Life as an Extreme Sport

WoBioBlog: Reproduction of 1998 Wakefield Study Finds NO MMR/Autism Link

It’s pretty commonly known that Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 Lancet paper on the link between autism and the MMR vaccine has been the source of considered controversy over vaccinations and autism, even after the majority of the paper authors removed their names and the journal retracted the paper. Wakefield’s unethical conduct, the leaps of logic, and the small sample size itself, all contributed to reasons the paper was ultimately discredited.

Unfortunately, that sort of discrediting might hold weight in academic spheres, but doesn’t necessarily take hold in the public sphere. It’s much more entertaining to write scare-tactic headlines touting fears of vaccines and the rise of autism than it is to say “woops”, let alone “woops, we maybe made something worse… sorry about that, please go vaccinate your kids before measles skyrockets to new epidemic proportions.”

Hopefully the news that a reproduction of the Wakefield study shows absolutely no link between autism and the MMR vaccine will gain foothold in the media at large, and go a long way towards convincing parents that vaccinating their children…

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  1. True, tho as I said in the full piece, I hope this means we’ll be able to put the fearmongering links and rumours behind us with this, and actually focus on both safely vaccinating kids against preventable diseases, and looking for more tenable reasons for autism related disorders.

    Since much of the backbone of the vaccination == autism argument is in the Wakefield study, this seems to rather conclusively place the nail in the coffin. I think someone’s going to have to bring up some convincing and NEW evidence in order for research in that area to be credibly carried forward.

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