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Wakefield's Vaccine/Autism Study is Fraudulent?

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Is Andrew Wakefield your hero? Did his study on the connection between vaccines and autism inform your decision not to have your children vaccinated? You may want to read the following study on Wakefield's conclusions.

Last May, Wakefield, one of the most vocal authors' of a 1998 study paper, that suggested there was a link between the Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine (AKA MMR Shot) and the development of autism, was "stripped of his right to practice medicine in Britain." According to this article, the study he participated in has been shown to have been based on "doctored information about the children involved".

In fact, of the 13 authors of the paper, 10 have openly stated that they do not support their previous conclusions and the medical journal that originally published the study has published a retraction and does not condone the conclusions of the study either.

"A new examination found, by comparing the reported diagnoses in the paper to hospital records, that Wakefield and colleagues altered facts about patients in their study.

The analysis, by British journalist Brian Deer, found that despite the claim in Wakefield's paper that the 12 children studied were normal until they had the MMR shot, five had previously documented developmental problems. Deer also found that all the cases were somehow misrepresented when he compared data from medical records and the children's parents.

Called 'an elaborate fraud' Wakefield could not be reached for comment despite repeated calls and requests to the publisher of his recent book, which claims there is a connection between vaccines and autism that has been ignored by the medical establishment. Wakefield now lives in the U.S. where he enjoys a vocal following including celebrity supporters like Jenny McCarthy."

Unfortunately, the damage has been done and people who prefer to rely on word of mouth rather than researching an issue for themselves will likely never appreciate the fact that they have based their anti-vaccination stance on a discredited, conspiracy theorist rather than on true, solid, verifiable science.

The people who will ultimately pay the price for this misinformation are the children who will now be susceptible to Measles, Mumps and Rubella (diseases which are now enjoying a resurgence) and not the parents making the decision.  After all, the parents were most likely vaccinated in their youth and can enjoy that protection against these diseases. Lucky for them.

Does this new information change your opinion and stance on vaccinations? Why or why not?

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