By Barbara Loe Fisher
I remember the day I met Dr. Andrew Wakefield. It was September 12, 1997 and he had just flown into Dulles Airport from London the night before to speak at the First International Public Conference on Vaccination sponsored by the National Vaccine Information Center. The title of his talk was “Measles Virus & Measles Vaccine: Lessons to be Learned.”
It was five months before he and 12 other physician colleagues would publish a study in The Lancet calling for more research into a possible association between inflammatory bowel disease, MMR vaccine and developmental delays in some children.
I met Dr. Wakefield that day in 1997 in the auditorium where our conference was to take place as he was trying to decide what to do with a slide that identified him as being employed by the Royal Free Hospital. You see, he had received a telephone threat from London in the middle of the night warning him that if he spoke at our conference, he might not have a job when he returned to Britain. He then described to me the intense pressure he had been under from senior health officials in Britain to withdraw from our conference.
This was five months before he and his colleagues published the first article in the medical literature suggesting there might be an association between vaccine induced chronic inflammation in the body and developmental delays in some children.
In September 1997, Andrew Wakefield was a young British gastroenterologist, a rising star in the world of experimental medicine. He had received awards and scholarships for original research into the pathogenesis and etiology of inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease.....Click here HERE to watch a video and read the full commentary as well as read a Statement by NVIC about Andrew Wakefield and his research.
Barbara Loe Fisher is founder of The National Vaccine Information Center.