In 1998, English gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield published a controversial case study claiming an association between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Although initially published in The Lancet, this study was later discovered to be fraudulent and was redacted in 2011. These assertions have since been tested extensively, with a 2019 longitudinal study involving 600,000 children again lending no support to any such association. Nevertheless, Wakefield’s infamous paper continues to affect vaccination rates and the perception of vaccine safety worldwide.

Since its introduction in 1963, the measles vaccine has led to a 99% decrease in worldwide prevalence of measles. The United States, however, currently ranks 114th in the world for MMR vaccination rates among 1-year-olds, with an overall MMR vaccination rate of 92%, which is insufficient to maintain herd immunity. As a result, by April 2019 there were confirmed outbreaks in multiple states and more than 200...

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