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Sunday, 17 February, 2002, 11:40 GMT
MMR doctor told to submit evidence
Dr Andrew Wakefield
Dr Andrew Wakefield first raised MMR and autism fears
The doctor who first raised concerns about the MMR vaccine has been asked by the government to submit his research for independent analysis.

The Chief Medical Officer Liam Donaldson has written to Dr Andrew Wakefield making the request, the Department of Health said.

Dr Wakefield, whose work suggests a link between the injection and autism and bowel conditions, had e-mailed the department about his findings.

Now he is being asked to give more details about the research after uptake for the triple vaccination declined when anxious parents refused the jab.

List of questions

There have also been reports of measles outbreaks in some areas.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said it was not asking Dr Wakefield for help or to share his information but was responding to an e-mail sent by him.

She said the department sent him a list of questions it wanted answers to.

"Given the degree of interest in the subject, we asked him if he would agree for us to publish his letter on our website," she said.

E-mail flurry

"We also asked if he would agree to turn over his data and samples for independent scientific analysis."

Dr Wakefield sent his e-mail on 11 February and the health department said officials followed the matter up on 13, 14 and 15 February.

They said Dr Wakefield wrote back requesting another copy of the first e-mail.

Dr Wakefield told the Mail on Sunday that he welcomed the chance to "begin talks" with the health department.

He said he had already asked the Centre for Disease Control to analyse independently his samples, but that it had failed to take up the offer.

"Let's hope the latest move is the beginning of a new attitude towards this serious dilemma," he told the newspaper.

See also:

15 Feb 02 | Health
MMR super jab planned
28 Jan 02 | Panorama
MMR: Every Parent's Choice
01 Feb 02 | Panorama
Wakefield stands by MMR claims
12 Apr 01 | Health
'Super-measles' warning
06 Feb 02 | Health
'My worries over MMR'
06 Feb 02 | Health
Q&A: Measles research
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