Data Linking MMR Vaccine to Autism “Fixed”

Andrew WakefieldThe Times of London is reporting that the data published in 1998 that set off a worldwide scare that the MMR vaccine was closely linked to the onset of autism in children was cooked by the article’s author, Andrew Wakefield.

According to the exclusive report:

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….

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….

Wakefield is defending himself against allegations of serious professional misconduct brought by the [General Medical Council ]. The charges relate to ethical aspects of the project, not its findings.

About Christopher Green

Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto). Former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Creator of the "Classics in the History of Psychology" website and of the "This Week in the History of Psychology" podcast series.

4 thoughts on “Data Linking MMR Vaccine to Autism “Fixed”

  1. It turns out journalist Brian Deer made it up:-
    “Sunday Times Journalist Made Up Wakefield MMR Data Fixing Allegation”:

    And he was helping the US Justice Dept sink 4500 US kids claims for vaccine damage compensation – what kind of normal journalist does that? Ans: none.
    “US Federal Court, US Justice Dept & The Sunday Times – More Questions Than Answers”

  2. In my opinion, the reliability is of the “Child Health Safety” website, to which Clifford G. Milller links, is questionable in this matter. “Child Health Safety” is an anti-vaccine website, as is clear from its “Read Me” page. What the article actually reveals is, for the most part, what was already known, viz., that Brian Deer discovered what he thought to be irregularities in Wakefield’s research and brought them to the attention of the GMC, which thought them serious and credible enough to launch an investigation, which is now underway. Or, as “Autism News Beat” put it, “Brian Deer…is guilty of – investigative journalism.” Declarations by “Child Health Safety” that the allegations against Wakefield are being “steadily demolished” are nothing more or less than their own opinion of the matter. The singular fact remains that ten of Wakefield’s twelve co-authors have retracted the key article in question. (Thanks to Stephen Black for bringing this to my attention.) I await the GMC’s final decision in this matter.

  3. Response to Christopher Green Says [February 20th, 2009]

    Regrettably Green’s “opinion” is tosh.

    Brian Deer’s stories have unravelled but Green cannot face the facts. All can see this here:-
    “Sunday Times’ Stories Collapse In GMC Wakefield Prosecution”

    Here is the corrected URL for the other story in my previous post:-

    “US Federal Court, US Justice Dept & The Sunday Times – More Questions Than Answers”

    Green’s approach is typical of a certain kind – post any old tosh to put people off hitting the links to judge for themselves.

    The “Child Health Safety” website has become widely recognised as a reliable source. Its name is clear – the issue is Child Health Safety. Green responds to children’s safety issues with nonsense meaningless attacks – the drivel it is “anti-vaccine”.

    Tell that to all the parents who have had their children vaccinated and have been dumped by their own government when it all has gone wrong. They were not “anti-vaccine” – they had their kids vaccinated.

    Green should stick to doing what he seems to know best – nothing.

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