It’s been a tough week for he anti-vaccine movement. Mounting evidence of fraudulent manipulation of data by Andrew Wakefield has all but put the light out on the MMR autism connection. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims put the kibosh on the compensation of thousands of families by the U.S. government when it found no evidence linking vaccines with autism. And over at Age of Autism, anger is advancing to bargaining and acceptance like the Kubler-Ross progression of a terminally ill patient. Gone are the glory days of thimerosal.
And what’s become of the man who started it all?
The emasculated Andy Wakefield, unable to practice medicine in the U.K., has taken safe refuge at the Thoughtful House in Austin where Texas law allows him only to watch patients from a distance, much like a curious nurse’s aide. Wakefield’s muted existence is a far cry from his heady days in the spotlight when the world believed for a moment that his contrived ideas actually amounted to something.
While I’d like to say that it’s finally over, the vaccine-autism connection was dead before it ever began.
Those still at the party should heed the insight and courage of Alison Singer, executive vice president of Autism Speaks, who recently resigned her post recognizing that the game was finally up. It’s time to give children with autism the attention and resources they deserve, she noted. It’s time to move on.