A new report in the "British Medical Journal" says a study that concluded that there was a link between childhood vaccines and autism was an "elaborate fraud."
The journal says it was not possible that Dr. Andrew Wakefield made a mistake, but that he must have falsified the data that was presented in his influential study.
The study, published in 1998 by the medical journal "The Lancet," raised concerns among parents that vaccines may be dangerous and led to lower immunization rates for measles and mumps in Britain and elsewhere, causing outbreaks of these diseases in some areas.
Other, later studies showed no connection between vaccinations and autism, and the "Lancet" last year formally retracted the paper.
Wakefield is no longer permitted to practice medicine in Britain.
compiled from agency reports