Friday, January 7, 2011

No Link Between Vaccines and Autism

This week yet another report showed that a study linking vaccines to autism was fraudulent.

The controversy began more than a decade ago. In 1998, British physician Andrew Wakefield published a study indicating that the common MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine was linked to childhood autism.

"After this initial study was released linking the MMR vaccine to autism, huge amounts of time and money were spent attempting to corroborate these findings," explains Sinai physician Anthony Caterina. "When no links were found after numerous large studies, there was a backlash against the medical community with many people, including some overly vocal celebrities, claiming there was a conspiracy taking place to protect vaccine manufacturers."

Since Wakefield's study was published, many parents opted out of vaccinating their children, causing numerous outbreaks of these deadly diseases. Autism rates continue to climb. An editorial in the British Medical Journal described Wakefield's study as "an elaborate fraud."

"That study wrongfully tarnished the reputation of vaccinations and the medical community. Vaccines are one of the greatest achievements of mankind, and hopefully this new information regarding the unethical and criminal nature of Dr. Wakefield's actions will hopefully begin the process of reversing the damage already caused," Caterina says.

To find a pediatrician at Sinai Hospital, call 410-601-WELL (9355).

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