Saturday, May 15, 2010

Summary of abuses in Wakefield anti-vaccine crusade

This summary of the whole terrible Andrew Wakefield-inspired anti-vaccine campaign, listing Wakefield's falsifications of his "research", is interesting. It's a summary of investigative reporting including information on ways Wakefield profited or stood to profit from casting doubt on the MMR vaccine.

This article lays the blame for the start of all the autism-anti-vaccine feeling here in the US on Wakefield's work in the UK; I didn't know about that. And the sad thing is that though Wakefield's work has been thoroughly debunked, lots of folks still think there's a link between vaccinations and autism.


  1. I guess it's remarkable that I didn't know about this massive debunking. I always assumed there was a classic strand of conspiratorial paranoia in the anti-vaccination crusade, though I admit it gave us some pause with Will's MMR shots after his initial autism diagnosis. Even if a link between autism and the vaccinations had been established, they would would have had to prove that the companies producing the vaccine KNEW the risks and suppressed that knowledge before I would ever have thought about suing in any case.

  2. I guess our focus has always been on managing the present and preparing for the future, rather than being trapped in assigning guilt to the past, because Will is still HERE and he has his whole life ahead of him. But if he was severely autistic or had died, I would probably have been more vulnerable to scams like Wakefield's faked research.

  3. Oh, and thanks for linking to the article.

  4. "Wakefield" is often referred to on the blog Bad Science, which I'm a fan of, but I didn't realize that he was behind the US instance of vaccination doubt.

    Now I've got to decide how much to blame Jenny McCarthy for spreading this bunk.