Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Pre Wakefield concerns about MMR and other vaccines

Pre Wakefield concerns about vaccines:

I think too much emphasis on Wakefield has clouded the issue of vaccine safety. The media is blaming Andrew Wakefield for the low take up of MMR vaccination in Wales. 

Newspaper publicity about the Wakefield study that linked MMR (measles, mumps & rubella) vaccination to onset of autism, is believed to be the reason parents chose not to give this to young babies. The current outbreak of measles affecting many children and teenagers in Wales is thought to be the result.

However long before the Wakefield controversy there were concerns over safety of vaccines.

  • In the 60’s some children suffered harm from  whooping cough vaccinations which led to the UK Vaccine Damage Payments Act of 1979
  • Urabe mumps strain in MMR caused harm to some - read about this here:
  • Contaminated polio vaccine led to deaths in the 50’s:

       DES Daughters
If the UK government really want herd protection to eradicate measles - why don’t they provide the single vaccine free? The single vaccines are preferred by many parents who do not wish to overload their baby's immune system with to many vaccines at the same time. Many parents pay privately for single vaccines. Not all parents who would like to do this can afford the cost.

About the illnesses:

When I had children during the 60’s we expected them to be ill with measles, mumps and possibly even German measles/rubella. My children had all these diseases and we coped. 

My first three children had measles at the same time. We were running into the darkened bedrooms with cool water and drinks for a few days. 

Mumps was a mild illness and discovered when the neck is tender and one feels a swollen gland.
One is thankful if son's have this before puberty, as in the adult male it may affect the testicles.

Rubella is a mild illness. However it may harm a foetus if pregnant mother came into contact.
 I knew of one child born with significant sight impairment, possibly due to this, the mother was told. My daughter had a rash on her chest for one day and this was possibly rubella we were informed.

Many believe the childs immunity builds up for life following exposure to childhood illnesses.

Measles was dealt with by keeping the child in a darkened room, feeding plenty of fluids, bathing with cool water to keep temperature down and they soon recovered. We heard of more serious effects but these were rare. 

I wonder if today’s health professionals know the best way to manage childhood illnesses, since mass vaccination has reduced the incidents. 

Long before Dr Wakefield supported parents view of MMR vaccine being linked to onset of autism, parents were hearing anecdotal reports of problems following vaccination. 

Wakefield should not be the scape goat for lack of faith in claims that vaccines are safe for all. No pharmaceutical product is without harm. Parents need to be given the data and judge the benefit versus harm when making decisions.

All clinical trial data needs to be published, not just selective data. Doctors should report suspected adverse reactions using the Yellow Card system. 

We do not have any accurate data of adverse reactions due to low support of the system and failure of coroners to use it. 

Patient's and their representatives may also report side effects of medicines and vaccines.

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