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expert reaction to Andrew Wakefield’s film on vaccinations, Vaxxed

Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who proposed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism which has since been comprehensively discredited, has directed and co-written a documentary about his theories.

 

Prof. Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics, University of Bristol, said:

“Digging up the corpse of the MMR-autism vaccine scare will be no help to children affected by autism and their families who need real research and real answers. A lot of precious scientific resources were used to disprove this theory and everyone’s attention now needs to move on to new theories and new ways to tackle the problem of autism. Only yesterday an important new study was released showing that children with autism can have abnormalities in brain scans long before they develop outward signs of the condition and long before they receive MMR vaccine. #realscience trumps #fakenews. ”

 

Dr David Elliman, Consultant in Community Child Health, Whittington Health, said: 

“There are multiple studies, from many countries using different methods, that have failed to show a link between MMR vaccine and autism. The film Vaxxed adds no new evidence to counter this. Even if one or more studies from the USA proves to be incorrect, which is unlikely, this does not change the overall conclusion.

“MMR vaccine has shown to be very effective at preventing diseases that can cause major illnesses and, in the case of measles, death. Like all interventions, it can give rise to side effects, most of which are minor. The benefits far outweigh the hazards, and parents are strongly encouraged to ensure their children to have two doses of the vaccine.”

 

Prof. Tony Charman, Chair in Clinical Child Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London, said:

“Over the past 10 years considerable progress has been made in identifying some of the causes and also promising treatments for children with autism spectrum disorder and none of these support the idea that vaccines are relevant to the cause or provide opportunities for pre-emptive intervention. Returning to a falsified claim from 20 years ago does a disservice to parents and to children with autism”.

 

All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink: http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/tag/vaccines/

 

The SMC also produced a Factsheet on the MMR timeline which is attached and available here: http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/mmr-timeline/

 

Declared interests

None received.

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