The creator of the MMR vaccine “saddened” by the controversy stirred up by Andrew Wakefield

Via Black Triangle, I’ve come across an article about a real medical hero, a man responsible for the development of many of the vaccines we have today. Indeed, it can be argued that this man, Dr. Maurice Hillman, may have saved more lives than any other physician in history. Those who remember him describe his reaction to the controversy stirred up by Andrew Wakefield:

The MMR was introduced into the UK in 1988, but became increasingly controversial following Andrew Wakefield’s study published in the Lancet in the late 1990s, which linked the vaccine with autism.

That study has now been discredited, and Dr Wakefield faces the prospect of serious professional misconduct charges.

However, the fall-out from the paper resulted in MMR uptake rates dropping to levels which experts warned could lead to a measles epidemic.

Dr Adel Mahmoud, President of Merck Vaccines, recalled how this affected Dr Hilleman.

“It saddened him to see that knowledge was twisted in such a way to play in the hands of the anti-vaccine movement and not really appreciate what vaccines are all about.

“They are about protection of individual, but also protection of the society so you achieve ‘herd immunity’.

“Maurice believed in that and it really pained him a lot to see what was happening in the UK.”

Dr Paul Offit, Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital Philadelphia said: “I think it’s sad that this tremendous achievement got taken up as a controversial one when it was frankly never controversial in the medical community.”

Sadder still is the return of measles in the U.K. with a vengeance, thanks to the decreased vaccination rate due to the science for hire that Andrew Wakefield did.