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Presse Med. 2012 Sep;41(9 Pt 1):827-34. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2012.03.022. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

[Wakefield's affair: 12 years of uncertainty whereas no link between autism and MMR vaccine has been proved].

[Article in French]

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Faculté de médecine Paris-Sud 11, département de santé publique, d'évaluation et d'information médicale, 94277 Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France.


In 1998, a Lancet paper described 12 cases of children with autism, and having been vaccinated (MMR) in the United Kingdom; medias presented the information to the lay public, stating that a link was possible. In 2004, The Lancet published letters responding to allegations against the paper. Later, it was established that no link existed between MMR and autism; few years and many publications were necessary to conclude to the absence of evidence. In 2010, the General Medical Council published a report against Dr Wakefield, first author of the 1998 paper, and showing that the children hospital records did not contain the evidence; hospital records differed from the published paper; the Lancet retracted the 1998 paper. In 2011, Brian Deer, a journalist, published the complete story in theBMJ: in 1996, Wakefield was approached by lawyers representing an anti-vaccine lobby, and they supported the Wakefield research. Dr Wakefield left England; in 2012 he works in Texas, USA, for anti-vaccine lobbies.

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