But almost no papers report retraction of the story following the coroner’s verdict that the vaccine played no part in the death.

On Tuesday the Telegraph, the Independent, the Mirror, the Express, the Mail, and the Metro all reported that a coroner was hearing the case of a toddler who died after receiving the MMR vaccine, which the parents blamed for their loss. Toddler ‘died after MMR jab’ (Metro), ‘Healthy’ baby died after MMR jab (Independent), you know the headlines by now.

On Thursday the coroner announced his verdict: the vaccine played no part in this child’s death. So far, of the papers above, only the Telegraph has had the decency to cover the outcome. The Independent, the Mirror, the Express, the Mail, and the Metro have all decided that their readers are better off not knowing. Tick, tock.

Does it stop there? No. Amateur physicians have long enjoyed speculating that MMR and other vaccinations are somehow “harmful to the immune system” and responsible for the rise in conditions such as asthma and hay fever. Doubtless they must have been waiting some time for evidence to appear.

From the guardian


  1. #1 Egon Willighagen
    December 8, 2008

    What about requesting a rectification with the failing papers? I saw this sad news yesterday on /., I think, but was wondering that it should not be too difficult to have those papers publish a rectification… not sure about US newspapers, but certainly works in NL.

    See this are your social obligation when noticing such fails, to report this with the paper and have them rectify the first wrong paper…

  2. #2 clinteas
    December 8, 2008

    If these “journalists” were worth the name and would know what a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy is,we wouldnt have these articles,and less confused parents.

  3. #3 Zoey Hampton
    February 14, 2009

    Ah, but what did the coroner say caused the death? SUDC? Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood? Lots of people are willing to say that vaccines had no part in the etiology of an illness, catastrophic or otherwise, when they don’t know what caused it. That fascinates me. They even say, “We don’t know what causes autism, but vaccines have nothing to do with it.” Perhaps that’s why the papers aren’t printing a retraction. If I were the parent I wouldn’t be happy with the statement, “vaccines had nothing to do with it.” I’d need to know the exact cause.