Ruling on Dr Andrew Wakefield in MMR scare

28 January 2010

Following a 2.5-year investigation, on 28 January 2010, the General Medical Council ruled that Dr Andrew Wakefield had acted dishonestly and irresponsibly with regards to the publication of research that suggested there was a link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination and autism.

The single MMR vaccine was first introduced in 1988, providing protection against measles, mumps and rubella. Previously, there had been separate vaccinations for each disease.

In 1998 the Lancet Medical Journal published research by Andrew Wakefield, which has since been discredited, suggesting there was a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Unusually, the study attracted a high level of media coverage and Wakefield had a high media presence.

The scare contributed to MMR vaccination rates falling sharply, which led to a rise in the number of reported cases of measles and a significant number of deaths.

The Lancet later rescinded the paper because of the evidence of fraud on the part of the authors.

Source(s)

NHS.
Ruling on doctor in MMR scare.
NHS; 2010.