Hammond tells us that Wakefield never said the MMR causes autism but that there is a possible connection that needs to be investigated.
This is what the study actually said with respect to the hypothesis of an association between the MMR vaccine and autism.
In eight children, the onset of behavioural problems had been linked, either by the parents or by the child’s physician, with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination. Five had had an early adverse reaction to immunisation (rash, fever, delirium; and, in three cases, convulsions).
We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described. Virological studies are underway that may help to resolve this issue.
If there is a causal link between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and this syndrome, a rising incidence might be anticipated after the introduction of this vaccine in the UK in 1988. Published evidence is inadequate to show whether there is a change in incidence or a link with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. A genetic predisposition to autisic-spectrum disorders is suggested by over-representation in boys and a greater concordance rate in monozygotic than in dizybotic twins.
As for the alleged retraction by the coauthors, they wrote:
as the data were insufficient. However, the possibility of such a link was raised and consequent events have had major implications for public health. In view of this, we consider now is the appropriate time that we should together formally in the paper, according to the precedent.
Read Hammond's full article. It's mind opening as to how a religion has been formed around vaccines.