Closure: there is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism

It’s confirmed. Dr. Wakefield was a fraud. Recently, on January 5, 2011, reporter Brian Deer published a report in the British Medical Journal   exposing more flaws in the Wakefield study- the study which proposed a link between Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine (MMR vaccine) and autism. Of note:

  • Lawyers who were trying to win a law suit for parents who believed that the MMR caused their children’s autism paid Wakefield to do the study.
  • Wakefield falsified his findings. The medical records of all 12 children in the study were inconsistent with Wakefields’s data.
  • Almost half of the children in the study already showed signs of developmental abnormalities before they received the MMR vaccine. Therefore, the MMR vaccine did not cause their disabilities.
  • Rather than randomly choosing the children for the study, Wakefield obtained most of his subjects through an anti-MMR campaign group.
  • Ten out of twelve other authors of Wakefield’s paper have withdrawn their support of the paper.

To read about the original study and the controversy around it, please see our earlier post, “Do vaccines cause autism?” For more information about how vaccines work, please read “How vaccines work.”  To learn signs of early communication delays in your infant, please see “How do I know if my baby has autism?”

Too bad it’s too late for some children. Since Wakefield published his paper, measles cases have steadily risen in the UK. Hopefully the damage caused by Wakefield’s 1998 paper will be mitigated by more parents who vaccinate their children.

Julie Kardos, MD with Naline Lai, MD

©2011 Two Peds in a Pod℠

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  • Reply MLB MD January 11, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    How sad that so many children have gone unvaccinated due to unfounded fears. Our generation of parents (children of baby boomers and younger) have no idea how important immunizations are. I bet many parents have no idea what lengths our parents and grandparents went through to get us vaccinated from polio and other diseases.

  • Reply Amy E January 13, 2011 at 12:46 am

    I hope this revelation gets as much press as the original article did. The sad thing is that 4 children died and others were permanently disabled from the measles outbreaks in the UK that have occurred since the publication of this article.

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