These reports were based on a case series published in Lancet by Wakefield et al., (1998) that was highly criticised by the scientific community, disproven by 6 comprehensive follow-up studies, and the scientists from the paper that started it all, were convicted of deliberate fraud (Rao, & Andrade, 2011).
Wakefield had been paid by a lawyer to find a link between MMR and autism (Rao, & Andrade, 2011). With the aim of getting the results they needed for a lawsuit (Deer, 2011).
Wakefield changed the information parents gave him to make it look like there was a link between the MMR vaccine (Deer, 2011). When the parents were visited by a journalist, their stories and what was reported in Wakefield’s paper were very different (Deer, 2011).
This has been highly publicised. But the damage is done. Many parents now worry and question not just the MMR vaccine, but many others.