Former HHS deputy secretary says Wakefield has much to answer for

Tevi Troy, the former Deputy Secretary of United States Department of Health and Human Services, says in an an article penned for the National Review that disgraced British doctor Andrew Wakefield "has a lot to answer for" about his study linking the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism that was debunked.

Troy writes that, because of Wakefield's study, parents made decisions about their children's health based on flawed research.

The general population continues to suffer because of Wakefield's study, Troy writes in the National Review article, because those who have not vaccinated their children are contributing to a resurgence of outbreaks in developing countries where measles was largely thought to be eradicated. Troy also lays blame on celebrities who have added the weight of their names to the anti-vaccination movement.

"One other aspect of this issue that I have mentioned before is that the vaccines-cause-autism canard created more than just a public-health risk," Troy writes. "It also expanded the U.S.’s vulnerability in our efforts to fight bioterror. Vaccines are a key component of our arsenal against a host of agents that our enemies could potentially weaponize, such as anthrax and smallpox. Effective vaccines and a populace willing to take those vaccinesare essential to our ability to combat these threats."

Troy writes that Wakefield's expulsion from the British medical profession is "a step in the right direction," but states that more actions must be taken to restore the image of vaccinations.