Sunday, 16 February 2014

measles map

disgraced and later struck-off doctor Andrew Wakefield, who maintained for many years that the triple vaccine, "MMR" against measles, mumps and rubella caused autism, now lives in America, where he continues to maintain that view, and where he is supported by various autism support groups. I saw at first hand a number of years ago parents' fear for their children which led them to put not only their own children's health, but public health in general, at risk by refusing to have their children vaccinated. I have met people in more recent years who refuse to accept that they are thus endangering public health, including that of their own chidren if the general health of the nation is a matter of indifference to them. Some years on, it is clear that in parts of Africa, where vaccination rates have been and remain low (not because of parents' wishes) measles infection is little changed (a very poor show in itself) measles clusters have appeared in a number of more affluent parts of the world. The Sunday Times (£) has something to say about this today.Wakefield is largely responsible for this damage to public health, including deaths and crippling disability. He may be/have been sincere, but still - it does smack of lives sacrificed to ideology. Those of us who comment on these matters are often asked to declare an interest as regards their own families. Well, I can do that. My children are too old for the MMR, though the single vaccine for measles was available. So they did not have measles but they did have mumps and rubella. If the MMR vaccine had been available they certainly would have had it.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes - same with my kids. Incidentally, they could not have the whooping cough jab because their half sister is epileptic -- and my daughter therefore caught whooping cough aged just over a year and nearly died.