The Controversy Over the MMR Vaccine

My educational background is counseling.  I took statistics at UCI, learning that anyone can massage statistics to say what they want.  Later, the uproar about the MMR causing autism came to light.  Tens of thousands of parents in the US refused to have their children inoculated against Mumps, Measles, and Rubella (German Measles).  Those fatal and destructive diseases had been literally irradiated in the US through the MMR inoculation given to infants (around a year).  Due to the refusal of inoculations children began dieing.  Any medical professional would recommend the inoculation because the possibility of severe damage and death from the diseases far outweighs the possibility of autism from it.
I agreed, and, of course, inoculated my fire children with no reaction.  I researched the root of this information.  The attached article explains clearly that the original research on MMR vs autism was done in England.
As explained in the attached info, the research included 12 children already predisposed to autism.  Yes, only 12 children.  As far as I am concerned that is entirely worthless.  How could anyone consider a study including only 12 subjects definitive research?   What happened is: lazy authors and researchers looking to prove their point referenced this study/experiment w/o even reading it.  It was referenced to the point where it became the founding research for not inoculating children… totally ridiculous!!!!  Thousands of children worldwide died, went deaf, or were permanently crippled because of it.  The medical community never supported the research against the vaccine, yet, through the internet, it became Gospel.
What you choose to do regarding inoculations for your children is up to you.  I encourage you to research the information.  Talk with your pediatrician and OB.  Question friends and relatives.  This can be a life or death decision for your kids.


Lancet retracts 12-year-old article linking autism to MMR vaccines

Laura Eggertson

Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer


This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Twelve years after publishing a landmark study that turned tens of thousands of parents around the world against the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine because of an implied link between vaccinations and autism, The Lancet has retracted the paper.

In a statement published on Feb. 2, the British medical journal said that it is now clear that “several elements” of a 1998 paper it published by Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues (Lancet1998;351[9103]:637–41) “are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation.”

Dr. Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, declined through a spokesperson to speak to CMAJ about this issue.

In the original paper, Wakefield and 12 coauthors claimed to have investigated “a consecutive series” of 12 children referred to the Royal Free Hospital and School of Medicine with chronic enterocolitis and regressive developmental disorder. The authors reported that the parents of eight of the 12 children associated their loss of acquired skills, including language, with the MMR vaccination. The authors concluded that “possible environmental triggers” (i.e. the vaccine) were associated with the onset of both the gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression.

In fact, as Britain’s General Medical Council ruled in January, the children that Wakefield studied were carefully selected and some of Wakefield’s research was funded by lawyers acting for parents who were involved in lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers. The council found Wake-field had acted unethically and had shown “callous disregard” for the children in his study, upon whom invasive tests were performed.

When the original article was picked up by the general media, the findings were fuelled by speeches and public appearances in which Wakefield recommended single vaccines rather than the combined MMR. Many parents seeking a cause for their children’s illness seized upon the apparent link between the routine vaccination and autism, say Canadian researchers who laud the retraction.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield speaks to media in London, England on Jan. 28 after the General Medical Council ruled that he acted unethically in doing his research into a link between Measles Mumps Rubella vaccinations and autism.

“I think a lot of families were looking for a reason, so they were extremely vulnerable (to this explanation),” says Jeanette Holden, a geneticist at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Holden, whose brother is autistic, heads the Autism Spectrum Disorders —Canadian–American Research Consortium.

“The problem is that this had dramatic health consequences, which was that people just didn’t vaccinate their children,” she adds.

In the United Kingdom, the Health Protection Agency attributed a large measles outbreak in 2008 and 2009 to a concurrent drop in the number of children receiving the MMR vaccine. Pockets of measles — which can be fatal —have also cropped up in Canada and the United States as a result of parents’ refusal to vaccinate.

“In the course of my discussions with families it’s almost invariable that the measles question comes into play,” says Dr. Suzanne Lewis, a pediatrician and clinical professor of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

“I was quite thankful to see the retraction — it’s long overdue,” she adds.

Both Holden and Lewis, who is also a member of the Autism Spectrum Disorders — Canadian–American Research Consortium, questioned the article’s original heft, given its small sample size.

“Why The Lancet published it is completely beyond me,” Lewis says. “The risk-versus-benefit equation was really tipped the wrong way by this research that was so egregious.”

She also decried the “millions, if not tens of millions of dollars” that have been spent on additional studies to validate or disqualify the original Wakefield study.

The Lancet first investigated the paper in 2004, after allegations of misconduct by Wakefield and the other authors came to its attention. But after an investigation, the Royal Free and University College Medical School and The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust published a statement in the journal saying that they were “entirely satisfied” that the children in the Wakefield study “had been subjected to appropriate and rigorous ethical scrutiny” (Lancet 2004. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(04)15711-5).

At that time, The Lancet said its editors found no evidence that the authors intended to deceive them, including about the way the children were selected. However, the editors expressed regret that “aspects of funding for parallel and related work and the existence of ongoing litigation … were not disclosed to editors.” But the journal did not withdraw the paper, citing the “public interest in the issue.”

Despite the retraction, many autism advocacy groups and parents continue to defend Wakefield, as they are making clear on blogs such as the Age of Autism, in electronic comments responding to articles about the retraction, and on the website of Generation Rescue, a group founded by actors Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey.

The “conspiracy theory” that vaccine manufacturers are hiding the truth about MMR and autism is fuelled by parents’ need to know what is causing autism, says Margaret Spoelstra, executive director of Autism Ontario, despite the fact that no large study has replicated Wakefield’s findings.

“We know that autism has a genetic cause and that there are environmental factors that we don’t understand yet,” Spoelstra says. “There’s enormous pressure in the field to come up with those answers.”

Articles from CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal are provided here courtesy of Canadian Medical Association


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