That Time The Founder Of The Anti-Vaccine Movement Made A Vaccine
Former Dr. Andrew Wakefield is quite possibly the most infamous living doctor — as well as one of the most infamous in the history of medicine. In 1998, he authored a study entitled “Lleal-Lymphoid-Nodular Hyperplasia, Non-Specific Colitis, And Pervasive Developmental Disorders In Children,” which became famous for its conclusion that the MMR vaccine was linked to Autism.
Wakefield’s study has since been retracted and Wakefield lost his medical license in 2004, However, if you think this has stopped him, you don’t know Andrew Wakefield — and I envy you.
Wakefield still talks about his — oh I’ll be nice and call it a hypothesis — to this day. In 2010, he published a book entitled Callous Disregard: Autism And Vaccines: The Truth Behind A Tragedy. In 2016, he directed a documentary entitled Vaxxed: From Cover-Up To Catastrophe, a sequel of which, entitled Vaxxed II: The People’s Truth, was announced for release in November 2019. It was even produced by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., author of the book Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting The Immediate Removal of Mercury — a Known Neurotoxin — From Vaccines, released in 2014 — fifteen years after we removed Thimerosal from all vaccines, but you know.
However, Wakefield was not always against all vaccines like he is now, his original study, in fact, only went after the MMR vaccine.
For those who don’t know, MMR stands for measles, mumps, and rubella. It’s a three in one shot we given to children twice, the first dose is given between the ages of nine to fifteen months and the second dose is given between fifteen months and six years of age.
The vaccine for rubella, by the way, was one of the vaccines which contained Thiomersal, a mercury compound that was used in vaccines as a preservative for over sixty years — from the 1930’s until 1999 when it was taken out as a result of fear among the then growing anti-vaccine movement.
Wakefield’s main issue at this time was that idea of doing three vaccines at once. Instead, he believed, children should be given separate shots for each vaccine. However, the fact that he once believed children should be given vaccines — let alone more vaccines — might surprise a large amount of people.
You see, Wakefield’s actual issue with the MMR vaccine was that he wasn’t making money off of it.
In 1997, two years before his study linking the MRR vaccine to autism, Wakefield wrote in a patent application:
I have now discovered a combined vaccine/therapeutic agent which is not only most probably safer to administer to neonates and others by way of vaccination, but which also can be used to treat IBD whether as a complete cure or to alleviate symptoms.
Oh, and on that mention of IBD; Wakefield believes autism and bowels are connected.
In 1998, the year before Wakefield’s now infamous study, Wakefield filed another patent for an independent Measles vaccine. Something, might I add, he refused to disclose to the medical school where he worked at the time of him publishing his findings.
Wakefield usually denies the existence of this patent when asked, however, on one occasion he did admit to patenting an “over-the-counter nutritional supplement,” which he claimed could boost the immune system of the user. Mind you, that still would create a conflict of interest with his fight against vaccinations, as both share the goal of boosting your immune system.
For comparison, the creator of the Polio Vaccine — Dr. Jonas Salk — could have patented his creation, sold it to a pharmaceutical company, and made billions of dollars. He did not, instead he made it public domain and gave it to the people free of charge. One estimate says if he had patented it, he would have died $7 billion richer. He is considered a villain among the anti-vaccination movement.
Meanwhile, Andrew Wakefield, the lone hero of the anti-vaccination movement, not only tried to patent a vaccination he created, but also lied about doing so when writing a study going after a different vaccine.
The anti-vaccination movement loves saying “follow the money.” However, they never except it to apply to them. Wakefield was a corrupt doctor, not ignored because of some hidden truth, but instead because he was only making his claims for his own personal benefit.