I’ve had an editorial published in The Pharmaceutical Journal attempting to tell the story of the MMR vaccine – autism story from beginning to end. It’s free to read for the next 30 days, and then will disappear behind a firewall. Here’s the part about Wakefield’s virological tests for measles virus:
The 1998 paper did not prove an association between autism and the MMR vaccine, it was concerned with a link between ASD and bowel inflammation. However, at the associated press conference, Wakefield announced he thought MMR should be split into separate vaccines and that he would not support “the continued use of these three vaccines given in combination until this issue has been resolved”.
Wakefield’s argument for the dangers of MMR vaccine rested on the “leaky gut syndrome”. After injection with the MMR vaccine, it was suggested that the measles vaccine virus (MVV) would lodge in the intestine, causing inflammation and allowing harmful neuroactive proteins to enter the bloodstream and the brain.
Wakefield’s 1998 paper had stated: “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.”
These virological studies were carried out by Nicholas Chadwick, a co-researcher with Wakefield. In US court testimony in 2007, Chadwick stated that he had tested all the samples from Wakefield’s ASD children and found no MVV present. Wakefield was made aware of this before the publication of the 1998 paper, but saw fit not to draw attention to this negative finding that undermined his hypothesis.
Despite, this and other findings, Wakefield remains a hero to some. His celebrity fans, Jim Carrey and his partner Jenny McCarthy are alleging the recent retraction of Wakefield’s paper is evidence of the censorship of science. Meanwhile the victims of Wakefield’s scare mount up, 1500 are involved in an outbreak of mumps in New York. The infection was carried to New York by an eleven-year-old boy returning from holiday.
His holiday location? Britain.