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Belgium: Doctors angry at EU screening for Wakefield’s anti-vaccine film

3 Feb, 2017
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The European Parliament has been urged to cancel a screening of a controversial anti-vaccine film, written and directed by Andrew Wakefield – who was struck off after releasing a paper linking the MMR vaccine and autism.

Mr Wakefield published a paper in 1998 in The Lancet linking the MMR vaccine with autism.

The paper was widely discredited, but triggered a vaccine scare, causing the number of parents choosing to vaccinate their children to dip.

In 2010, Wakefield was struck off the UK medical register by the General Medical Council, after he was found guilty of several charges, including four charges of dishonesty.

A spokesman for the European Academy of Paediatrics has condemned the screening of Vaxxed, saying: “The European Academy of Paediatrics is profoundly disappointed to understand that there is to be an event in Brussels, sponsored by Michele Rivasi, that will feature Andrew Wakefield.

“[His] work on vaccination and purported links to autism has been completely discredited.

“The Lancet fully retracted the 1998 publication on the basis of the GMC’s findings, noting that elements of the manuscript had been falsified, and he has been stripped of his ability to practise medicine in the UK. As a result of his scaremongering many children have been denied life-saving vaccination, putting them at real risk of serious and potentially fatal diseases.

“We would strongly urge the organisers of this event to cancel it and for the European Parliament to express strong criticism of this initiative.”

A private screening of the film, which is backed by actor Robert De Niro, has already been pulled by the Curzon cinema in Soho after they faced a backlash from scientists. The documentary was also pulled from last year’s New York Tribeca Film Festival, following complaints from scientists and filmmakers.

Wakefield recently caused a stir on social media after attending an inauguration ball for President Trump.

Footage emerged of the anti-vaccine campaigner calling for an overhaul of the US federal agency Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sky News has approached Andrew Wakefield and Michèle Rivasi MEP for comment.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2017 at 12:09 pm and is filed under Latest News.

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Biswal . 2019 NEJM DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1903869
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