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MMR vaccine controversy
- Created 2012-04-12
MMR vaccine controversy
centered around the 1998 publication of a fraudulent research paper in the medical journal
that lent support to the subsequently discredited theory that
disorders could be caused by the
combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine
. The media has been heavily criticized for its naive reporting and for lending undue credibility to the architect of the fraud,
revealed that Wakefield had multiple undeclared
conflicts of interest
, had manipulated evidence, and had broken other ethical codes. The
paper was partially retracted in 2004 and fully retracted in 2010, and Wakefield was found guilty by the
General Medical Council
of serious professional misconduct in May 2010 and was struck off the Medical Register, meaning he could no longer practice as a doctor. In 2011, Deer provided further information on Wakefield's improper research practices to the British medical journal,
, which in a signed editorial described the original paper as fraudulent. The
is that no
links the vaccine to the development of autism, and that the vaccine's benefits greatly outweigh its risks.
Following the initial claims in 1998, multiple large
al studies were undertaken. Reviews of the evidence by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Academy of Pediatrics
Institute of Medicine
US National Academy of Sciences
, the UK
National Health Service
, and the
all found no link between the vaccine and autism. While the Cochrane review expressed a need for improved design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, it concluded that the evidence of the safety and effectiveness of MMR in the prevention of diseases that still carry a heavy burden of
justifies its global use, and that the lack of confidence in the vaccine has damaged public health. A special court convened in the United States to review claims under the
National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
rejected compensation claims from parents of autistic children.
The claims in Wakefield's 1998
article were widely reported; vaccination rates in the UK and Ireland dropped sharply, which was followed by significantly increased incidence of measles and mumps, resulting in deaths and severe and permanent injuries. Physicians, medical journals, and editors have described Wakefield's actions as fraudulent and tied them to epidemics and deaths, and a 2011 journal article described the vaccine-autism connection as "the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years".
from Wikipedia (last updated: 08 December), licensed under
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