Why wouldn’t you get your child vaccinated against measles?

April 6, 2013

All parents want to do the best for our children – to nurture them and keep them safe and well until they’re able to take care of themselves.

It is beyond me, then, why an estimated 3,800 children in Wales have still not been vaccinated against measles, mumps or rubella – despite the fact that there is now a very serious measles epidemic.

Measles is not like chicken pox. It can be very dangerous, causing eye disorders, deafness, brain damage, or, worst case scenario, death. This is not a disease to be messed with.

Of course, the whole MMR vaccine controversy was caused by scientific misconduct. It was proved that the author of the original paper, Andrew Wakefield, had undeclared conflicts of interest and manipulated evidence. His paper was discredited in 2010 and he was struck off by the GMC in 2011. There have been other studies all around the world and none have found a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. It is natural for parents to want to find a reason why their children developed autism, but the scientific evidence is that the MMR is not to blame. Those are the facts.

BFG_and_sophieIf you’re still not sure whether to get your child vaccinated against measles, I urge you to read this incredibly moving article by Roald Dahl on the death of his daughter. I’ve shared it frequently, but now more than ever it seems prudent to share it again.

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  • Steph Nimmo April 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I too feel very strongly about this, I was left deaf in one ear after measles and my immunocompromised child is at risk from unvaccinated children. I have an elder son with autism,he had autism before he had the MMR. I firmly believe the increase in autism is down to diagnosis not the MMR.

  • Crystal Jigsaw April 12, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Funny how autism has been around forever yet the MMR hasn’t isn’t it?! The MMR was a scapegoat because even the (so-called) experts haven’t a damn clue what causes autism. Virtually every family that has one member on the autism spectrum also has another – it may not be in the immediate family but it will be in the bloody chain. The MMR is not to blame. Nothing is to blame. Autism happens. It is incurable and unprevented. End of. All the scientific jargon, big words, physics and chemistry of it all means nothing to a parent of an autistic child.

    *climbs off soapbox*

    CJ x

  • sarahhillwheeler April 8, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Totally agree with you. My son has a long term “life limiting” health condition which means if he caught measles (or any other infection) it could be very serious (and, of course, as you say, measles can be serious in itself).

    Prior to his MMR I did alot of reading (with view to having single injections if necessary) and was totally convinced of the value in vacinations. In my opnion, we should consider seriously the American system of requiring vacination before joining school.

  • oddlyactive April 8, 2013 at 10:17 am

    All sorts of reasons – but you’d have to read much more widely than just a pamphlet from your local GP. In a nutshell, though, all 3 components of MMR have been linked historically (LONG before Wakefiled) with Autism – Measles and Rubella as direct causes of autism and Mumps as an indirect ‘trigger’ through complications like meningitis – and MMR itself has been implicated in vaccine damage cases, with payouts made by the Govt’s own Vaccine Damage Payment Unit. The latter cases led to several batches/cultures of MMR being withdrawn.

    There is much, much more, but you have to look for it rather than just accepting the official version handed out by your GP, which is pretty much written by the companies providing the vaccines.

    Franki: While I agree to a degree with the sentiment you’re expressing I really think you need to put this into perspective… If you look beyond the scaremongering at the actual statistics for death or serious complications from measles mumps or rubella prior to the introduction of vaccines, they’re not actually the ‘killer’ diseases they’re represented as.

    Compare that with the rising incidence of autism over the past couple of decades and caution / scepticism might seem the sensible option. Discrediting Andrew Wakefield’s has in no way excluded MMR as a potential trigger for autism – it’s just muddied the water.

    Similarly, the non-specific ‘studies’ used to imply no causal link were precisely that – non-specific. Look at the historical evidence for both BSE/CJD and Thalidomide and you’ll see it took five/ten years respectively of dedicated research to establish links of cause and effect. Or cigarettes and lung cancer is another good one… IF MMR is implicated in autism it is not a ‘direct’ link (as it was in all the other cases mentioned) but an indirect one, or ‘trigger’, relevant to post natal development during the vital ‘Zero-Three’ phase of infant brain development.

    I would add, I’m not ‘anti’ MMR – I think that mass (or ‘herd’) inoculation makes good sense for the vast majority of people. I do think, though, that parents who rely on a pamphlet picked up from their local GP and/or indirect research studies funded by drug companies making the vaccines need to read more widely to get an idea of the complexities involved.

  • Franki April 6, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Great post, I always say to friends that even if there was a link I’d rather have a child alive with autism than risk losing them to measles! Xx

  • JallieDaddy April 6, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Brilliant post, & very well written. I live near Swansea & my 3-year-olds have only had 1 jab & are due to start pre-school, so we’re bringing forward their 2nd jab this morning.

    My website link is to a post that gives Public Health Wales’ advice on their amended vaccination recommendations for those in the epidemic area.

    Great post, thanks