Many parents have been concerned about the alleged links between the MMR vaccine and a possible link to autism. As I’ve mentioned before, all medical societies continue to state that there has never been convincing proof of this, and now there is even less. The esteemed medical journal Lancet, which started this whole issue in 1998 with a provocative study, now officially and fully retracts that earlier study. Discussed here on BBC News, this is a major retraction and hopefully will finally put to rest this issue. The retraction comes a week after Dr Andrew Wakefield, the lead researcher in the 1998 paper, was ruled last week to have broken research rules by the General Medical Council. There was apparently a major conflict of interest:
Dr Wakefield was in the pay of solicitors who were acting for parents who believed their children had been harmed by MMR.
But this move goes further by accepting the research was fundamentally flawed because of a lack of ethical approval and the way the children’s illnesses were presented.
The statement added: “We fully retract this paper from the published record.”
Last week, the GMC ruled that Dr Wakefield had shown a “callous disregard” for children and acted “dishonestly” while he carried out his research. It will decide later whether to strike him off the medical register.
I think this is a major news story, as Dr Wakefield and others have caused incalculable damage to all vaccine’s reputations, and many unvaccinated children are getting sick and dying of diseases that should have been eliminated long ago. I personally think it’s disgusting that Dr Wakefield didn’t tell anyone he was getting paid by people looking for a connection, so he had a huge bias to find such a result. He clearly should lose his license to practice.
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