The British doctor who started the scare over a link between the MMR vaccine and autism “changed and misreported results in his research,” charges a Times of London investigation.
Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that Andrew Wakefield manipulated patients’ data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella was linked to the condition.
The research was published in February 1998 in an article in The Lancet medical journal. It claimed that the families of eight out of 12 children attending a routine clinic at the hospital had blamed MMR for their autism, and said that problems came on within days of the jab. The team also claimed to have discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease underlying the children’s conditions.
However, our investigation, confirmed by evidence presented to the General Medical Council (GMC), reveals that: In most of the 12 cases, the children’s ailments as described in The Lancet were different from their hospital and GP records. Although the research paper claimed that problems came on within days of the jab, in only one case did medical records suggest this was true, and in many of the cases medical concerns had been raised before the children were vaccinated. Hospital pathologists, looking for inflammatory bowel disease, reported in the majority of cases that the gut was normal. This was then reviewed and the Lancet paper showed them as abnormal.
After the paper was published in 1998, rates of inoculation fell from 92% to below 80%.
Last week official figures showed that 1,348 confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales were reported last year, compared with 56 in 1998. Two children have died of the disease.
Here are details on the 12 children in the study.
Wakefield worked for a lawyer trying to build a case against vaccine manufacturers, emphasizes Mike Dunford on The Questionable Authority. Some of the parents came to Wakefield’s clinic in hopes of proving the vaccine caused their children’s problems.
Will this change minds?