Still worried about combined vaccination

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 12:00am
 

It would seem that Alex Lo has missed the point regarding the continuing debate over the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab ('Sometimes the public can get too much information', South China Morning Post, June 18).


Yes, it would appear that in most instances the child is not adversely affected by the three-in-one vaccination. However, the fact is there is still no absolute proof, despite studies in the UK, that it is not linked in a very small number of cases, to autism and Crohn's disease.


I am a firm believer that children should be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella, but I also firmly believe parents should have the choice over how their child should receive the vaccines.


It is despicable that drugs companies, in cahoots with money-saving governments the world over, have stopped issuing the vaccines separately, so they can move the backlog of MMR vaccines already manufactured.


As a parent I do not want to take the risk, however small, of giving my daughter the MMR jab and like many other parents now face the almost impossible task of trying to get the separate vaccines.


A healthy debate over this subject is to be welcomed and has highlighted the relationships between governments and pharmaceutical companies. It has also allowed parents to make informed choices over their child's health and future.


NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED


Alex Lo replies: As a parent who recently took my one-year-old for the MMR jab, I understand 'Name And Address Supplied's' concern. Perhaps to get a clearer picture about the real risk, parents should read the original paper which sparked the debate. The February 1998 paper by A. Wakefield and team is available for free at www.lancet.com as well as critical expert comments. Key search words are Wakefield, MMR, Measles.


Concerned parents should also check out Clinical Evidence, www.clinicalevidence.com for the latest review of about 3,000 vaccine studies and government reports.


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