Friday, February 06, 2009


I hear today that there has been a 36% rise in cases of measles during the past year.

This of course is as a result of the 'research' produced by Professor Wakefield and published in The Lancet ten years ago. It was of course impossible to miss the enormous impact his claims that the MMR jab caused autism made and parents across the country were panicked into refusing to allow their child to have the vaccination which would have protected them against measles, not to mention mumps and rubella. You will still hear parents today who are frightened to allow their child to have the MMR injection 'because it causes autism'.

If you try to find the article he wrote that led to the backlash against the MMR jab you will struggle - The Lancet has ensured it can not be seen on the web, but that in itself is a classic case of shutting the stable door well after the horse has legged it. Wakefield's lasting legacy can be seen in today's figures.

But how on earth did what he say make such a huge impact, and why did the media chose to highlight it so prominently when his 'research' was based on studying just 12 children?

Yes - I did mean to say that his 'research' was based on studying just 12 children. Totally mad, totally true, and totally damaging to the health of our children. Wakefield must be so proud.


Karen said...

I had it, twice even as I had a top up as a teenager. And I seem to have turned out OK (she said hopefully!)

Reidski said...

This was a very middle-class phenomenon. I could be wrong, but I bet the areas with the highest number of measles cases in London will be in the likes of Dulwich, Blackheath, Hampstead, etc. Any parent who refused to allow their child an MMR jab should be ashamed of themselves - with or without the evidence which suggested that the vaccinations "caused autism", as we knew the flimsy research was just that!

Nice to see lots and lots of blogs from you this week, JJ!

Gill said...

I had measles and it was horrible. I know someone who got it inside their brain and became mentally disabled. My friends family all got polio. I am really glad we have vaccinations against a lot of childhood illnesses now.

J.J said...

Twice Karen! Poor you. I had it when I was 2 - not that I cna remember a thing about it.

Reidski - definitely a middle class thing - and they should all be ashamed of putting not just their own child at risk but others too by not allowing their child to be vaccinated.
As for the lots of blogs - anyone woudl think I was stuck at home with nothing to do! Look forward to seeing some blogs on yours btw!

Gill, we are so fortunate to have these vaccinations. It really does make me angry when some parents abuse that good fortune in this way.