MMR/autism study accepted as “false”

Study linking autism to MMR was flawed and the researchers’ claims were “false”, says top medical publication

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The medical journal The Lancet has now fully retracted the research paper that linked autism to MMR, reports the BBC.

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The Lancet has accepted that the claims made by the researchers were “false”. The full retraction of the paper has come after the lead researcher, Dr Andrew Wakefield, was recently found to have acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly” by the General Medical Council (GMC).

The Lancet published the paper in 1998. It caused MMR vaccination rates to drop, which then saw a rise in measles. The Lancet had previously agued it was right to publish the research paper because the journal was there to “raise new ideas”.

The medical journal had already partially retracted the paper, but has now gone a step further, accepting the research was fundamentally flawed. “We fully retract this paper from the published record,” it said in a statement.

“This is not before time,” commented a leading paediatrician, Professor Adam Finn from the University of Bristol Medical School.

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He added, “And I hope the country can now draw a line under this particular health scare and move onto new opportunities for vaccination.”

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