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Sunday 23rd October 2016

MMR fears dropping

16th March 2007

Figures released by the Department of Health suggest that many less parents have concerns over the MMR jab than they did five years ago.

Nearly three-quarters of mothers responded to the survey by saying they thought the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine was safe or carried a slight risk, representing a 14 per cent increase in confidence since 2002.  The survey of 1,000 women also revealed that the number of mothers who believe MMR carried a greater risk than the diseases it protects against has dropped.  The government says the survey reflected an upturn in people bringing their children for the vaccine.

The combined MMR vaccine has courted controversy ever since a scientific paper by Dr Andrew Wakefield linked the jab to autism in 1998.  His findings have since been discredited but it has taken time for public confidence in the immunisation programme to be restored.  In the meantime, several outbreaks of measles have been reported leading to fears for the health of British children.  Previous mistrust in the whooping cough vaccine proved it can take a long time for parents’ faith in an immunisation programme to return so GPs and the government are delighted by these new figures. A spokesperson for the Department of Health said, "This is good news and we are delighted to see the restoration of parental confidence in MMR, fully supported by scientific evidence on the safety of the vaccine.â€?

However, staunch rejecters of the combined jab said parents should be given the choice over whether to give their children single vaccines.  Jackie Fletcher of the campaign group, Jabs, said, "The Department of Health has still not addressed the problems, they seem to be brushing them under the carpet."

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