Sunday, April 14, 2013

Deer v. Wakefield, continued, by Becky Franzel

The city is still debating Wakefield’s studies on the controversial Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine weeks after Brian Deer and Andrew Wakefield spoke in La Crosse. While most side with Deer, the journalist who questions the accuracy of Wakefield’s findings, there are still some defending the former doctor’s results.

According to the comments section of La Crosse Tribune’s article “Finding vaccine truths: Crowds hear two takes on dismissed study," those siding with Deer claim that parents who do not give their children the MMR vaccine are “put[ting] their (and other) kids at risk [for polio] by not getting these proven shots.” Those behind Wakefield believe “the medical establishment in UK used Brian Deer as a means of destroying the credibility of the research from The Royal Free Hosptial.” Some commenters debate facts behind the speeches themselves. When one pro-Deer commenter mocked the small crowd supporting Wakefield, another commenter defending Wakefield claimed “students only went to Deer’s speech for class credit.”  Both claim that their opponent’s points are “simply not true.”

On October 4th and 5th, journalist Deer spoke to UWL campus about his reports uncovering the inaccuracies in Mr. Wakefield’s study linking the MMR vaccine to autism and bowel disease in 2004. Wakefield spoke earlier in the afternoon at Myrick Gun Shelter defending his study, claiming Deer had been hired to skew the truths found in his study.

To read more on what La Crosse thinks about the MMR vaccine, visit