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Journal formally retracts disputed vaccination study

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Last month we told you about the latest viral flare up over vaccines and autism. The journal Translational Neurodegeneration published - and then quickly pulled - a study "purporting to find that black children are at substantially increased risk for autism after early exposure to the measles-mumps-rubella [MMR] vaccine," as described by the blog Retraction Watch. 

The journal said it had pulled the article because of  "serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions," and it promised "definitive editorial action...pending further investigation."

People in the anti-vaccination movement immediately hurled accusations of a coverup. In the meantime, Translational Neurodegeneration appears to have concluded its investigation. Here is an editorial note the journal published this past Friday:

The Editor and Publisher regretfully retract the article as there were undeclared competing interests on the part of the author which compromised the peer review process. Furthermore, post-publication peer review raised concerns about the validity of the methods and statistical analysis, therefore the Editors no longer have confidence in the soundness of the findings. We apologise to all affected parties for the inconvenience caused.

We have reached out to the journal's editors to provide details on what those "undeclared competing interests on the part of the author" were, as well as specifics regarding the "concerns about the validity of the methods and statistical analysis."

We'll let you know as soon as we hear back. Either way, it's unlikely this retraction will carry much weight with those who are convinced that vaccines are linked to autism. But here at Impatient, we rely on science, and science still says there is no link