I’ll admit it: Wakefield’s research has been replicated over and over again

Calm down, will you? As long as you’ve been reading this blog and you think that I’m about to absolve Andrew Jeremy Wakefield? Not at all. I’m about to nail the (by my count) 145,345,364th nail in the coffin of his “MMR causes Autism” theory. See, the anti-vaccine “Wakefieldites” have been claiming that his “research” has been duplicated by other scientists. I put “research” in quotes because his paper is no research at all, from an epidemiological and even medical point-of-view. It was a fraud, but we’ll leave that for later.

Wakefield’s retracted paper has the following conclusion:

We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described. Virological studies are underway that may help to resolve this issue.”

My emphasis in bold.

That’s it. That’s their conclusion. Later on, the authors state that there is inadequate evidence to link the vaccine, that the onset of symptoms occurred after the vaccine, and that (as is the case in most research) further studies were necessary.

So, yes, further studies were done, and they all replicated Wakefield’s findings of no association. If you remember, it was Wakefield’s opinion that the MMR vaccine caused autism. Perhaps encouraged by the pay day coming with his patent for the single measles shot, or some other incentive altogether, Andrew Jeremy Wakefield decided to inject his opinion into this, even after the facts didn’t support his findings:

“Again, this was very contentious and you would not get consensus from all members of the group on this, but that is my feeling, that the, the risk of this particular syndrome developing is related to the combined vaccine, the MMR, rather than the single vaccines.”

My emphasis in bold, again.

Read that last quote again, ladies and gentlemen. The anti-vaccine activists, all the harm they’ve done to herd immunity, all the anti-science and hate they spew, the cheering of murders in Pakistan of vaccine workers, all of that… All of that came from how Andrew Jeremy Wakefield felt, not from fact, not from evidence, not from anything tangible… Just how he felt.