Doctor who linked autism to vaccine may have falsified results

In 1988, Dr. Andrew Wakefield and other British physicians published a study that proposed a link between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and autism. In the last 22 years, many larger more rigorous medical studies have failed to replicate any evidence of a connection between any vaccine (or vaccine preservative) and autism spectrum disorders.

An article this week in the British Medical Journal reviewed all of the original research data and concluded that Dr. Wakefield either grossly misinterpreted or potentially falsified his 1988 results. His license to practice medicine in Britain was revoked in May 2010.

Unfortunately, many parents still continue to be fearful and refuse to have their children vaccinated. Talk with your physician to help separate fact from fiction. The risk of catching these preventable diseases is real. The germs are still present and spread as easily as the common cold. Be a superhero and make sure your children are appropriately immunized.

Lyn Ranta, MD~ Lyn Ranta, MD, director of Physician Affairs, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Dr. Ranta is a co-leader of Children’s Hospital’s immunization initiative, and she treated children as a community pediatrician for more than 20 years.

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