Stoking the anti-vaccine panic

by Walter Olson on April 30, 2014

Many share blame for this appalling episode, but as Lisa Rickard reminds us, trial lawyers who backed Andrew Wakefield played a special role [Forbes "Apothecary"] Earlier here, etc.


1 andy 04.30.14 at 1:11 pm

I hope some vaccine manufacturer brings a civil RICO claim against the trial lawyers. that would be sweet. Or better yet a kid plaintiff who got some preventable disease sues them because his parents refused to vaccinate because of this BS.

2 David Smith 05.01.14 at 1:15 pm

Can you identify ANY act of mass stupidity that doesn’t end up involving the media as actual contributors?

3 wfjag 05.02.14 at 1:08 pm


I think it’s more credulous lack of investigation than “mass stupidity” on the part of the media, leading to mass ignorance by a public that mistakenly depends on the press. An investigation of Andrew Wakefield (such as Brian Deer eventually did) would have revealed (using public sources) that Wakefield held the patent on a competing measles vaccine. Had the safety of the measles vaccine used in the used in the measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine been called into doubt and replaced, the amount the trial lawyers (US & UK) paid him, would have been chump change compared to the royalties he’d have received.

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