Monday, July 15, 2024


“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”

— William Wilberforce


Combination Vaccines and Febrile Seizures: Should Parents be Concerned?

mother rubbing daughter's head

The childhood immunization schedule recommended by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calls for 50 doses of 14 vaccines by a child’s 6th birthday.1 These vaccines are delivered in a series of shots, some of which are multiple vaccines combined into one injection.

In the U.S., there is an ongoing trend to increase the number of recommended vaccines on the CDC childhood immunization schedule as well as to increase manufacturing of combination vaccines.

In fact, the FDA just approved a new hexavalent (6:1) combination vaccine manufactured in partnership between Sanofi Pasteur and Merck for children between 6 weeks and 4 years of age. This combination vaccine includes diptheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis and invasive haemophilus influenza type B. but will still require an additional DTaP vaccine to complete the series.

While the CDC suggests that combination vaccines are safe, research shows there are more adverse events, such as febrile seizures, with combination vaccines than there are for single vaccines. Studies have demonstrated that the MMR, vaccine which combines the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccines, increases the risk of febrile seizures and encephalopathy.

Research published1 in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed a significantly elevated risk of febrile seizures 8 to 14 days after administration of the MMR vaccine. This study also showed an increased risk of febrile seizures on the same day the DTP (combined diptheria-tetanus-pertussis) is administered.

The adverse events associated with the DTP eventually lead to the more recent manufacturing of the “safer” DTaP, which contains acellular pertussis as opposed to whole-cell pertussis. However, the MMR has not been modified to improve its safety. In fact, it has been combined further with additional antigens which have increased the risk of febrile seizures, two-fold.

According to the CDC,2 pre-licensing data obtained from the Vaccine Safety Datalink, reveals the MMRV vaccine, developed by Merck to combine the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine with Varicella, shows recipients were twice as likely to have febrile seizures than those injected with the MMR and Varicella vaccines separately.

Another study3 conducted in Denmark published in the Journal of American Medical Associationdemonstrated that the 5 valent DTaP-IPV-HIB vaccine (A combined shot of diptheria-tetanus-pertussis-inactivated polio and haemophilus influenzae B) has been linked with increased febrile seizures.

Although the study authors claim the risk is small, in some cases the incidence of seizures increased as much as 6-fold the children receiving one 5-valent vaccine.

The Problem with Febrile Seizures

Febrile seizures can occur when a child between the ages of 6 months to 5 years develops a temperature, usually over 100.4, and is typically triggered within the first 24 hours of a cold or virus. Medical experts will tell you that most febrile seizures are benign. However, this statement is a matter of semantics.

Febrile seizures are classified as simple or complex. Simple febrile seizures are generalized, occur on both sides of the body, and are brief, lasting from a couple of seconds to 10 minutes. Children who have one febrile seizure have a 30-50 percent risk of having additional febrile seizures. A small percentage of children who have simple febrile seizure can later develop epilepsy.

Complex febrile seizures are focal, occurring on one side of the body indicating the seizure is localized to one part of the brain. They are prolonged, lasting more than 10 minutes and can occur more than once during a febrile illness.

According to the National Institutes of Health,4 children who have prolonged febrile seizures lasting more than 30 minutes have as high as a 30-40 percent  risk of developing epilepsy.

Epilepsy is associated with neuropsychiatric disorders including ADHD and autism. In fact, a recent prospective study5 confirms that both childhood epilepsy and febrile seizures are strongly associated with subsequent ADHD. The authors report “children with febrile seizures had a 30 percent increased risk of ADHD. Our sensitivity analyses showed that the association was not explained by cerebral traumas, congenital malformations, or by birth complications.”

Children who have febrile seizures are also at risk of injury4 by falling or choking on food or saliva. They are frightening to watch and cause traumatic experiences for families.  In fact, most parents who have observed their child having a febrile seizure thought they were going to die.

The message here; febrile seizures are not benign.

Febrile Seizures and Vaccines

A disorder referred to as “vaccine encephalopathy,”6 where an infant experiences sudden onset of seizures and encephalopathy following a vaccine, resulted in significant lawsuits with large monetary payouts in compensation for the damage.

According to the authors of Trends in encephalitis-associated deaths in the United States,7 “Vaccine-preventable diseases and immunizations with certain vaccines were once among major causes of encephalitis.” The discontinuation of vaccines associated with neurological complications, including the smallpox vaccine and older rabies vaccines, had led to a decrease in encephalitis cases prior to the study period.

The authors further explain that the expansion of the infant immunization schedule in the 1990’s reduced vaccine preventable causes of encephalitis mortality to the minimum levels observed in their study. However, of particular interest, is that most encephalitis-associated deaths were attributed to an unknown cause.

During the time period from 1979-1988, the percentage of encephalitis deaths from an unknown cause was 81.5 percent, however, during the time period 1989-1998, it increased to 86.2 percent.

Another study8 conducted in 2017 looked at a 30-year trend in encephalitis in children and shows an increase of encephalitis between 1995 and 2011 with unclear causes. The researchers suggest this warrants further investigation.

While the CDC has admitted that immunizations with certain vaccines were once a major cause of encephalitis, they continue to recommend combination vaccines even when the research points to a marked increase of febrile seizures without an understanding as to mechanism causing the seizures.

Knowing the MMRV has a two-fold increase in the rate of febrile seizures after the first dose of the vaccine as compared to the MMR vaccine and Varicella vaccine given separately, it remains on the CDC’s list of recommended vaccines.

What Are the Options?

The greatest risk of febrile seizures, according to the CDC, is between 14-18 months regardless of vaccination—why then would the CDC recommend vaccinating with combination vaccines which further increase the risk of seizures in that age range?

Currently, the MMR and Varicella vaccines are available as two separate shots without being combined as the MMRV. The DTaP, IPV, Hep B, and HIB vaccines are also available as separate shots without being combined as a hexavalent shot. Research confirms these are the safer options.

With vaccine hesitancy on the rise, it is no wonder that parents are keen to look beyond the CDC for help guiding their decision making when it comes to vaccinating their children.

Note: This article was reprinted with the author’s permission. It was originally published by Focus for Health. Sheri A. Marino MA, CCC-SLP is a pediatric speech and language pathologist and Director of Pediatric Health Initiatives for the Focus for Health Foundation.


1 Barlow WE, Davis RL, Glasser JW, Rhodes PH, Thompson RS, Mullooly JP, Black SB, Shinefield HR, Ward JI, Marcy SM, DeStefano F, Chen RT, Immanuel V, Pearson JA, Vadheim CM, Rebolledo V, Christakis D, Benson PJ, Lewis N; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vaccine Safety Datalink Working Group.  The risk of seizures after receipt of whole-cell pertussis or measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. N Engl J Med Aug. 30. 2001; 345(9): 656-61.
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMRV Vaccine Safety Studies.
3 Sun Y, Christensen J, Hviid A, Li J, Vedsted P, Olsen J, Vestergaard M. Risk of febrile seizures and epilepsy after vaccination with diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis, inactivated poliovirus, and Haemophilus influenzae type B. JAMA Feb. 22, 2012; 307(8): 823-31.
4 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Febrile Seizures Fact Sheet.
Bertelsen EN, Larsen JT, Petersen L, Christensen J, Dalsgaard S. Childhood Epilepsy, Febrile Seizures, and Subsequent Risk of ADHD. Pediatrics August 2016; 138(2).
6 Cendes F, Sankar R. Vaccinations and febrile seizures. Epilepsia May 2011; 52 Suppl 3: 23-5. 
7 Khetsuriani N, Holman RC, Lamonte-Fowlkes AC, Selik RM, Anderson LJ. Trends in encephalitis-associated deaths in the United States. Epidemiol Infect May 2007; 135(4): 583–591.
8 Iro MA, Sadarangani M, Goldacre R, Nickless A, Pollard AJ, Goldacre MJ. 30-year trends in admission rates for encephalitis in children in England and effect of improved diagnostics and measles-mumps-rubella vaccination: a population-based observational study. Lancet Infect Dis April 2017; 17(4): 422-430.

10 Responses

  1. So the combo vaccine that has a horrible track record in others countries is coming to America in a new form. There are dozens of studies that stop yea shy of saying this vaccine causes SIDS. In fact GSK knows how dangerous it is and despite it being the new and improved version, it’s still dangerous. Info on the old version:

    Confidential To Regulatory Authorities – Biological Clinical Safety and Pharmacovgilance – GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development Avenue Fleming 20 1300 Wavre
    A confidential GlaxoSmithKline document recently leaked to the press exposed that within a two-year period, a total of 36 infants died after receiving the 6-in-1 vaccine, Infanrix Hexa. [1] According to the website Initiative Citoyenne [2] who reported the news, the 1271 page document revealed that GlaxoSmithKline received a total of 1,742 reports of adverse reactions between October 23, 2009, and October 22, 2011, including 503 serious adverse reactions and 36 deaths. Initiative Citoyenne stated:

    It’s not that 14 deaths were recorded by GSK between October 2009 and end in October 2011 as we had originally calculated but 36 (14 from 2010 to 2011 and 22 from 2009 to 2010). In addition to these 36 deaths at least 37 other deaths (sudden death mainly), bringing the total to at least 73 deaths since the launch of the vaccine in 2000, and again, this concerns only the death by sudden death, no further recovery of under-reporting.”
    Using the figure of 36 deaths over a two-year period, this averages 1.5 deaths per month, which by anyone’s standard is extremely high. Note that only 1 to 10% of adverse reactions to vaccines are actually reported. Therefore the problem could potentially be far more serious and the actual number of fatalities much higher.

    Considering vaccine makers have no liability and are only beholden to their stockholders, why would they make an improved version? What’s the incentive other than to minimize the many studies done on the current version linking it to SIDS. Nothing brings in the big bucks like a combo shot.
    Seizures: Merck Manual states this about seizures: Febrile seizures are seizures triggered by a fever. A seizure is an abnormal, unregulated electrical discharge of nerve cells in the brain or part of the brain. This abnormal discharge can alter awareness or cause abnormal sensations, involuntary movements, or convulsions. Convulsions are violent, involuntary, rhythmic contractions of the muscles that affect a large part of the body.
    Febrile seizures may be simple or complex: Simple: The entire body shakes (called a generalized seizure) for less than 15 minutes. Over 90% of febrile seizures are simple. Complex: The entire body shakes for 15 minutes or more (constantly or with pauses), only one side or one part of the body shakes (called a partial seizure), or seizures occur at least twice within 24 hours. Children who have complex febrile seizures are slightly more likely to develop a seizure disorder later during childhood.

    According to the Mayo Clinic a fever is the first sign of an infection. So a child is vaccinated, the vaccine causes a FEVER which according to the Mayo Clinic is the first sign of an infection. The question to ask is has bacteria or a virus crossed the blood brain barrier which aluminum is know to do and caused not only a fever but also a seizure. Even though the IDMC say that seizures are common and most likely simple-most children have 1 or 2 after vaccination-how do they know that the virus hasn’t gotten to the brain? Studies have reported measles virus in the brains of autistic children as well as Alzheimer’s patients. How can they really think that seizures are nothing to worry about?

    Measles virus is found in boy’s brain after MMR
    Detection of Measles Virus mRNA from Autopsied Human Tissues

    Measles inclusion-body encephalitis caused by the vaccine strain of measles virus.

    Vaccine viruses and adjuvants cross the blood brain barrier and there are documented studies on Measles that I listed. Febrile Seizures are caused by the brain being attacked by toxins. Seizures are not normal and never should be considered common or nothing to worry about. When HHS and the FDA produce some long term studies done by Independent researchers that have followed children who have had febrile seizures after getting a vaccine and it shows there are no long term affects, than I’ll stop worrying.

  2. It’s important to understand why many folks suspect combination vaccines are a problem. It all started in 1998, whn Andrew Wakefield and 12 of his colleagues[1] published a case series in the Lancet, which suggested that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine may predispose to behavioral regression and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Despite the small sample size (n=12), the uncontrolled design, and the speculative nature of the conclusions, the paper received wide publicity, and MMR vaccination rates began to drop because parents were concerned about the risk of autism after vaccination.[2]

    Almost immediately afterward, epidemiological studies were conducted and published, refuting the posited link between MMR vaccination and autism.[3,4] The logic that the MMR vaccine may trigger autism was also questioned because a temporal link between the two is almost predestined: both events, by design (MMR vaccine) or definition (autism), occur in early childhood.

    The next episode in the saga was a short retraction of the interpretation of the original data by 10 of the 12 co-authors of the paper. According to the retraction, “no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient”.[5] This was accompanied by an admission by the Lancet that Wakefield et al.[1] had failed to disclose financial interests (e.g., Wakefield had been funded by lawyers who had been engaged by parents in lawsuits against vaccine-producing companies). However, the Lancet exonerated Wakefield and his colleagues from charges of ethical violations and scientific misconduct.[6]

    The Lancet completely retracted the Wakefield et al.[1] paper in February 2010, admitting that several elements in the paper were incorrect, contrary to the findings of the earlier investigation.[7] Wakefield et al.[1] were held guilty of ethical violations (they had conducted invasive investigations on the children without obtaining the necessary ethical clearances) and scientific misrepresentation (they reported that their sampling was consecutive when, in fact, it was selective). This retraction was published as a small, anonymous paragraph in the journal, on behalf of the editors.[8]

    The final episode in the saga is the revelation that Wakefield et al.[1] were guilty of deliberate fraud (they picked and chose data that suited their case; they falsified facts).[9] The British Medical Journal has published a series of articles on the exposure of the fraud, which appears to have taken place for financial gain.[10–13] It is a matter of concern that the exposé was a result of journalistic investigation, rather than academic vigilance followed by the institution of corrective measures. Readers may be interested to learn that the journalist on the Wakefield case, Brian Deer, had earlier reported on the false implication of thiomersal (in vaccines) in the etiology of autism.[14] However, Deer had not played an investigative role in that report.[14]

    1. Wakefield AJ, Murch SH, Anthony A, Linnell J, Casson DM, Malik M, et al. Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Lancet. 1998;351:637–41. [PubMed]
    2. DeStefano F, Chen RT. Negative association between MMR and autism. Lancet. 1999;353:1987–8. [PubMed]
    3. Taylor B, Miller E, Farrington CP, Petropoulos MC, Favot-Mayaud I, Li J, et al. Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: No epidemiologic evidence for a causal association. Lancet. 1999;353:2026–9. [PubMed]
    4. Dales L, Hammer SJ, Smith NJ. Time trends in autism and in MMR immunization coverage in California. JAMA. 2001;285:1183–5. [PubMed]
    5. Murch SH, Anthony A, Casson DH, Malik M, Berelowitz M, Dhillon AP, et al. Retraction of an interpretation. Lancet. 2004;363:750. [PubMed]
    6. Horton R. A statement by the editors of The Lancet. Lancet. 2004;363:820–1. [PubMed]
    7. Eggertson L. Lancet retracts 12-year-old article linking autism to MMR vaccines. CMAJ. 2010;182:E199–200. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
    8. Anonymous. Retraction-Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, nonspecific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Lancet. 2010;375:445. [PubMed]
    9. Godlee F. The fraud behind the MMR scare. BMJ. 2011;342:d22.
    10. Deer B. Wakefield’s “autistic enterocolitis” under the microscope. BMJ. 2010;340:c1127. [PubMed]
    11. Deer B. How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed. BMJ. 2011;342:c5347. [PubMed]
    12. Deer B. Secrets of the MMR scare.How the vaccine crisis was meant to make money. BMJ. 2011;342:c5258. [PubMed]
    13. Deer B. Secrets of the MMR scare. The Lancet’s two days to bury bad news. BMJ. 2011;342:c7001. [PubMed]
    14. Deer B. Autism research: What makes an expert? BMJ. 2007;334:666–7. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
    Links : click my nam.

  3. Most definitely parents should be concerned, as the title of this article states. I knew of this connection between vaccines and febrile seizures in the early 70’s as I watched my younger sister have seizures/go into convulsions EVERY SINGLE TIME she was immunized. Then, as now, doctors quickly dismissed the notion that her reactions had anything to do with the vaccines administered to her. It’s absolutely criminal.

  4. They can occur as often as the blood sugar drops to a dangerous level. After having one diabetic seizure, there is a 30% chance of having another one in the next three years, and up to a 50% chance of having another one in your lifetime. This is because the threshold has decreased.

  5. George Orwell
    It wasn’t a study it was a cohort report that included 13 researchers including Wakefield. This is the conclusion of the report:
    And here are the major conclusions of the Wakefield paper that are being retracted, although their accuracy has not been disputed:

    And here are the major conclusions of the Wakefield paper that are being retracted, although their accuracy has not been disputed:

    Wakefield AJ, Murch SH, Anthony A, et al. Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Lancet 1998; 351: 637-641.

    We did not prove an association between measles mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described. Virological studies are underway that may help to resolvet his issue.

    If there is a causal link between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and this syndrome, a rising incidence might be anticipated after the introduction of this vaccine in the UK in 1988. Published evidence is inadequate tom show whether there is a change in incidence or a link with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. A genetic predisposition to autistic-spectrum disorders is suggested
    by over-representation in boys and a greater concordance rate in monozygotic than in dizygotic twins…

    We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps, and rubella immunisation. Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine.

    The accuracy of the paper has never been disputed and it stunning evidence of character assassination because the study was published in 1998 yet the issue didn’t evolve until 2010. It took 12 years for Lancet to discover the lack of IRB approval. Sounds fishy.

    Fiona Godlee stated the conclusion of the report is not disputed but the so called issue is basically paperwork which the British High Court adjudicated that it wasn’t necessary. This comes from the lawsuit Professor Walker-Smith filed as one of the cohorts.

    This is what occurred in 2012 that the MSM never reported;
    Professor Walker-Smith was completely exonerated following his High Court Appeal in 2012. Judge Lord Justice Mitting took less than four days to demolish the panel’s ‘inadequate and superficial’ handling of it. Dr Wakefield, by then effectively banished, from the UK, could not afford the costs involved in an appeal, and Prof Murch, who was permitted to keep his medical license, remains in a guilty but ‘admonished’ limbo. Professor Walker-Smith legal expenses were covered by an insurance policy. Dr. Wakefield had lost his coverage by than however the information and evidence that exonerated Dr. Professor Walker Smith would be the same evidence Dr. Wakefield would utilize. It’s the same study and Dr. Walker Smith was the actual data gather.

    Document is quite long so the salient points are here but I don’t want to be accused of cherry picking so go to the site and read it.

    *England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court)
    Decision Between: PROFESSOR JOHN WALKER-SMITH Appellant- and – GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL- Respondent.
    (instructed by EASTWOODS SOLICITORS) for the Appellant MISS JOANNA GLYNN QC AND MR CHRISTOPHER MELLOR (instructed by FIELD FISHER WATERHOUSE LLP) for the Respondent
    Hearing dates: 13th. 14th, 15th, 16th & 17th February 2012

    “But following the successful appeal of the paper’s senior clinical investigator – John Walker-Smith – THE GMC FINDINGS THAT SERVED AS THE BASIS FOR LANCET RETRACTION HAVE SINCE BEEN OVERTURNED.

    With regard to the GMC’s false claims that the patients in the paper were not “consecutively referred”:

    “157. …Thus construed, this paper does not bear the meaning put upon it by the [GMC] panel. The phrase “consecutively referred” means no more than that the children were referred successively, rather than as a single batch, to the Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology.”
    With regard to the GMC’s false claims that the patients in the paper were not “consecutively referred”:

    “157. …Thus construed, this paper does not bear the meaning put upon it by the [GMC] panel. The phrase “consecutively referred” means no more than that the children were referred successively, rather than as a single batch, to the Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology.”

    Similarly, the GMC’s rulings that the children in the Lancet paper were subjects of a research project that did not gain ethical approval ALSO PROVED UNFOUNDED:

    “158. …The [GMC] panel’s finding that the description of the patient population in the Lancet paper was misleading would only have been justified if its primary finding that all of the Lancet children were referred for the purposes of research as part of Project 172-96 is sustainable. Because, for the reasons which I have given, it was not, this aspect of its findings MUST ALSO FALL.”

    The judge found only one misleading statement in the paper, but it was not because investigations undertaken were unethical experiments described as gaining ethical approval in the paper according to the now-overturned findings on which the paper’s retraction was based. On the contrary, it was because investigations in the paper were described as being ethically approved when most were clinically indicated and required no such approval, although a few investigations were ethically approved. This may require an erratum, but it does not justify keeping the paper fully retracted.

    Plain English——-The paper did not have ethical approval and consent, and *****did not need it***** because it was simply a review of patient data (which was what was on the tin). The procedures needed ethical approval and consent and had them.

    So what does this mean? The retraction of a very important paper was done on the basis of paperwork protocols not being followed?

    Wakefield was target for elimination because he did the unimaginable for a Doctor who works for an industry that profits mega enormously from the sale of vaccines and one company in particular.

    He suggested that until further research is completed and analyzed that the MMR-Measles, Mumps and Rubella combo shot BE SEPARATED INTO 3 SEPARATE VACCINES.

    Separating the MMR would be financially devastating for MERCK. They hold the exclusive world wide patent for the MMR. They are exclusive-especially the Mumps portion-they are the only makers of it. If that patent is dissolved and other companies can make the MMR or any one of them separately-Merck would lose billions. They are not about to let that happen so Wakefield had to be shut down. This isn’t Merck’s first time in “handling” doctors. Read this when Vioxx was exposed by Merck researchers:
    Drug Giant Merck – “Destroy” Critical Doctors “Where They Live”:

    By the guidelines of the Lancet and the fact that another study was posted shortly after the Wakefield cohort report stated the same thing, the paper should have been restored. This report was posted in 1998:

    Pediatrics. 1998 Mar;101(3 Pt 1):383-7.

    Acute encephalopathy followed by permanent brain injury or death associated with further attenuated measles vaccines: a review of claims submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
    CONCLUSIONS: This clustering suggests that a causal relationship between measles vaccine and encephalopathy may exist as a rare complication of measles immunization.

    Pharma didn’t say a word about the above paper and journals still have it posted.

    The Wakefield cohort paper was published: February 28, 1998.
    It was considered in its day, the exemplar of research on vaccine safety problems-until Wakefield recommended separating the MMR.

  6. Most of redpill’s claims will not survive a fact check. Starting with the claim in the first sentence that I misidentified the work as a ‘study’ – I didn’t even use the word ‘study’. Straw man attack*.
    And it’s downhill from there. None of my claims, for which I provide proper citations, are refuted. More of the same.
    *an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent’s real argument.

  7. George Orwell
    You’re welcome to present your real argument. Something you have not bothered to do.

    Please provide independent information and not from the BMJ or that entire Brian Deer episode generated by the media on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry which was a set up from day one.

    Age of Autism journalist have done extensive investigative research over the years in regards to the Wakefield matter. Below are a few links with specific information. For those who want an unbiased unpaid for analysis. Please read the links below and follow other links.

    John Stone has written about both Murdoch and Davis and their proximity to the Dr. Andrew Wakefield MMR Lancet Paper BMJ topic.

    -Time To Revisit Deer’s Claims That Wakefield Fabricated His Findings

    This is where Brian Deer, the journalist who made the claim that Dr. Wakefield committed fraud originally (considering he should legally never had access to the records he did-how did that happen?) has to say today:

    “Who Can Say?” — Journalist Who Alleged Wakefield Committed Fraud Backs Off Key Claim-

    Brian Deer, the British journalist who claimed researcher Andrew Wakefield committed fraud by linking the MMR vaccine to autism, now admits one of his key allegations against Wakefield may be flat-out wrong. Yet he insists it’s no big deal — that it does nothing to undercut his claim that Wakefield is “an elaborate fraud.”

    “Not one of the children were reported on truthfully. Wakefield lied again and again,” journalist Brian Deer said in his post on Saturday, referring to Wakefield 12-child case series published in the Lancet in 1998. But in the same post, Deer acknowledged that, contrary to his previous reporting, he is now unsure whether Wakefield falsely changed the timing of the MMR shot to put it before the autism symptoms began in a key case.

    “Who can say?” Deer wrote Saturday.

    The allegation that Wakefield reversed the timing of the shot — clear evidence of fraud, if true — was featured in detail as the shocking opening to Deer’s 2012 series in the British Medical Journal titled “How the Case Against the MMR Was Fixed.”

    Child 11’s autism symptoms developed “two months earlier than reported in the Lancet, and a month before the boy had MMR,” Deer reported, “too soon” to be the cause. That “must have been a disappointment” to Wakefield, who proceeded to switch the sequence to suit his bias, Deer wrote. The father angrily “spotted the anomaly” after Deer identified and interviewed him, but “needn’t have worried” that Wakefield would get away with it: “My investigation of the MMR issue exposed the frauds behind Wakefield’s research.”

    But on Saturday, after I showed that Deer is the one who got the sequence wrong – that the shot indisputably did come first, followed by the development of regressive autism — Deer wrote: “Who can say, years later?” In fact, I can say: The father, whom I also identified and interviewed, wrote Wakefield as early as 1997, and contemporaneous medical records establish, that the child got the MMR at 15 months, became sick for several months, developed autism symptoms by 18 months, and was given a formal autism diagnosis at age 3. The father has always said he believes the shot caused all those consequences — none of which Deer managed to reflect in his own investigation despite interviewing and e-mailing with Father 11 over an extended period of time.

    The fact that a core element of his claim of research fraud is now a matter of uncertainty to Deer, the only man who made it, is a remarkable development under any circumstance, but considering the impact the claim has had on the autism debate in subsequent years, it is extraordinary. The claim has been used by officials around the world to say concerns about autism and vaccines have been “debunked” because they originated from a fraudulent research report. A typical example: Senator Dianne Feinstein of California wrote a constituent last week: “I understand that many parents are also concerned that vaccines may cause autism. This claim was published in 1998, in an article in the Lancet, a British medical journal. The researcher who authored the article was later found to have deliberately falsified data to produce a fraudulent link …”

    Equally striking is how little its accuracy seems to matter to Deer, convinced as he is that Wakefield’s status as a charlatan is beyond dispute, even if such a central “fact” no longer supports it.

    Keep in mind Deer was the complainant with the UK General Medical Council that led to the GMC spending millions of pounds to conduct its case against Wakefield. So Deer was essential to creating the story and keeping the pot boiling… then covering the story as if he was an uninvolved journalist: another example of acting under false pretenses. His piece in the BMJ claims that several of Wakefield’s case series patients did not really have autism, or developed symptoms prior to receiving the MMR vaccine. Yet some of the parents he interviewed have challenged his statements. Brian Deer apparently interviewed parents using a false name and grossly false pretenses (promising to try and get them funds to help care for their children). See video by Alan Golding How did he even learn the patient names, which were confidential? For Deer to call Wakefield a fraud is an example of the pot calling the kettle black.

    Again here is the conclusion of the Lancet paper which you can access at this link and read the following statement:

    “We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described. Virological studies are underway that may help to resolve this issue.”

  8. George Orwell
    All of your sources provided are the false narrative written by the pharmaceutical industry & the Murdoch Organization and the BMJ. You have multiple sources of medical journals with extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Here is what former editors have to say about journals:

    “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”
    Dr. Marcia Angell
    Former Editor-in-Chief at the New England Journal of Medicine
    Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals

    Richard Smith
    Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science andjournals

    Money and Medicine: Indivisible and Irreconcilable

    Prestigious Science Journals Struggle to Reach Even Average Reliability

    Peer-review and publication does not guarantee reliable information

    The Corruption of Evidence Based Medicine — Killing for Profit

  9. George Orwell
    Another thing to research thoroughly is The British Medical Journals financial ties to Merck and GSK, which is Merck sibling company in Europe via Univadis. When the Wakefield episode was being hysterically promoted by pharma and the MSM, Fiona Godlee did not disclose her ties and the BMJ’s ties to Merck/GSK. Also, Brian Deer who made the complaint that was the catalyst for the Wakefield witch hunt was paid by the BMJ although disclosed, but not as a competing interest but he was paid. Deer however has never disclosed any payments on his website.

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