Opednews Policy on Vaccinations, Autism, and Disease Prevention
In 1998 Dr. Andrew Wakefield published a short paper in the British medical journal The Lancet on a small study in 12 children linking the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to colitis (bowel inflammation), and subsequent development of autism.
From the beginning the research was questioned not only for the small sample size of only 12 children, but for the very uncertain links to autism. Later it was revealed that Dr. Wakefield was working on an alternative measles vaccine raising issues of conflict of interest. Eventually, based on an exhaustive re-analysis of Wakefield's data it was determined that the stated conclusions of the study were invalid, and The Lancet retracted the paper.
Wikipedia summary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield
OEN has published a number of articles on links between autism and vaccinations that relied on the Wakefield paper, which has now been discredited. In addition, OEN has published articles that have made other claims about vaccines and vaccinations that are not supported in any way by the scientific literature, including claims that the H1N1 swine flu was manufactured to create a pandemic for the purpose of reaping large profits on the vaccines. The scientific literature clearly indicates that variants of the H1N1 virus have been in the human and domestic pig populations for decades, and that the recent swine flu virus acquired new genes in the context of large scale, industrial pig farming before being passed on to humans.
OEN has a very open policy for publishing articles on topics that are often overlooked by the mainstream media. Over the last several years OEN has published a number of articles calling into question the safety of modern vaccinations against various diseases. In light of new revelations concerning the fraudulent behavior of Andrew Wakefield with regard to the MMR vaccine and links to autism, OEN publicly disclaims any validity to allegations against MMR vaccinations, and other standard childhood vaccinations for serious and deadly diseases.
Vaccinations against diseases like polio, smallpox and measles have prevented hundreds of millions of illnesses and deaths, and in the case of smallpox have literally eradicated the disease from the human population. The evidence for the efficacy of vaccinations is overwhelming, and the incidences of serious side effects are rare when compared with the number of people vaccinated around the world each year.
OEN will no longer publish articles that call for avoiding important childhood vaccinations, including MMR, smallpox and polio. This is a topic that every person should discuss with their doctor, rather than making the decision based on articles posted on the internet. OEN welcomes articles that bring to light new information on drug safety (or lack thereof) as evidence becomes available, but we will not pursue the discredited links between MMR vaccinations and autism.
Recent research has implicated an auto-immune component to the development of autism, and exciting work is indicating that modulating immune system activity may be a promising avenue of treatment.