Andrew Wakefield. Not a name many people will know, but it is this idiot’s fault that still today so many parents refuse to give their children the MMR Vaccine recommended by the medical profession. Today in Swansea there are real fears that there could be a death from a case of Measles and this is a city that has a low uptake of the MMR jab. The blame lies squarely at this man’s feet.
In 1998 Mr Wakefield lead a paper published in the Lancet claiming that there was a link between the vaccine and Autism & Crone’s Disease. Both of these claims has been proved wrong by several different studies. In fact they retested some of his original patients and proved that he ‘falsified’ evidence – a claim that he denies. Because of the newspapers and media carrying this story we have a hangover of 15 years now which has left thousands of children without any protection from the potentially deadly diseases.
When the General Medical Council investigated him and his claims they found that there were several issues with his practise and his presentation of facts. This was supported by the work of a journalist called Brian Deer who uncovered that Mr Wakefield had “financial conflicts of interest” in his study. It has been claimed that he had a business interests that would have benefitted had the MMR vaccine been withdrawn from the public. Whatever the truth behind this the scientific evidence is clear that there is no link between the MMR vaccine and either of the conditions he claimed. The GMC withdrew his licence to practise in the UK and was charged with thirty-six different counts of misconduct including dishonesty and a dozen cases of abusing autistic children with invasive procedures such as lumbar punctures and colonoscopies.
Even though there were counter claims to his research very soon after it was published the fear had been planted in the public’s mind. Now a decade and a half later these medieval diseases are now a real danger again. The foolish thing is that even if parents didn’t trust the combined MMR vaccine, the fear numbed them so much that they didn’t bother to get the individual vaccines to protect their children at all.
As a parent I fully understand the fear when making decisions on your children’s behalf – but a little bit of reading rather than a lot of assumption is the key to these things. Autism is such a difficult thing to live with and in my job I see some kids that are going to struggle with life unless they get into housing and work programmes that allow them to flourish. But the facts are there for all to see now and there is no link between the MMR jab and Autism or bowel disease.
If you have to decide it’s simple: get the jab otherwise you could be faced with the issues Swansea are facing now. Wakefield truly is a shameless c*nt.