It all started back in 1998, when Dr. Andrew Wakefield published a study linking autism with MMR in the Lancet. The results of this study have not been successfully replicated and many official bodies, including the CDC and the NHS , have been vocal about the inexistence of scientific evidence in support of such connection. A trend has, nevertheless, started with parents refusing to let their children be vaccinated against MMR, causing vaccination compliance rates to drop and the corresponding diseases to outbreak.
If you have clicked the above link to the Lancet study (and if you have been following the latest news) you already know that this study has now been retracted and Andrew Wakefiled (who has no longer the right to practice medicine in the UK) has been accused for fraud, data manipulation and conflicts of interest by the BMJ, after a thorough investigation. For the full story, please click here.
What do you think about these recent developments? Will such strong allegations against the original study make a difference to current anti-MMR vaccination trends or will the fear of a possible causal relationship prevail? How could Public Health professionals deal with such issues?