I am old enough to have lived through as a very young child, but a fearful one, the polio scares of the 1950’s. I saw on early television that visions of children and adults living in the “iron lungs” being unable to breathe on their own. I recall that my parents were caught up, as were most parents of those times, in the misplaced but gripping fears that polio could be caught in public swimming pools and that I could not go swimming.
Fast forward to the late 1990’s when the nascent irrational fears of mercury derivatives, thimerosal, in dental fillings and some vaccinations in minute amounts were cited as ‘toxins’ and constituting dangers inherent in vaccinations. Bad science caught the imagination of the less well educated and the also ignorant ‘organic’ crowd and inflamed nationally the imagined vile dangers of immunizations. This went on for nearly two decades and then an atrociously heinously dishonest event impressed itself on the mind of every concerned parent of a young child. A dishonest British medical sscientist published FAKE data in a prestigious medical journal, The Lancet. His name was Andrew Wakefield. I will now republish a quote from one on many articles detailing his blatantly dishonest attempt to foist fake science upon the worldwide public.
Wakefield’s 1998 paper in The Lancet claimed a link between autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella, launching an international backlash against childhood vaccinations. But the research was discredited by follow-up studies, and none has ever established a link between vaccinations and autism. The Lancet formally retracted the study in February 2010. [Reference: SCIENCE–“BRITISH DOCTOR FAKED DATA LINKING VACCINES TO AUTISM, AND AIMED TO PROFIT FROM IT”
Wakefield’s damaging data and false claims stood for several years until the Lancet began its own retrospective and painful but honest review of the data and found that it had been fudged, fakes, altered and falsified. It published as above in Feb. 2010 a formal worldwide retraction and forceful repudiation of Wakefield’s work. Wakefield was censured, lost his medical license, and was ejected from scientific bodies, but the damage was done and snowballing in parent circles in the age of the Internet where it is so hard to debunk “urban myths” and such false claims.
Now the veritable chickens are coming home to roost and the worrisome potential health risks and fall-out are beginning to surface in the United States. A recent article series on the site “MLive,” has documented the rise of cases of whooping cough and measles in the state of Michigan. For consideration and a reading of this growing trend please go to the series site: http://tinyurl.com/pskoqet which is the entre site for a comprehensive series of articles, well worth reading, covering all aspects of this true growing health care issue that could be a crisis in the not too distant future in not Michigan but also other states such as Arizona and Colorado.