wakefield with the news of a CDC cover-up in a study, which linked the MMR to autism.
Wakefield continues to defend the paper he and his co-authors published and he continues to state the need for the MMR vaccine to be discontinued and individual shots to be manufactured and distributed instead.