It was 17 years ago. Parents around the world became concerned, worried and paranoid when hearing BREAKING NEWS that “Vaccines Are Connected to Autism”. This medical breakthrough was published in 1998. Soon after this information was published, researchers from around the world rigorously repeated studies, investigating whether or not they could validate Wakefield’s findings. Studies from 1999 to 2003 found no connection. In 2004, the Lancet released a statement identifying that there were many ethical problems with the original Wakefield study and that “facts were falsified.” In fact, a reported named Brian Wakefield reviewed the medical records of the original 12 subjects included in Wakefield’s study and found discrepancies. Deer found that not all the children in the study were thought to have signs of ‘developmental delays’ before receiving vaccines. Furthermore, three of the children who were identified as having developed Autism after receiving the vaccines were not actually diagnosed with Autism. Therefore, a true finding that the children met the criteria medically necessary to be diagnosed with the condition of Autism did not exist. In other words, the data used to conclude a connection between the vaccines and Autism was fabricated.
Eventually, Wakefield himself acknowledged in a paper that he could not prove that there is a cause and effect link. However, the damage was done. A firestorm was ignited and thousands of parents in the United States and the UK refused to vaccinate their children for fear it would trigger symptoms of autism. As a result, whooping cough resurged in 2012 in the United States and cases of measles increased in the UK.
Although the GMC revoked Dr. Wakefield’s medical license, concerns about the safety of vaccinations continue today. In 2011, The British Medical Journal published a three part series written by Brian Deer identifies the vaccine crisis and the case against the MMR vaccine. QUESTIONS for YOU:
1. What are your suspicions, experiences and decisions about vaccinating your children?
2. Have you decided to vaccinate or not vaccinate your child?