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The United Kingdom’s premier medical journal The Lancet has retracted a 1998 paper that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism. Ever since it was published, the study, which was led by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, has caused widespread panic over whether or not parents should have their children vaccinated. Great Britain does not require compulsory immunizations, and when the percentage of kids receiving measles vaccinations dropped, the number of measles cases soared.

In Wakefield’s paper, a team of researchers studied 12 children and suggested the MMR vaccine could have contributed to the development of autism in 8 of the 12 kids. The results of Wakefield’s study have never been replicated.

Charmaine Allesandro, director of The Greater New Orleans Immunization Network, hopes the retraction will finally put the immunization controversy to rest.

This is good news,” Allesandro says in a statement released to Gambit “Hopefully, parents who have not vaccinated their children will realize that there is no scientific proof linking autism and immunizations, get their children immunized and make the community safer."

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