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The vaccines-autism debate: on 'Dateline' this Sunday

August 27, 2009 |  4:46 pm

A registered nurse prepares an immunization shot in preparation for entering kindergarten during a DC Department of Health Back-to-School Vaccination Clinic on August 20, 2009.

If you just can't get enough of the vaccines-cause-autism debate, check out "Dateline" this Sunday (Aug. 30), when NBC's Matt Lauer will interview Dr. Andrew Wakefield, whose 1998 medical study was the first to suggest a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

That study, published in the Lancet, was later the subject of controversy, and in 2004, 10 of the paper's 13 authors retracted their names from the report. Wakefield stands by his data and some parents of children with autism are staunch supporters of his theory.

Also featured on the program will be two people with points of view very different to Wakefield's: Brian Deer, a British investigative journalist who wrote in the Sunday Times of London that Wakefield's data may have been falsified, and pediatrician/vaccine expert Dr. Paul Offit, author of the book "Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure."

"A Dose of Controversy"  airs at 4 p.m. PT.

-- Lori Kozlowski

Related links:

Bringing science back into America's sphere

'Bringing science back into America's sphere' hits a nerve

Age of Autism

Respectful Insolence blog

Photo: Tim Sloan / Getty Images