Sunday, February 15, 2009

No link between MMR and Autism

February 8, 2009

MMR doctor Andrew Wakefield fixed data on autism

THE doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism, a Sunday Times investigation has found.

Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that Andrew Wakefield manipulated patients’ data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella was linked to the condition.

The research was published in February 1998 in an article in The Lancet medical journal. It claimed that the families of eight out of 12 children attending a routine clinic at the hospital had blamed MMR for their autism, and said that problems came on within days of the jab. The team also claimed to have discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease underlying the children’s conditions.

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This report confirm my belief that MMR is a safe vaccine and has no link to autism. Most other researchers have backed away from the MMR-Autism link and in fact 10 of the 13 authors have retracted their statements in a report in Lancet in 2004 (Murch SH, Anthony A, Casson DH, et al (2004). "Retraction of an interpretation". Lancet 363 (9411): 750. ).
"We wish to make it clear that in this paper no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient. However, the possibility of such a link was raised and consequent events have had major implications for public health. In view of this, we consider now is the appropriate time that we should together formally retract the interpretation placed upon these findings in the paper, according to precedent."
Yet I continue to deal with anxious parents who are worried about the MMR-Autism link. I managed to convince almost all about the safety and benefits of MMR except parents of children with autism. For some reasons, they are fixed in their perception that MMR cause autism.

It is a sad day for medical research. Andrew Wakefield has done irreparable damage to the reliability of medical research, protection of children by the vaccine MMR and the confidence of parents with autistic children in the medical profession. I am sure in spite of this report, the MMR-autism link will continue to circulate and discourage parents from bringing their children for vaccination.

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