Apparently measles cases in England and Wales almost doubled in the first 6 months of this year compared to the same period last year. Wow, that’s a pretty scary statistic. Maybe you don’t think it is, it’s only measles right? Wrong. Measles is a really nasty illness, it can be serious,it can lead to severe and permanent injuries such as blindness, meningitis and encephalitis and can be fatal. If a woman catches it in early pregnancy it can cause birth defects. That’s why in the UK we vaccinate against that Rubella and the Mumps in the MMR.
The MMR, three little letters, one life saving vaccine. So why are people so scared of the MMR. Why have some people decided not to vaccinate? The issue of MMR and links to autism first arose following a study by Dr Andrew Wakefield in 1998. He claimed that his initial findings appeared to show a link between the MMR vaccine and autism and bowel disease. His work has since been completely discredited and further studies over the last few years and found no link between MMR and autism or bowel disease. I can understand why people were scared when his initial report came out but I hoped that people would realise that now the bigger threat comes from the diseases we are vaccinating against and not the vaccination. Clearly not.
There are some quite significant outbreaks currently in Merseyside and Sussex, I’d be interested to know why this is and if it is down to specific issues in these areas such as lack of NHS contact advising that vaccinations are due? Or is it down to specific cases in those areas that have scared people, or specific NHS staff opinions on the MMR vaccine? What do you think?
I’m a firm believer in vaccinations and my children have had all their jabs. They haven’t had any adverse reactions to them. I know this isn’t the case for all children but surely a cranky child for a couple of days is preferable to a child who contracts a disease that they could have been protected against? That’s my view anyway. I’d be interested to hear if you have any ideas/theories as to why this could be as this is a real area of interest for me.