The findings of the study were immediately disproved and the research found to be fraudulent. Most of Wakefield’s co-authors withdrew their support due to the conclusions he had drawn. An investigation found that the families in the study were part of legal action against the vaccination manufacturer, and Wakefield had been funded by their solicitors to provide supporting evidence.
The sample size was too small for any conclusions and the General Medical Council struck off Wakefield from the register so he could no longer practice medicine due to the fraudulent way data was presented and the ethical implications of the study. They found him guilty of dishonesty, the "abuse" of developmentally delayed children by giving them unnecessary and invasive medical procedures, and acting without ethical approval for his research.
Mercury is no longer used as a preservative in vaccinations but autism rates continue to rise remain the same, despite tests indicating that the children inoculated today have only traces of Mercury in their blood (levels far below what the EPA considers safe).
Autism support and research groups all refute Wakefield’s dangerous study. Despite the medical journal that had published the article retracting it, the debunked study continues to be cited by anti-vaxxers.