“Journal repents over vaccine-autism link”

“One of the world’s pre-eminent medical journals, the British magazine The Lancet, has said that it should never have published a 1998 study into controversial research linking a triple vaccine for infants to autism due to the researcher’s ‘fatal conflict of interest’.” British physician/researcher Andrew Wakefield, who conducted a study raising fears about the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, did not disclose that he had been hired by lawyers seeking to press damage claims over the vaccine. The Wakefield study was later assailed as badly flawed. (Reuters/Washington Post/Sydney Morning Herald, Feb. 23). As a result of scaremongering over the vaccine, “The incidence of measles in parts of Britain is rising ominously as the number of children formerly inoculated against the disease falls to the level which risks an epidemic. In short, we could be on the verge of a major public-health disaster. … Colossal damage has been done and hundreds of thousands of children may be at risk of serious disease.” (“Misled over MMR” (editorial), The Observer, Feb. 22). See Jane Fineman, “Maverick view that sparked panic over the triple vaccine”, The Observer, Feb. 22. For more on MMR and other vaccine litigation, see Dec. 29; earlier posts. And: Michael Fitzpatrick, “MMR: Investigating the interests”, Spiked Online, Feb. 22; Black Triangle (UK blog, posting currently suspended; numerous posts; via GruntDoc). Yet more: Michael Fumento weighs in (“Anti-vaccine Activists Get Jabbed”, Scripps-Howard, Mar. 11), as does Charles Murtaugh (Dec. 22 and Feb. 22). Update Mar. 4, 2005 (another study finds no link).

Comments are closed.