Lancet Retracts Study Linking Autism and Vaccines

Filed under: In The News

Medical journal The Lancet has retracted the 1998 study linking autism and vaccines.

CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen spoke to anchor Betty Nguyen about the issue.

Cohen says that the 1998 study, which was conducted by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, "sort of started off this whole movement of saying that there was a link between autism and childhood vaccines, because that's what the study said. And people pointed to this study, over and over again, to show that there was a link. Well now, many years later, the Lancet is saying...oops, sorry, shouldn't have published that."

CNN quotes the editors of The Lancet as saying that "It has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al are incorrect ... Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record."

Cohen also said that "you also never see a medical journal" retract a study like this; the editors did not respond to CNN's request for comment, but "the editors [of The Lancet] basically said that the study wasn't done in a fully randomized way."

As for those who believe that there is link between vaccines and autism, Cohen quotes an unnamed source as saying that Lancet's retraction "doesn't matter" because "in the years since that study was published by Lancet, many other studies have come out showing that there's a link between autism and vaccines." She did not provide specifics.

Wakefield was recently called "unethical" by the United Kingdom's General Medical Council.

Watch the full video below.

Related: Panel Calls Anti-Vax Doc Unethical, Supporters Don't Care

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.