Dr. Wakefield is best known for his work on the 1998 landmark research paper, where he took millions of dollars from litigation lawyers, and published results (with no conflict of interest) linking the MMR vaccine with autism. This claim dropped immunization rates in England from 92% to 70% and some towns as low as 50%.
Autism rates did not drop during this time despite lowering the vaccination rates. Fast forward 16 years later, and many of England’s population are still not vaccinated and have seen the rise of preventable diseases such as measles along with the United States as in the recent Disneyland exposure.
In a twist of irony Dr. Andrew Wakefield – previously vaccinated with MMR who never converted – caught the virus and is now in critical condition. Many of his fans are holding a vigil outside the hospital hoping for his speedy recovery.