Before the creation of the MMR vaccine in 1988, measles, mumps, and rubella were common diseases throughout the world. All three diseases were highly contagious and had the ability to develop fatal complications such as meningitis and encephalitis.
Thanks to the MMR vaccine, cases of measles, mumps, and rubella began to drop worldwide. However, just as the vaccine was close to eliminating the diseases, a study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield claiming a relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism in children was published. This sparked a massive controversy as many parents decided to skip immunization shots for their children altogether.
In an effort to confirm the results of Wakefield’s study, many researchers followed Wakefield’s process in an attempt to reproduce his results. Curiously, not a single researcher was able to reproduce Wakefield’s results. This led to a thorough investigation, which revealed that Wakefield had manipulated his study to get the results he wanted.
Although doctors, scientific experts, medical journals, and Wakefield’s colleagues have already disproved the findings of Wakefield’s “study”, many parents still refuse to have their children vaccinated for MMR.
While doctors have acknowledged that the MMR vaccine can still allow children to contract any of the three diseases, the chances of it happening are extremely lower in those who were immunized than in those who weren’t. In the rare case that a person who has gotten the MMR vaccine contracts any of the diseases, the severity will be significantly less, allowing patients to recover much faster.