The reason I feel strongly and have posted on this subject is because my son has autism. So I have read widely on this topic and I have strong feelings about how this vaccine conspiracy theory has harmed people.
These days it can really be hard to find sources of information that are credible. We have had a huge amount of misinformation on this subject and I can understand why people are confused. So let me try to address some of the points.
Wakefields paper was retracted, his co-authors fled and ended up denouncing the work. He was subject of a review by the British Medical Council which found three dozen charges against him proved and stripped him of his license to practice medicine. His behavior was exposed by the reporter Brian Deer, Wakefield sued him for liable several times and lost every time and had to pay costs. I didn't declare him a fraud, The British Medical Journal dubbed his research "an elaborate fraud." Here is a summary of studies which are claimed to support Wakefields work. How many support it? None
It was a Supreme Court ruling in 2011 that shielded vaccine companies from liability. National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 established a fund to compensate any victims of vaccine injuries. It also asked the CDC and FDA to establish the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in which anybody can report an adverse event. There have been some rare adverse events identified through this system, but CDC/FDA don't report any connection to autism or diabetes. It turns out pharmaceutical companies do not want to be in the vaccine business. With all this crazy stuff going on the business is terrible. It has a fixed market, all kinds of overhead and very little profit. The whole reason the government got involved in the way it did was because otherwise nobody would make vaccines. There are still regular worldwide vaccines shortages.
The Cochrane collaboration looked at the evidence including two studies involving 1,500,000 children. While they did find some association with things like aseptic meningitis, etc. They found "We could assess no significant association between MMR immunisation and the following conditions: autism, asthma, leukaemia, hay fever, type 1 diabetes, gait disturbance, Crohn's disease, demyelinating diseases, or bacterial or viral infections."
It is considered unethical to conduct controlled trials against vaccinated children as the benefits from vaccination so dramatically outweigh any of identified adverse effects. It would be like doing a study to prove insulin works by asking some type 1 children to not use insulin.
Vaccinations generally work by triggering an immune reaction either by injecting inactive or dead bacteria or viruses or by injecting "weakened" versions. Yes you get an infection with weakened versions, that is the whole point. But your immune system fights off the bacteria/virus and it is "gone." The Pertussis vaccine uses dead bacteria, you get an immune reaction, but no infection. And you cannot become a carrier.
People turn to the vaccine court because it has a very low bar for compensation. Nobody would turn to a civil suit, it is just to hard to win and get compensation. Not so with the vaccine court. The window is actually 3 years from the time of the vaccine and the onset of any adverse effect. It is shortened to 2 years if there is a death. But I believe you can bring a case years later. You can actually look through the autism dockets over the years. It doesn't exactly support an MMR autism connection.
Vaccines are subject to the same level of scrutiny as other pharmaceuticals.
I would really like to know where people get this information. Yes, people need to make their own decisions, but I also think people should make "informed" decisions.