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LETTER: Wakefield's vaccines research discredited

August 28th, 2016 10:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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SIR – It is clear that Theresa Heaney is a fervent supporter of Andrew Wakefield’s career; sadly, that career threatens to undermine the health and safety of millions of children around the world in his quest to destroy the reputation of life-saving vaccines.

The return to ignorance and oppression I referred to in my previous letter was an attempt to imagine a world before vaccines, back to the bad old days where epidemics of Polio, Measles, Small Pox, Diphtheria, etc, swept through communities, killing and maiming, sweeping away the young and the vulnerable while the ‘natural’ potions and herbs concocted by various shamans and naturopaths were as effective as a Death Kiss. 

Science and vaccines work and have saved billions of lives. 

Andrew Wakefield knows better of course, the man who made a fortune from a health scare scam which to this day still threatens the safety of our children.

A man who was paid more than £400,000 by lawyers trying to prove that MMR vaccine was unsafe. According to the figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, Wakefield was paid £435,643 in fees, plus £3,910 expenses. Wakefield’s work for the lawyers began two years before he published his now notorious report in The Lancet medical journal in February 1998, proposing a link between the vaccine and autism.

Later, The Lancet retracted Wakefield’s claim and apologised after a Sunday Times investigation showed that his research had been backed with £55,000 from lawyers, and that the children in the study used as evidence against the vaccine were also claimants in the lawsuit.

At the time, Wakefield denied any conflict of interest and said that the money went to his hospital, not to him personally. No disclosure was made, however, of the vastly greater sums that he was receiving directly from the lawyers.

Of course some people like to believe in fallacy and, to them, Wakefield is an honest man, but is a man who made the Vaxxed film, which he produces and stars in. An outright fear-inducing propaganda film where children chant ‘Vaccines cause autism.’ Worse still is the Vaxxed tour Q&A at cinemas across America where Wakefield, Tommey and Bigtree (all stars and producers of the film) have repeatedly made similar statements. 

I have seen the movie, and anyone who wishes to can see it online. However, I stand by my assertion that it is dangerous; it is a piece of propaganda that should not be given the respect of a cinema showing, rather leave it where it belongs in the mire of the conspiracy web underworld. 

Tim O’Leary,

Autistic Rights Together,

Drimoleague.

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