Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Andrew Wakefield and the MMR

This morning in the school playground I was part of a discussion about whether someone should give her child the MMR jab. She specifically mentioned Autism. Really? After all of this time?

Andrew Wakefield was a Doctor who invested in several companies, including a company which made single vaccines for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
He took a group of 12 Autistic children and subjected them to a series of tests, including invasive tests such as Lumbar punctures and Colonoscopy, and in 1998 published a paper stating that possibly the MMR was the trigger of Autism in 8 of the children (and Mumps was responsible in one other). He then went to a Press Conference and stated it was definitely true and the MMR should be withdrawn. He suggested the best way to get around this was?....You guessed it...give single vaccines.

Some of the children recruited for the testing were only there because their parents had already decided the MMR was responsible and were filing Lawsuits. Other children were recruited via anti-MMR campaigns. Andrew Wakefield was paid at least £435,600 by the Lawyers involved who wanted to prove the MMR was responsible for Autism. His paid job was to try and find a link.

5 of the children had recorded developmental delay dating back to before they had the MMR jab.
3 of the 12 children didn't even have a diagnosis of Autism.
His findings have never in any way been backed up by any other research before or afterwards.
Some of the findings reported to The Lancet were different to the original tables of data held by the Royal Free Hospital.
One of the children involved in the initial research developed life-threatening complications as a direct result of 'testing' and received a hefty out-of-court settlement.

Measles, Mumps and Rubella can all have serious side effects, including encephalitis, with Rubella most dangerous for adults. All can cause damage to an unborn baby including deformity, deafness, miscarriage and stillbirth. Mumps famously can damage a male's fertility, although this is incredibly rare.
Approximately 1/3 of children who catch Measles will develop complications including Pneumonia and Ear Infections.  For every 1000 children who get Measles 1-2 will die and 1 will develop Encephalitis which may leave them deaf, blind or mentally damaged.

In 2003 the uptake figures for MMR were as low as 70% in parts of the UK, and in the Welsh Measles epidemic of late 2012- early 2013 1455 people developed Measles. Around 180 of these were babies and toddlers too young to be given the MMR, who should have been protected by the fact that everyone else had it. 1 child died.

In 2010 Andrew Wakefield was found guilty of Serious Professional Misconduct by the the General Medical Council and struck off. His greed is directly responsible for the death and permanent injury of many children.

And anyway, what's so horrific about Autism?




Sources -
The Centre for Disease Control And Prevention (The CDC)
The NHS
The Guardian
The British Medical Journal

30 comments:

  1. I'm sure that the anti-vaccination brigade will be around to argue with the scientific evidence at some point but I wanted to applaud this post.

    I don't want to go back to last winter when I had a three month old baby and a friend's four boys all got mumps because her idiotic partner refused to let her give them the MMR, the worry that my tiny daughter had been exposed to Mumps because people didn't do their duty to society and get their children immunised is something no parent should face. It isn't as simple as just your children, if everyone who can does immunise then those children who are allergic, weak, frail or too young are kept safe. It isn't a middle class lifestyle choice, it's a matter of life and death.

    There are families the world over who would love the chance to protect their children against diseases that can kill them and would laugh in the faces of anyone saying 'I don't know whether to get my children immunised' and that's well deserved in my opinion.

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  2. It amazes me how many people still don't have their children vaccinated and I think it is incredibly selfish and silly. I have taken up every vaccination offered for my children as I'd rather take that tiny risk than have them get a serious illness which could do them a lot of harm in the future.

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    Replies
    1. On a genuine risk for risk basis its really a no-brainer... :)

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  3. My next door neighbours believed his lies. They paid for all the separate jabs. Their son is autistic. The only positive to come out of it is that if he had the jab they would of blamed the mmr. They would of felt guilty because of his lies. As it is they now know it's hereditary through a faulty gene. I just can't believe people still believe him.

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    1. It's scary isn't it? That someone can say something so wrong all those years ago and still be in people's minds

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  4. I agree with Pippa. What did they blame autism on before the MMR?

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    1. Good point - probably just heredity... :D

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  5. People just amaze me - I had no qualms about giving Monkey the MMR jab, I just think it's madness not to vaccinate. Monkey had his Flu nasal spray this afternoon, and I've got friends debating on whether to have that - for goodness sake!

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  6. It didn't cross my mind NOT to give 6yo the MMR when she was younger. I think the nature of society is that people will always find something or someone to blame, and that blame will usually arise from personal circumstances. None of us can ever truly know what will happen, and we have to put our faith in what we feel comfortable with.

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    Replies
    1. It is true that we always need someone to blame, we never just accept things are the way they are...

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  7. What a fantastic post. It's shocking the damage a load of scaremongering and greed can inflict. Loads of people are genuinely scared of the triple vaccination. It's our duty to inform ourselves of the facts, though...good on you for putting this out there.

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  8. good post jen. I agree with you totally, mmr does not cause autism and its a shame people still worry that it does. It's sad because of children going around unprotected due to this and also putting younger children at risk as you mentioned. I also dont like it as a parent of autistic child(ren - depending on outcome of the others assessments :p) as I always feel there is that edge of blame there when people say oh mmr has caused this, or such and such food/diet could cause this, or pollution cause this etc.... always a hint of its your fault you shouldnt have vaccinate your children. but it is what it is, whether genetic or by chance or whatever else, at this stage we largely don't know the causes of autism so why speculate so much especially when childrens health is being risked by discouraging vaccinations

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    1. Cheers Anna. Your opinion in this especially means a lot to me... :)

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  9. I'm so tired of this being dragged up time and time again. People like bandwagons and especially the anti vaccine brigade! There is clearly no proof and was all about money in my opinion have 4 children, all have had MMR, 2 have autism and 2 don't, my partner their dad also has autism, so in our case its probably hereditary. I agree with your point to is autism that bad,no its not, If someone offered to take my childrens autism away I would say no, yes its hard work some days,but if my children didn't have autism they wouldn't be the wonderful individual children they are.

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  10. My uncle is deaf in one ear as a result of catching measles as a youngster. No qualms for me getting my kids vaccinated!

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    1. :) I used to work with a few people who were deaf due to Measles. Thanks Becky.

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  11. Very well said Jenny, I remember when Ben was a baby, I was only 22 and I have to admit I found some decisions really difficult, always wondering if I was doing right for my child especially when there were often older more confident parents questions them. The decision to give him the MMR jab however was easy to make, the real evidence is clear and available to anyone who wishes to look. I was not about to risk my child's health based on twisted research by someone with a vested interest. I also think your last point is so important to ask, what is so horrific about Autism? I am on the Autism spectrum and there is a possibility my son may be too. I also know many parents of beautiful and bright autistic children. Autism is not caused by the MMR vaccine but neither is it something to be scared of.

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    1. Cheers Jen. That means a hell of a lot to me :) x

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  12. So true. My son has autism but i am glad I got him vacinated, I don;t think it was the cause

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