Monday, February 09, 2009
London Sunday Times reveals that the doctor who "discovered" controversial MMR (Mumps, Measles and Rubella) was linked to causing Autism tampered with the data. Dr. Andrew WAKEFIELD changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism. The ensuing scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children 10 years ago has triggered a dramatic resurgence in measles, an illness once thought close to eradicated in the western world.
The report published February 1998 in pre-eminent British medical Journal The Lancet was widely quoted despite a very small sample of only 12 subjects. UK Inoculation rates fell fell from 92% to below 80%. There has been similar trends throughout Europe and North America.
The popular scare has been difficult to counter and further research since that time has not replicated it's results. A review of the original Wakefield study by the General Medical Council (GMC) has accused Dr. WAKEFIELD and his colleagues of misrepresented the data to skew the results. Before WAKEFIELD began his study he was asked to investigate the possibility of MMR vaccine causing death or injury to children by a UK public policy group, thereby establishing that he was predisposed to the concept. In addition the fame generated from this research led to additional grant contracts exceeding £435,000 to further investigate the MMR vaccine/Autism linkage in the following years.
Dr. WAKEFIELD has left Britain to live in Austin, Texas, where he runs a clinic offering colono-scopies to American children. He tours the country, giving lectures and speeches against the vaccine, and attracting a loyal following of young mothers.