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Lancet Retracts its study on the Vaccine-Autism Link

Feb 5th 2010
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In 1998, the prestigious medical journal, Lancet, published a study which first suggested a link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. This week, it retracts its claim.

A number of studies since has tried to disprove the vaccine-autism link, but concerns have persisted among consumers and broadened to other vaccines as well.

The retraction came after the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council’s ruling last week that the researchers acted dishonestly and unethically, including carrying out unnecessary invasive tests on children and being paid by lawyers of parents who thought their children had been harmed by the vaccine. In fact, 10 of the 13 authors partially retracted the paper in 2004, but there were reportedly not enough evidence to fully retract the paper.

Usually, a study just fades into oblivion if it cannot be reproduced. But this study has a strong staying power, thus, a formal retraction from Lancet can hopefully send out a strong message that there isn’t anything to this study.

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