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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111

Abstract

SEGURA BENEDICTO, Andreu. The putative link between the MMR vaccine and autism and refusal to vaccinate. Gac Sanit [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.4, pp. 366-371. ISSN 0213-9111.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2011.11.018.

The paper of Wakefield et al. in The Lancet, triggered a negative reaction to the MMR vaccine, even though it was just a series of cases and the association between vaccination and autism could well be anecdotal. However, it was found that this association was spurious, not only because of hidden biases but also to alterations of the data and other improper behavior of the two authors that they were expelled from medical council. Finally, the article was removed from the magazine. This episode invites to think about the credibility and trust in the authorities and professionals to the population, as well as the suspicions that may arise when there are potential conflicts of interest among professionals, industry magazines and the population. A special area of interest is on the distorted expectations of health interventions, including vaccination, particularly with regard to both individual and collective prevention.

Keywords : Compliance with vaccination; Collective prevention; Professional and business interests.

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