Why is Andrew Wakefield Talking ‘Privately’ About Vaccines to the Minn Somali Community?

Andrew Wakefield, the British doctor who stands accused of committing ‘deliberate fraud‘ in his 1998 study linking vaccines to autism, continues to spread the word—misinformation, that is—about the causes of autism. The Star Tribune reports that, this Wednesday, Wakefield ‘met privately with a gathering of Somali parents’ in the Twin Cities area; the meeting was described as a ‘support group’ to reporters, who were barred from participating.  

Wakefield has been struck off the medical register in the United Kingdom and is no longer allowed to practice medicine there. Scientists and medical professionals have widely acknowledged that Wakefield’s error-ridden study set off a worldwide public health crisis by causing many parents to choose to forego vaccinations for their children, thereby making them susceptible to serious infectious diseases like measles and whooping cough.

There have indeed been outbreaks in the US of these two diseases in the past few years. Most recently, health officials in Minnesota have reported an alarming rise in measles cases among children in the Twin Cities area. As of Wednesday, 11 measles cases have been confirmed in Hennepin County since February, according to the Star Tribune. At least three of the those cases have occurred among unvaccinated children in the Somali community in Minneapolis. 

Health officials have reported, and have not been able to account for, a recent disproportionately high number of cases of autism spectrum disorder among Somali children. Some parents in the Somali community, having learned of claims that vaccines or something in vaccines might be linked to autism, have chosen not to vaccinate their children. Local and state heath officials in Minnesota are planning, says the Star Tribune, a forum this Saturday for Somali immigrants, to discuss the outbreak of measles and the need to make sure that their children are vaccinated.

I am hopeful, though it is probably a false hope, that someone is also keeping those Somali parents informed about the extent to which Wakefield’s 1998 findings have been discredited; that earlier this year, the British Medical Journal published articles detailing how Wakefield had falsified data in his 1998 study

That you don’t die from autism, but you can die from measles, and horribly.

Previous Care2 Coverage

Health Officials Warn of Possible Measles Outbreak in Minnesota

Why the High Autism Rate for Somali Children in Minneapolis?

Wakefield’s Study Linking Vaccines to Autism was ‘Deliberate Fraud’

If You Know Anything About Autism, You’ve Heard About Andrew Wakefield

Photo by joeflintham.


Kelly B.
Kelly B.6 years ago

Dr Wakefield is just one of many doctors who should be commended for trying to educate people about the huge risks of vaccination, instead he has been singled out, brutally ridiculed and unfairly discredited. It's obvious that the pharmaceutical companies making a fortune from the vaccinations don't want the public to know the full extent of the harm they cause, but the overwhelming evidence against vaccines (from many credible sources other than Dr. Wakefield) speaks for itself.
Vaccines are definitely causing brain-damage and autism symptoms, but even worse than that, VACCINATIONS ARE KILLING PEOPLE and Kristina Chew should not be permitted to put such blatantly biased misinformation on the Care2 site.
I'm certainly going to complain about Kristina Chew and if she continues to post articles spreading blatant propaganda on Care2 then I won't be visiting this site again.

Kelly B.
Kelly B.6 years ago

This article is inaccurate and totally misleading.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield has been officially cleared of the false allegations against him, and his accusers (the British Medical Journal and it's reporter Brian Deer) have been found to be the ones who are guilty of fraud, so Kristina Chew should get her facts right before she publicly slanders people:
Also, it is a proven fact that vaccines are harming and killing huge numbers of people worldwide, especially children.
Recently 6 young children died in Japan after receiving the DPT vaccine, some of them within minutes of being injected.
There have already been at least 63 deaths and 18,000 side effects (including 18 disrupted pregnancies) reported in males and females who received the HPV Vaccine Gardasil.
Official statistics show that annually between 100-300 children are killed by vaccines in the US alone, (millions of dollars in compensation has been paid out to affected families already) and every year as many as 10,000 SIDS deaths in America can be linked to vaccine complications. That's horrifying enough, but the numbers are actually much higher since only about 1-5% of adverse reactions to vaccines are reported.
If people were aware of all the toxic vaccine ingredients (such as heavy metals and aborted human and animal fetal tissue,etc) and their numerous side effects they would definitely think twice about consenting to vaccination

Kath W.
Kath W6 years ago

Angelica, Jennifer H. and all you others on this thread who have brains to think with, and who do their research, as I do - is there any way that we can get this Chew woman removed from Care2? As a journalist here, I mean. Anyone can have a profile, of course, but raving lunatics should not be allowed to have the privilege of writing for Care2. What she is doing amounts to gross and repeated libel. Can the powers at Care2 not see this?

Who is willing to make a joint complaint to Care2? If we all raise enough fuss, surely they must do something? Or . . . has Big Pharma gotten to Care2 as well?

Jennifer H.
Jen H6 years ago

Wait a minute?! Someone here wrote that they know Chew in real life and she has an Autistic child! Ok NOW I get it. This is a whole guilt/denial thing! Seen this quite a bit. A parent can't handle the idea that they might have damaged their child via shots so they go on the attack. The denial is so strong that they continue to damage and poison their child with more shots. Anything to prevent them from feeling any responsibilty.

Of course anyone who has a child damaged by shots can't be realistically blamed even if they ignored warnings. The whole society which is wrapped around this medical business pushes them on us and if you diverge from 'the plan' then you are an outsider... Or even abusing/neglecting your child. Add brainwashed family pressure and articles like this and it can be overwhelming for those who might be of... weaker constitution?

But, I have never been afraid of what people think when I'm doing what is right. I sincerely feel bad for Chew now. Pity her and her poor child. She knows the facts now even if she pretends they don't exist. This means every shot into her son is, well, you get the idea... Her guilt is now deserved and I hope it tastes delicious for her sake.

Jennifer H.
Jen H6 years ago

Quite obvious that Chew has climbed onto the BashWakefield boat in an attempt to gain popularity. Sorry Chew, but you are a flea among many other bigger pests. Everything you write is crap. You know what? What you're writing is defamation of this man's character. Even better, this article is FRAUD because vaccines have NOT NOT been exonerated in the study of Autism. In FACT (sorry you're probably not too familiar with that word... Google it) the Centers for Disease Control are saying that they are studying vaccines as the or one of the causes for Autism.

Again, I'm sure you must know this so you must be deliberately out to misinform the public. Do you work for a major pharmaceutical company?

Angelica T.
Angelica T.6 years ago

Thanks April and others for standing up to Kristina Chew again. Obviously she never reads the comments to her posts or else chooses to stick her head in the sand because her claims have been refuted over and over again.

Mike: Wakefield's findings have been replicated, most recently at Chapel Hill, NC.

It's truly amusing (but sad) how people are raving on here about the terrible killer dangers of measles. Anybody remember back in the day when moms used to take their kids over to the house of the kid with measles so their kids would get it? It was a normal, routine childhood disease. Nowadays, people talk about it like it's the bubonic plague. Death! Danger! A threat to us all!

Wakefield is not responsible for the upswing in parents not vaccinating, and no amount of hatemongering and bashing him is going to make him go away, simply because he validates the experience so many parents have had whose children lapsed into autism following vaccination.

If your child is autistic and didn't become so after a vaccine, that doesn't give you the right to disparage those whose children did, or to accuse them of being fools, tools, or conspiracy theorists.

Usually I post links on Kristina's posts to studies that support an autism/vaccine link or at least show true vaccine dangers, but today, I'm just tired. Tired that she keeps on posting this b.s. over and over and over and over and over.....

April L.
April L6 years ago

It amazes me that Kristina Chew repeatedly posts about Dr. Wakefield, based on what OTHERS say about him, not words which come directly from his mouth.

One man is at the root of all the controversy regarding Wakefield, and his name is Brian Deer. He's a journalist. Yes, the Lancet retracted Wakefield's paper (with Deer's help)...after 12 freaking years.

Ms. Chew has never, to my knowledge, posted words from Dr. Wakefield's own mouth. If you listen to him speak, he explains how his words have been twisted and mis-quoted. He explains how key parts of, and facts regarding, his research have been intentionally left out, as to lead you in the wrong direction.

Before you judge him, listen to him. You are not his judge, and not his jury. He has done more to benefit children than any of you ever will.



What is Ms. Chew's agenda for continually smearing Dr. Wakefield? Who knows. And you, yes, you...yoo-hoo, you the reader...have you actually read the Wakefield study? Do you really know what it was all about? Or...do you only know what the media and people like Ms. Chew tell you? If you haven't read the study, or listened to Wakefield talk about it, then who are you to comment on it anyway? I mean, really. Don't be a sheep. Look at the study. Listen to the man. You will see that things aren't quite like they are portrayed to be around here...

Bernadette P.
berny p6 years ago

Thank you MIke and all the best to you and your son.

Alastair L.
Alastair L6 years ago

A recent paper that links thimerosal and neurological disorders, including autism:
Lasting neuropathological changes in rat brain after intermittent neonatal administration of thimerosal (a compound containing mercury).


David C.
David Connally6 years ago

1. Wakefield was not opposed to vaccination for measles, indeed he had submitted a patent application for a new vaccine just before his paper appeared. His 1998 paper suggests the mixed MMR vaccine is the problem. Quote:
"Viral encephalitis [a complication of measles] can give rise to autistic disorders, particularly when it occurs early in life. Rubella virus is associated with autism and the combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (RATHER THAN MONOVALENT MEASLES VACCINE) has also been implicated."

2. Measles can kill. Vaccination works. US cases fell from 3 million per year (48,000 hospitalizations, 450 deaths, 1,000 permanently disabled) to about 50 per year after vaccination began. Measles frequency has increased since parental objection to vaccination began, e.g. 131 cases in the first half of 2008.

3. Mercury dimethyl and its metabolite methylmercury are very toxic, ethylmercury much less so. Thimerosal metabolizes to ethylmercury. It was originally added to vaccines to kill extraneous bugs, especially staph. Today’s childhood vaccines DO NOT contain mercury though flu vaccines do. The amount of mercury in the vaccine is less than that in a can of tuna which contains methylmercury.

4. Brian Deer, Wakefield’s journalist “enemy”, is not a pharma shill. He took on pharma in outing serious side effects of Bactrim which led to its discontinued use in the UK.

5. Wakefield's license was suspended after a 217 day hearing, not