In January the United Kingdom's General Medical Council ruled that physician Andrew Wakefield's 1998 research allegedly linking autism to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) was conducted "dishonestly and irresponsibly." In February, The Lancet medical journal retracted the article based on that unethical research. So those who have following this sorry saga have been waiting to see what sanctions might be levied against Wakefield. Now we know. According to the AP:
Britain's top medical group banned a doctor who was the first to publish peer-reviewed research suggesting a connection between a common vaccine and autism from practicing in the country, finding him guilty Monday of serious professional misconduct.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield's research led to millions of parents worldwide abandoning the shot for measles, mumps and rubella, even though the study was later widely discredited…
The ruling in Britain only applies to his right to practice medicine in the U.K., not in other countries…
At least a dozen British medical associations including the Royal College of Physicians, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust have issued statements verifying the safety of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
"I hope this ruling will finally persuade the public and some misguided journalists that Dr. Wakefield behaved irresponsibly," said Dr. Jennifer Best, a virologist at King's College University in London. "(The measles) vaccine is a safe vaccine."
So parents the medical message is clear: Get your kids vaccinated. Or you may be responsible for the kind of outbreak that occurred in San Diego in 2008. That outbreak was sparked by an unvaccinated kid who brought back measles from Switzerland and infected 11 other kids, including a baby who was hospitalized for three days with a 106 degree fever.