Fabricated data was at the center of a landmark 1998 study by Andrew Wakefield linking the MMR vaccination shot to autism. This bold statement was released today by the highly respected medical journal Lancet.
Wakefield’s study was the first to link, using “scientific” evidence, the onset of autism and vaccination with the MMR shot. As it turns out, the authors of the paper fabricated medical histories of the children included in the journal article analysis. Of the 13 authors on the paper, 10 of them have asked for retraction of the paper or renounced it is some other way. However, the damage has been done. The mere suggestion that an actual link exists between the MMR shot and autism has scared scores of parents globally to avoid immunizations for measles, mumps, and rubella.
On a recent close examination of patient records, it was discovered that Wakefield and his co-authors simply omitted or altered medical facts about patients included in their study. It turns out that of the 12 children that Wakefield claimed to have acquired autism after MMR vaccination, at least five had already been documented with serious developmental disorders or related problems long before the vaccination.
Since the publication of Wakefield’s paper, the diseases that MMR prevents have enjoyed resurgence globally. One can only hope that other respected scientists do not repeat this misdeed.