The anti-immunization movement, also known as the anti-vaccine movement (AVM), has recently been gaining public attention. Though it has been supported by a number of “scientific” studies, leading figures such as Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, Dr. Anita Petek-Dimmer, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, actress Jenny McCarthy and politician Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have all contributed significantly to the growth of AVM.
One of the biggest figures in the anti-vaccination movement is Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the author of a study that first suggested a link between vaccinations and autism. The study was published in 1998, and fellow doctors suggested there was more research needed, and in the meantime parents should still vaccinate their children. Wakefield, however, suggested that instead of the common 3-in-1 vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella, parents should have single shots for each administered to their children. After the study was published and Wakefield made comments about it, there was a sharp decline in the number of vaccinations given to children, and Wakefield eventually resigned in 2001 as a result of the backlash against his findings.
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