Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a British physician, and his colleagues published studies in 1998 and 2002 linking the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism. The studies were published in The Lancet which is self-described as "the world's leading general medical journal and specialty journals in Oncology, Neurology and Infectious Diseases." The publication officially retracted the studies in 2010 after discovering that the studies were fraudulent. See this NPR article which links to the official retraction from The Lancet. Click here for an article from the American Academy of Pediatrics outlining the original Wakefield studies and the specific flaws of each.
I am interested in hearing from my readers on this topic. Here are some specific questions to get the discussion started:
- What are your thoughts on vaccinating children from diseases such as pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps and rubella?
- Did the original Wakefield research influence your decision whether or not to vaccinate your children?
- How does the discovery of the flaws in the research impact your current view on vaccinations?
Please comment with your thoughts!
*The author of this article is not a medical professional and is not authorized to provide medical advice. The purpose of this article is to encourage discussion on the decision-making process used by the public to determine whether or not to vaccinate children. No medical advice will be given in response to comments. Please contact your doctor with specific medical concerns about vaccines, autism and/or the health of your children.