The notion that vaccines cause autism – one of the least informed and most damaging ideas prevalent in modern society – can be traced back to one essay written in 1998. Andrew Wakefield, a now-disgraced gastroenterologist credited with starting the anti-vaxx movement, published the paper along with 12 co-authors, who have since retracted their names from the research. Wakefield, however, continued to double-down on his assertions throughout the decades and continued to push his research that has since been proven inaccurate, dishonest, and fraudulent.
How anti-vaxx started is a sad enough tale, but the story of how it has continued to grow, despite all the evidence to the contrary, is even more distressing. Through the promotion of celebrity anti-vaxxers like Jenny McCarthy and her former husband, Jim Carrey, the movement against vaccinating children has exploded and is now having a demonstrable effect on the health of children. Wakefield's paper came out decades ago – and was debunked almost immediately – but countless parents and anti-vaxx proponents continue to disregard the scientific evidence demonstrating the benefits of vaccines.
Andrew Wakefield Carried A History Of Falsely Linking Vaccines To Illnesses
A Random Mother Of An Autistic Child Suggested The Idea To Wakefield
Wakefield's Paper Claimed Evidence That Linked The MMR Vaccine, Gastrointestinal Illness, And Autism
Wakefield Went To The Press Asking For An MMR Vaccine Ban
Wakefield's “Research” Involved Unnecessarily Invasive Procedures
No One Was Ever Able To Replicate His Results