Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wakefield strike two

I wrote earlier this week about the latest hurt put on Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Today another shoe dropped:
The truly ironic thing about the Wakefield affair is that, when it all comes down to it, it appears to have been largely about the money right from the very beginning. There might have been some genuine scientific curiosity early on, but it's obvious that it was rapidly corrupted by Richard Barr and then by the lure of making lots of money selling tests whose results would fuel Barr's lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers. From very early on, Wakefield showed an entrepreneur's aggressiveness in pursuing deals to make money off of his fraudulent research...  Meanwhile, his defenders have been deploying and will continue to deploy the pharma shill gambit against those who criticize Wakefield for his fraudulent research and his stoking the fires of an anti-vaccine scare that has done real harm in the U.K. by leading to a massive resurgence in measles cases. To them, it's all a conspiracy by big pharma and the government to "suppress" Wakefield's "truth" and protect their profits. That Wakefield was in it for the money doesn't affect their world view on bit. He's still their patron saint.
Respectful Insolence

Not surprisingly, spokesmodel Jenny McCarthy came roaring to his defense at that den of woo, HuffPo.

I'm a bit fuzzy today and my memory has failed me. I read somewhere (I can't recover the link) that only four (or so) of the twelve children in Wakefield's "study" developed signs of autism after being vaccinated. The rest showed signs before being vaccinated or were never diagnosed as autistic at all. Statistical bankruptcy. All attempts to replicate Wakefield's results have failed. And it's been over twelve years.

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