The SATs will no longer require an essay. Makes sense -- after all, who wants to know if kids today can write and reason well enough to compete on the global stage (especially since we suspect they can't).
Andrew Wakefield Responds on Camera to Wales Measles Outbreak
Dr. Andrew Wakefield responds to UK public health officials call for censorship on MMR vaccine safety debate, measles vaccine failure, and issues a further challenge for open debate (full transcript beneath). While he has been booked to appear on several media programs, all have cancelled just prior to airtime.
Below is the transcript.
Good morning. The first thing that I want to say is that I did not
seek out this latest media maelstrom. It came about because of an
outbreak of measles in South Wales in the United Kingdom for which I
have been blamed by her Majesty's government. So I did not seek this
out but now it seems I have been denied the opportunity to redress the
allegations that have been made against me by members of the government;
by members of public health and that is clearly unacceptable. So legitimate debate about the safety of MMR vaccine and the origin of
the measles epidemic in Wales have now been effectively blocked by the
government insisting that the British media do not give me air time; do
not allow me to respond. And that is the purpose of this. So I did not
start this current fight.
The important thing to say
is that back in 1996 -- 1997 I was made aware of children developing
autism, regressive autism, following exposure in many cases to the
measles mumps rubella vaccine. Such was my concern about the safety of
that vaccine that I went back and reviewed every safety study, every
pre-licensing study of the MMR vaccine and other measles containing
vaccines before they were put into children and after. And I was
appalled with the quality of that science. It really was totally below
par and that has been reiterated by other authoritative sources since.
I compiled my observations into a 200 page report which I am
seeking to put online once I get permission from my lawyers. And
that report was the basis of my impression that the MMR vaccine
was inadequately tested for safety certainly compared with the
single vaccines and therefore that was the basis of my recommendation
in 1998 at the press conference that parents should have the option of the
All I could do as a parent was to say what
would I do for my child. That was the only honest answer I could give.
My position on that has not changed.
So, what happened
subsequently. At that time the single measles vaccine, the single
vaccines were available freely on the National Health Service.
Otherwise, I would not have suggested that option. So parents, if they
were legitimately concerned about the safety of MMR could go and get the
single vaccines. Six months later the British government unilaterally
withdrew the importation licence for the single vaccines therefore
depriving parents of having these on the NHS; depriving parents who had
legitimate concerns about the safety of MMR from a choice; denying them
the opportunity to protect their children in the way that they saw
And I was astonished by this and I said to Dr
Elizabeth Miller of the Health Protection Agency why would you do
this, if your principal concern is to protect children from serious
infectious disease. Why would you remove an option from parents who
are legitimately concerned about the safety of MMR. And her answer
was extraordinary. She said to me if we allow parents the option
of single vaccines it would destroy our MMR programme. In other
words her concern, her principal concern seemed to be for protection of
the MMR programme and not for protection of children.
parents concerns about the safety of MMR legitimate? Did they have a
reason to be concerned? The answer is unequivocably yes.
When the MMR was introduced in the UK in the late 1980s there were three
brands that were introduced. Two of those three brands had to be
withdrawn hurriedly four years later because they were causing
meningitis in children at an unacceptable rate. In other words two
thirds of the licensed vaccines in the UK had to be removed from
circulation because they were dangerous.
And what is very
disturbing about this and this was brought to my attention by a government
whistleblower, Dr Alistair Thores, who was working at that time for the Joint
Committee On Vaccination And Immunisation, the regulatory body in the
UK. He made it clear to the British government that they should not use
those dangerous vaccines. He made it clear to the committee prior to the
licensing of the MMR in 1987. Why? Because he was brought in from
Canada where they were already having problems with this vaccine
under the name Trivirix, the identical vaccine to the vaccine which
was introduced into the UK under the name Pluserix. And there they had
noticed that there were cases of meningitis which were far in excess of
those which they had previously seen. This meningitis was being caused
by the mumps strain; Urabe AM-9.
And so he advised the
Joint Committee not to touch this vaccine: it was dangerous. They
ignored his pleas and they went ahead and introduced it anyway. Four
years later it had to be hurriedly withdrawn because it was causing
precisely the complication that he had warned them of. Moreover, they
were asked, David Salisbury specifically, was asked to allocate funds
to active surveillance of adverse events. For the government to go out
there and to look and ask doctors if they had seen cases of this
meningitis. He said no. That was denied and they relied on passive
surveillance: in other words the spontaneous reports coming in from doctors and hospitals. That
is known to pick up perhaps 1 to 2% of true adverse reactions. In
other words it was going to inevitably underestimate the true numbers
of this reaction. Hence, the delay of four years for the removal of
a vaccine that should never have been licensed in the first place.
It was with that background and with that insight into the practices of
the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation that I took the
stand that I did on MMR. I was deeply and justifiably concerned. So
the next question is beyond the fact that MMR vaccine is not safe and
has not been adequately tested; not just my opinion but the opinion of
many; is does MMR vaccine cause autism?
question has been answered not by me but by the courts, by the vaccine
courts in Italy and in the United States of America where it appears
that many children over the last 30 years have been awarded millions of
dollars for the fact that they have been brain-damaged by MMR vaccine
and other vaccines and that brain-damage has led to autism. That is a
Now it has been argued by the government that some
poor judge has been forced into making this decision that on balance the
vaccine caused the autism in the face and in contradiction to the
evidence that is available, the scientific evidence. No. That is
grossly misleading. Three of these cases at least least; Poling, the
Italian case, and more recently the Mojabi case, have been conceded by
the government experts. In other words the government experts, the government themselves have conceded that the vaccine cause
the autism. They didn't fight the case. They conceded it based upon the
evidence available to them - all of the evidence - that the MMR vaccine caused the
So this isn't some poor judge being forced
into a position in the absence of the evidence or in contradiction to
the evidence. This is the government's own experts conceding that the
MMR vaccine caused the autism, or caused brain damage in this case that
led to be autism. And what we have are millions of dollars being paid
out to these children to fund their autism treatment so when
the government says it is not settled cases of autism, please bear
in mind that what they're paying for the costs of the
autism treatments. The government if it says that is speaking out of
both sides of its mouth.
So let me turn now
specifically to the measles outbreak in South Wales. The outbreak that
the government is alleging is my responsibility, which is clearly in the
face of the evidence from Lord Howe in Parliament and for which
originally I suggested protection against measles with a single
Now it is very important for people to bear in
mind that MMR doesn't protect against measles. Measles vaccine
protects against measles. The mumps and rubella components are
irrelevant. So, if single vaccines were available; if the government
had not withdrawn the availability of a vaccine, then there would be
no outbreak of measles in Wales, there would be no discussion
of measles cases and potential measles deaths. So, the blame for
this must lie on the shoulders on those who withdrew the option of
the single vaccine from the parents who were legitimately
concerned about the safety of the MMR. Not because of me but what
had happened because of that vaccine long before I came on the scene.
But there is one problem. There is one contradiction. That is as Lord
Howe has said in Parliament, MMR vaccine uptake is at an all-time high.
So why are we now seeing measles outbreaks in highly vaccinated
populations. It would be very interesting to find out how many of those
children in the current outbreak have actually been vaccinated. I
suspect many. And this has been seen before.
One of the
problems I think we are encountering is that of vaccine failure; primary
and secondary vaccine failure. Primary failure - not enough children
respond by developing immunity to the vaccine in the first place
and secondary vaccine failure - those that do develop immunity that
immunity disappears very quickly over time. And this has been seen with
mumps vaccine. The mumps vaccine does not work and we are seeing similar
outbreaks of measles (mumps) in vaccinated populations. And this is one of
the long-term problems of using live viral vaccines over time,
taking seed stock virus and repeatedly using it and using it and using
it over time that it seems for some reason to lose its potency.
And what we're seeing now is what I believe is unintended,
unexpected consequence of long-term use of these live viral vaccines;
and that is vaccine failure.
And that is something that is
really really concerning. It is not theoretical. It has been seen
unequivocally with the mumps vaccine. And I believe we are now seeing it
with measles. If that is the case then 1) blaming me for the
outbreak of this measles case come measles cases in South Wales, is
totally inappropriate. It is not addressing the core issue of what you
do about live viral vaccine failure, because if the viruses is then infecting
people at an older age than the outcome may be more serious and there
are no therapeutic interventions for protecting those people from
So the government has in effect put all its eggs
in one basket and now we're seeing measles come back. That is my
What we face unambiguously is an epidemic of autism; an
environmentally driven epidemic of autism now alarmingly affecting one
in 31 boys in the United States of America and I saw data from Yale
just the other day from South Korea showing that one in 36 children in
South Korea are affected by this lifelong severe neurodevelopmental
disorder. There is the true epidemic. Do we see attention being paid to
that in anything like the same way that the media are applying attention
to the measles outbreak in South Wales. No we do not. That is the true
epidemic. And that is the one that we really have to deal with as a
matter of urgency.
Now what I would like to do, I have
been, Dr David Elliman has said that this was my fault and I understand
that this morning he went on the news and he was saying that the media
were responsible for the latest sort of debate, the latest argument, by
giving me some kind of voice. So he is able to make this very very
serious allegation against me and then deprive me of the opportunity
of responding in the media. That is an extraordinary situation in what
is supposedly a free country.
What I'm suggesting is a
formal scientific debate in public in front of an audience that is
televised. And specifically Dr David Salisbury I would like to debate
you because I believe you are at the heart of this matter. I believe
the decisions taken by you and by your committee, the Joint Committee on
Vaccination and Immunisation, lie at the heart of this matter.
There are many things to debate with you.
I'd like to debate with you specifically why you have denied repeatedly
that there was any form of indemnity for the manufacturer of the
Urabe containing vaccine Pluserix when it was originally
introduced; why you have denied that.
And I have here Dr
Salisbury are the unredacted minutes of the Joint Committee on
Vaccination and Immunisation held on 7 May 1993 and here in these
minutes it says "once SKB" that is SmithKline Beecham "continued to sell
the Urabe strain vaccine without liability". How Dr Salisbury do you
explain the term "without liability" in that context. It seems to me
that this was something that was disclosed to me by your whistleblower
from the government, from your own committee, who said the deal was
done with the manufacturer to exempt them from liability for
introducing the vaccine that they had concerns about because they were
already having problems with it in Canada where it was then withdrawn.
I would also like to put it to you, I would like to ask you why you
felt it necessary to contact the General Medical Council and urge them
in the strongest terms to prosecute me more vigourously;
indeed to admonish them for not prosecuting me more vigourously. Do you
feel that was an abuse of your governmental position introducing
inevitable bias into the General Medical Council. And since you are at
the heart of this matter and have been according to your curriculum
vitae from the very beginning, the introduction of MMR into this
country, it would seem to me that you are the perfect person to debate
this in public with me. And if we can exonerate MMR vaccine from
causing the problems which I believe and many parents believe it is
causing them that is all well and good. But that will only be
resolved in an open scientific debate. And therefore I think that the
time has come for you and I to have that discussion.