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Do Vaccines Cause Autism?

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  • Do Vaccines Cause Autism? 1 of 12

         February 1998: Lancet Publishes Andrew Wakefield's Autism Study

    Lancet Publishes Andrew Wakefield's Autism Study

    The respected medical journal publishes British gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield's study suggesting the MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) vaccine caused autism in 8 children out of a sample group of 12. Despite other scientists' inability to replicate the findings, the story — and the fear it inspires in parents — spreads.
  • Do Vaccines Cause Autism? 2 of 12

         November 2007: Jenny McCarthy Claims Vaccines Cause Autism

    Jenny McCarthy Claims Vaccines Cause Autism Jenny McCarthy, mother of a young autistic son, claims toxins in vaccines cause autism. She later clarifies in a Cookie magazine interview that she believes vaccinations can be beneficial for some kids, but are dangerous for others. McCarthy becomes one of the most outspoken advocates for delaying vaccinations, “green vaccines,” and for a diary- and gluten-free diet, which she claims cured her son’s autism. 

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  • Do Vaccines Cause Autism? 3 of 12

         May 2009: Mom Tells State, "Don't Make Me Vaccinate"

    Mom Tells State, West Virginia, one of only two U.S. states that won't allow parents to use religion as an excuse to avoid vaccinating their kids, faces a lawsuit from a mom who says she doesn't want her 6-year-old daughter to receive the shots. Jennifer Workman says it's a "sacrilege" to expect her to vaccinate her daughter.

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  • Do Vaccines Cause Autism? 4 of 12

         February 2010: Lancet Retracts Autism-MMR Link Research

    Lancet Retracts Autism-MMR Link Research The Lancet retracts its publication of Andrew Wakefied’s 1998 study, announcing that the study's author acted unethically in compiling his “evidence,” which claimed children administered the MMR vaccine began showing symptoms characteristic of the autism spectrum within days of getting the shot.

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  • Do Vaccines Cause Autism? 5 of 12

         February 2010: Jenny McCarthy Cries "Censorship"

    Jenny McCarthy Cries After the Lancet repudiated Wakefield’s controversial study linking autism to vaccines, many in the scientific community breathed a sigh of relief, but some people stood by Wakefield and his controversial research, including Jenny McCarthy, who called the retraction "censorship." McCarthy continues to speak out about the role she believes vaccines play in autism, and she’s now only one of the many celebrities on the anti-vaccine bandwagon.

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  • Do Vaccines Cause Autism? 6 of 12

         March 2010: A Quarter of Parents Still Believe Vaccine-Autism Link

    A Quarter of Parents Still Believe Vaccine-Autism Link Despite the Lancet retraction, a University of Michigan study shows that 25% of American parents still believe vaccinations and autism are related. Interestingly, the research also shows that 9 out of 10 parents are getting their kids vaccinated, meaning even those who believe in the link are still getting their children immunized.

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  • Do Vaccines Cause Autism? 7 of 12

         March 2010: Federal Court Rules No Link Between Vaccines and Autism

    QFederal Court Rules No Link Between Vaccines and Autism In a case brought by three couples alleging that thimerosal, a mercury derivative once commonly used as a vaccine preservative, caused their children’s autism, the Special Masters of the Court of Federal Claims concludes that the families failed to meet the burden of proof. Some activists claim, “The deck is stacked against families in Vaccine Court” In August 2010, a U.S. Court of Appeals upholds the decision.

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  • Do Vaccines Cause Autism? 8 of 12

         May 2010: Andrew Wakefield Loses Medical License

    Andrew Wakefield Loses Medical License Twelve years after the Lancet published his now-discredited study, Wakefield loses his license to practice medicine in Britain, because his research violated ethics rules about the treatment of children as research subjects. He’s also accused of hiding financial conflicts of interest involving lawyers interested in suing vaccine manufacturers. Wakefield calls the revoke of his license "a little bump in the road" and tells a small cheering crowd he will remain a prominent activist of the anti-vaccine movement and research the issue in the U.S.

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  • Do Vaccines Cause Autism? 9 of 12

         November 2010: Vaccination Rate Drops Among Affluent Families

    Vaccination Rate Drops Among Affluent Families Middle-class and upper-class families typically have better access to health care than those in lower income brackets, yet a new report shows a sharp drop in the vaccination rate among privately insured kids. Doctors involved in the report said the star power behind the anti-vaccine movement may be to blame.

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  • Do Vaccines Cause Autism? 10 of 12

         January 2011: Andrew Wakefield's Research Declared Not Just Bad Science, Deliberate Fraud

    Andrew Wakefield's Research Declared Not Just Bad Science, Deliberate Fraud The British Medical Journal reports that Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 MMR-autism study was not just erroneous but actually part of “an elaborate fraud.” He was apparently being paid by a law firm that intended to sue vaccine manufacturers, and of the 12 children included in the study, 5 had symptoms of developmental delays before they received the vaccine.

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  • Do Vaccines Cause Autism? 11 of 12

         March 2011: The Debate Re-opens?

    New Research Re-opens the Debate The Journal of Immunotoxicology publishes Helen Ratajczak's review of all medical studies of autism since 1943. Ratajczak theorizes that autism might be caused by a vaccine ingredient researchers haven’t focused on before: human DNA. The national media pick up the story, but the Center for Disease Control doesn't bite.

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  • Do Vaccines Cause Autism? 12 of 12

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