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The Facts In The Case Of Dr. Andrew Wakefield
diversion sign
A fifteen page story about the MMR vaccination controversy. As ever, I'm sure a few spelling errors have slipped past me. Feel free to point any out so I can correct them.

The reference links for the strip are in the next blog entry.

Now! Let's have a heated debate!

2013 update. Since I wrote this blog entry, this cartoon strip as well as many others on such subjects as homeopathy, chiropratic, evolution, and the supposed NASA Moon hoax landings, have been published in a book: Science Tales in the UK (Myriad Edtions) and How To Fake A Moon Landing in the US and Canada (Abrams). Here's the link to my main blog.

1 MMR Vaccination Scandal Story

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Just saw this...it's great! Thank you!

q about 3 vs 1 jabs?

Hi Darryl, on p3 in the middle two drawings, you mention that Doc Wakefield pushed a 3 jab vaccine as safer over the 1 jab version, but later on, you say he had taken out a patent on a single vaccine? If the patent thing is true, then wouldn't he be more likely to sell us the single jab idea? Did you mean it the other way around?

(also, the beginning of the word cloud in drawing 5 same page, "this suggestion was not supported by the paper", maybe should directly go to block 4, "would be safer than a single vaccination, which was not supported by the paper". just an idea?)

Terrif job!

Re: q about 3 vs 1 jabs?

I can't figure out why this throws so many people. I'm not blaming you at ALL, please believe me, because I've seen a NUMBER of previous commenters with the same confusion. I just don't quite see where people get lost. Anyway, the information in the comic is accurate as presented. I'll walk through the relevant bits:

  1. [p3] Doctor Wakefield's press conference called into question the safety of the COMBINED single-jab M-M-R (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine. He stated that it would be safer to vaccinate children in three separate doses — one for each virus. (That's, perhaps, the bit that the comic isn't quite explicit enough about.) So, the claimed-"safer" protocol consists of three jabs: Measles shot, Mumps shot, Rubella shot. Instead of one MMR shot.

  2. [p8] Wakefield had filed a patent for a single Measles vaccine: A one-jab vaccination for Measles only, which could be part of a three-shot, separate-vaccinations protocol, like the one he claimed (above) was "safer" than single-shot combined MMR.

  3. [p9] "This new vaccine only stood a chance if confidence in MMR was damaged" Dr. Wakefield's newly-patented, single-shot Measles vaccine would only be useful if a 3-jab, separate-vaccines protocol were to replace the single-shot, COMBINED MMR protocol. The same one that his original press conference had cast unfounded doubt on.

Hopefully that clears up the confusion.

Re: q about 3 vs 1 jabs?

Oh, regarding your other point: I see where you're coming from, but don't forget that the first sentence starts out, "During a press conference, Wakefield stated...". So, your version would make the entire sentence, "During a press conference, Wakefield stated that giving children the vaccine in three separate doses would be safer than a single vaccination, which was not supported by the paper."

That seems to leave open the possibility of reader confusion, interpreting it to mean that Wakefield admitted in the press conference that his claim was unsupported. I think Darryl was wise to write it as two separate sentences.

Celebrities and media who feel the need to champion a cause should do a bit of research. There are a myriad of diseases and conditions which being rare would benefit from this kind of exposure.
Or in a simpler excercise, they could just warn against overuse of social networks and online scams.
Why must they insist on a worldwide conspiracy when the results of a flawed study are invalid?
It's the cold fusion story all over again. Flawed study, non replicable results.

I'm surprised (and disappointed) that you didn't come right out and make it clear that Wakefield is no longer recognized as a doctor. His license to practice medicine in the UK was revoked, and he isn't licensed to practice in North America.

Writing a paper and this comic was very informative. Does anybody have sources i could use to cite in my paper?