Twenty years after his discredited paper linked autism to the MMR jab, the doctor – who was struck off the medical register in the UK – has become a leading light in the US and frighteningly influential worldwide
There cannot be many doctors as thoroughly discredited and ostracised as Andrew Wakefield has been in the UK who are subsequently seen smiling at the inauguration ball of a US president and later discovered to be dating the Australian model Elle Macpherson.
But there he is. Wakefield was all but drummed out of Britain. The gastroenterologist lost his job, had his scientific paper linking the MMR vaccine and autism retracted by medical journal the Lancet and, in 2010, was struck off the medical register. He disappeared to the US and it was assumed he had gone to ground, having lost all credibility. He was a spent force, even though his name was often in the air as the anti-MMR views he seeded around the world led to many parents shunning the vaccine and outbreaks of measles wherever anyone had heard Wakefield’s creed.
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