There’s no simpler way of summarizing the purported link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism than to say it the way the British Medical Journal said it this past week – the research is a fraud. The study that scared the world about this potentially life-saving vaccine was first published in 1998. Since that time, the methods used have been the subject of tremendous criticism, and all attempts to reproduce the results have failed. Still, the media hype about the “dangers” of the vaccine persisted. However, this past week’s article in the British Medical Journal puts the final nail in the coffin of this horrible research – the data that the investigators used to impugn the MMR vaccine was falsified.
The sad part of this story, of course, is the effect that the fraudulent research has had over the past 12 years, raising fears about MMR vaccine safety and, even wors, raising hopes among the parents of autism that a “cause” had been identified. Vocal opponents of the vaccine have published books and appeared repeatedly in the media nationally and internationally, creating celebrity for themselves while putting kids’ health at risk by frightening their parents about this vaccine.
It’s over. MMR vaccine does not cause autism, never did. All of us have written this for years (for a review of all the data, see Chapter 7, Germ Proof Your Kids – The Complete Guide to Protecting (without Overprotecting) Your Family from Infections (ASM Press, 2008), but now that we know precisely the extent of those researchers’ fraud, we can put this unfortunate public health “crisis” to rest.
Vaccinate your kids.