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The birth of the antivax martyr

The Lancet, Britain’s highly respected medical journal, announced today it is fully retracting a 1998 study suggesting MMR (measles, mumps, rebella) vaccine causes autism. The study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield included just 12 subjects; after a lengthy investigation, his conduct during the study has been deemed unethical.

What a firestorm this paper unleashed, supporting and encouraging the anti-vaccination movement among parents across the globe, even as vaccines have been deemed the single greatest tool in global public health.

The “antivaxxers” have placed their own children, and everyone else’s, at risk. Maybe this will give them pause, but it’s doubtful. Instead, watch for Wakefield to become the new antivax martyr, the obvious “victim” of a campaign by the government, the pharmaceutical companies, and/or other monied interests.

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