Medical Journal Retracts Study Linking MMR Vaccine To Autism

A prestigious British medical journal has retracted a study that prompted many parents to decide against vaccinating their children for measles, mumps and rubella.

The Lancet published the flawed study, which linked the MMR vaccine to autism and bowel disease, in 1998. Last week, a disciplinary panel of Britain’s General Medicine Council said the paper’s author, Andrew Wakefield, presented his research in an “irresponsible and dishonest” manner.

Ten of the study’s 13 authors renounced the study’s conclusion and subsequent studies have shown no link between the MMR shot and autism.

Wakefield and two colleagues could lose their right to practice medicine in Britain. He now lives and works in the United States.

The study led to a massive anti-vaccine movement among parents and that, in turn, led to a resurgence of measles in North America and Britain over the years. The rates of the disease shot up 70 per cent in England and Wales in 2008 from the previous year, according to data released last February.

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