MMR Vaccine: Hang your heads in shame

Each country has their own particular brand of bullshit. In America they are terrified of thimerosal, the preservative used in vaccinations. Jim Carrey goes on chatshows and writes articles rallying against the “toxins” in vaccines, whilst arguing that we should only be inoculated against “the most serious threats”. In France it is the hepatitis B vaccine – anecdotal reports linked it with multiple sclerosis and suddenly the numbers taking the vaccine started to plummet. And in the UK it is MMR, inspired by the fraudulent physician Andrew Wakefield; the media had a field day, whipped into a frenzy by the dubious claims of a dodgy doctor.

But it doesn’t really matter what the scandal is, for the end result is always the same: falling vaccination rates. That tiny seed of doubt planted in parents’ minds, grows into a nagging fear and in the end many decide it’s “better to be safe than sorry” and don’t get their children vaccinated.

In Britain, MMR vaccination compliance fell from 92 percent in 1996 to 84 percent six years later. In France, where the fear wasn’t even of MMR, but of the hepatitis B vaccination, MMR compliance fell as low as 85 percent.

And we are now seeing the consequences.

Measles is an infection of the respiratory system. In most cases it is extremely nasty, but not life-threatening, however complications (often neurological) are common.

The main danger though is to those who are immunocompromised, where the fatality rate is around 30 percent. Outbreaks spread rapidly because measles is so contagious – meaning that the most vulnerable come into contact with the measles virus all too often.

France is currently in the middle of an epidemic. Over 7000 cases have been reported this year – more than in the whole of 2010. In the first four months of this epidemic there were thirteen cases with serious neurological complications and two deaths from associated pneumonia. And now it is spreading across the channel, with infection rates in the UK ten times as high as in a similar period last year.

In some cases complications will arise. At the very least, many more children will be exposed to a horrible virus. Hopefully, we won’t see quite the same epidemic as France, but as a nation we are now more susceptible than we were a couple of decades ago – and that is the very real consequence of poor journalism.

The original coverage of Wakefield’s 1998 study was actually fairly balanced, it was only a number of years later that the scare started to take off.

Spurred by our Prime Minister’s refusal to reveal whether he had decided to have his child vaccinated, the newspapers smelt a controversy and called in medical heavyweights such as Nigella Lawson, Fiona Phillips and Carol Vorderman. Suddenly the ‘expert’ was the arbiter, empirical evidence had been replaced with the fears of scared celebrity mothers and a study later denounced as “dishonest” and “misleading” by the General Medical Council was held up as conclusive proof of the link between the MMR vaccination and autism.

So when the child of the parents who decided it was “better to be safe than sorry” catches measles, we now at least know who to blame: those who propagated the doubtful findings of a rogue doctor.

Hamish Birrell



'MMR Vaccine: Hang your heads in shame' have 61 comments

  1. 11/06/2011 @ 22:20 DCA

    Drug regulators accused of risking patient safety
    Sarah Boseley, guardian.co.uk, May 10 2011
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/10/drug-regulators-accused-obesity-drug

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  2. 11/06/2011 @ 22:30 DCA

    Two Prominent Vaccine “Experts” Exposed
    AHRP, Tuesday, 17 May 2011
    http://www.ahrp.org/cms/content/view/811/9/

    And what about this one?

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  3. 11/06/2011 @ 22:42 DCA

    Jury Finds Johnson & Johnson Violated Consumer Protection Law
    AHRP, March 25 2011
    http://www.ahrp.org/cms/content/view/788/70/

    There are too many cases of pharma fraud and related injury for folks to read all of them? And who wants to have to? Awful. Folks have to have some better laws and more transparency in all of this, get rid of folks with financial conflicts of interest making important decisions on related public policy, and so on? Ugh. These problems are really tragic and out of control from all I am reading. Things are getting better, slowly, in the U.S. Folks are trying to get some drug safety regulations passed which would include giving the FDA the power order recalls for unsafe drugs? Some folks are like, ‘They don’t have this power now?’ Uh, not from what I have read.

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  4. 11/06/2011 @ 22:43 DCA

    Pew: Drug Safety and Accountability Act of 2010

    The Drug Safety and Accountability Act of 2010 (S.3690) seeks to strengthen industry standards to ensure the quality and safety of drugs made for the U.S. market, and to improve the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) oversight abilities through modernized information systems and new authorities, such as the power to order a drug recall.

    More: http://www.prescriptionproject.org/tools/initiatives_factsheets/files/DSAA-RxP-Bill-Summary.pdf

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  5. 11/06/2011 @ 22:48 DCA

    FBI: Elan Pharmaceuticals Pleads Guilty, Sentenced for Off-Label Marketing of Zonegran
    U.S. Attorney’s Office, February 28, 2011
    http://www.fbi.gov/boston/press-releases/2011/bs022811a.htm

    More pharma fraud reports. It is a tragedy, sad. Hope you have a good day!

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  6. 11/06/2011 @ 23:02 DCA

    In Memoriam: Infant Deaths & Vaccination
    Barbara Loe Fisher, NVIC, May 25, 2011
    http://vaccineawakening.blogspot.com/2011/05/in-memoriam-infant-deaths-vaccination.html

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  7. 11/06/2011 @ 23:07 DCA

    RE: Problems associated with the Hepatitis B vaccine

    And here are some more links to studies indicating problems with Hepatitis B vaccination, compiled on this GreenMedInfo site:

    http://www.greenmedinfo.com/anti-therapeutic-action/vaccination-hepatitis-b

    You have to scroll down this page to get to the links to the studies.

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  8. 11/06/2011 @ 23:12 DCA

    GlaxoSmithKline not liable to pay Pandemrix damages -Mediuutiset
    Helsinki Times, 04 February 2011
    http://www.helsinkitimes.fi/htimes/domestic-news/general/14134-glaxosmithkline-not-liable-to-pay-pandemrix-damages-mediuutiset-.html

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  9. 10/07/2011 @ 17:23 DCA

    We don’t know enough about childhood vaccines
    By Margaret Dunkle, Baltimore Sun, July 11, 2011
    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-vaccines-illness-20110711,0,7906966.story

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  10. 08/12/2011 @ 13:59 Simpson Wood

    Dr David Lewis the respected whistleblower has recently announced a review of Dr Andrew Wakefield saying there is NO fraud in his Lancet 1988 work , that Dr Wakefield has no case to answer.
    Dr Andrew Wakefields work is entirely legitimate , so where does that leave the British Medical Journal (Godless ?) . Hopefully it means the BMJ goes the same way as the News of the World . It seems these 2 puplications had more in common all along …..who knew ?

    And the story has not been reported in the UK by any of the so called free press , in a so called free country . Why ?
    Because this isnt a free country ! And we dont have a free press .
    Try and find the vaccine injury story of the BBC reporter Malcolm Brabant ….not so easy ….but he worked for the BBC !!

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  11. 28/01/2012 @ 20:45 Annie

    Dear Author,

    please read this article about Robert who has finally got his payout.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1307095/Family-win-18-year-fight-MMR-damage-son–90-000-payout-concerns-vaccine-surfaced.html
    How come that he became disabled from the MMR vaccine and the court acknowledged this if the MMR vaccine is harmless?

    -Annie-

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