The Sciences

Vaccine-Autism Coffin Has No More Room for Nails

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJan 6, 2011 7:57 PM

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Here's CNN doing some really impressive science and medical journalism--although notably, it's Anderson Cooper, not Sanjay Gupta. The occasion is still more debunking of the study that started it all--Andrew Wakefield's 1998 Lancet paper accusing the MMR vaccine of causing autism through a novel (and implausible) pathway. Now, the British Medical Journal is calling the work an outright "fraud" based upon a series of reports it is beginning to publish by investigative journalist Brian Deer. All the details can be found at those links, and you can evaluate them yourself--but at this point, I think it's fair to say that no open minded person who surveys the evidence can conclude anything but that vaccines are overwhelmingly safe and the real threat to public health are the activists, and tiny handful of scientists, who tried to convince us otherwise. (Not that they would, like, change their minds or anything.) And just in time for Seth Mnookin's and Paul Offit's newbooks--my review of which will be out very soon! Update: I was unfair to Sanjay Gupta, he did a tough interview with Wakefield too--not nearly as tough as Anderson Cooper, but still fairly tough.

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