ITV has learnt nothing from the MMR/autism scandal

The current measles outbreak is in large part down to parents not getting their children vaccinated in the late nineties/early noughties because of misinformation about a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Not everyone has learnt from past mistakes, either.

The current measles outbreak is in large part down to parents not getting their children vaccinated in the late nineties/early noughties because of misinformation about a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

One of the things which led to the spread of misinformation was media pundits and concerned parents being given media exposure as if they were experts in the area of vaccination. In the end it became one giant feedback loop. The media ran scare campaigns, parents read them and then the media fed back the concerns of parents for another round of sensationalist scaremongering.

Very often a ‘concerned parent’ was brought before the cameras as if their concerns were of equal weight to a large body of scientific evidence. ‘Balance’ became a nonsense whereby the equivalent of the Flat Earth Society was given equal weight to the Royal Geographical Society.

It’s depressing to notice today, then, that not everyone has learnt from past mistakes.

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Sometimes being an ‘elitist’ is good. Informed experts are the people to take part in an influential debate (it will presumably be broadcast to several million people, after all) on the safety of the MMR vaccine, not, with all due respect, concerned mums and dads.

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7 Responses to “ITV has learnt nothing from the MMR/autism scandal”

  1. Tisme's Page

    So your position is that ‘because parents DID NOT vaccinate their children, this is what has caused the MMR Scandal and ‘autism scare’. So how do you account for my son then? He was vaccinated TWICE with the MMR and STILL contracted measles. He was not born autistic, he became autistic after the age of 5 because he got encephalitis following the MMR booster. (Autism typically appears around the age of two years – development of autism after this age is very rare). The Government says my son does not exist.

    The fact is the science behind MMR is flawed – if this country was serious about eradicating measles then parents who are concerned would be allowed the opportunity to take their children to have a single vaccination. But it isn’t. The Government admitted recently that its about the “MMR programme NOT the eradication of measles in the UK” they are most interested in. Why? Because many, if not all of these Government ministers are in executive positions (on boards etc.) of the drug companies etc. and have a vested interest in furthering the MMR programme over the safely of children.

    The whole issue of vaccination has so very little to do with protecting the health of children it is truly scary when you get down to it.

    And for this matter, if this was SO high a priority – why is that we don’t insist on people coming to the UK be vaccinated BEFORE they arrive? The measles that we have is not native to the UK, it is brought IN TO this country (all though some would contend the measles is caused by the vaccine itself, but as I say, the science is just not being done to support EITHER position.)

    These are highly controversial issues, but the moritorium on scientific study brought in following the MMR class action trial in 2005, has not help allay any of the myths, concerns or enhance the credibility of MMR.

    Just sayin’.

    Oh for the record – I am NOT a “rabid anti-vaccinationist” btw – just a Carer of a severely disabled young man who was born absolutely normal, who went to get her son vaccinated – TWICE – then one day he was disabled. I believe in the right to choose. This Government has taken away the right to choice for parents. So its MMR – and roll the dice, or no MMR – and suffer the consequences. What choice is that? I DID vaccinate. And now I have a severely disabled son to care for.

  2. Alec

    Firstly, I am truly sorry for your son’s condition. Secondly, in response, I am loathe to say that no vaccine is 100% reliable (although sufficient uptake confers herd immunity) because, although that would explain his contracting measles, it would give credence to the belief there’s a link between MMR and autism; one which was compounded by Wakefield’s demonstrated falsified research.

    And for this matter, if this was SO high a priority – why is that we
    don’t insist on people coming to the UK be vaccinated BEFORE they

    Depending on the disease and the region they hail from, I wouldn’t have a problem with some sort of public health monitoring. Parts of the country are seeing rises in TB for similar reasons.

    As for the matter of choice, this extends to parents’ expectation that their children – immuno-compromised or not – an go to school without risk of exposure to potentially lethal diseases.


  3. Alec

    As a babe in arms, I was vaccinated against pertussis (as well as tetanus and diphtheria) which was especially pertinent as I’m a chronic asthmatic. Yet I STILL contracted it. Why? Maybe I was less susceptible to the vaccine (as the atopic kid, with asthma and eczema and allergies, I certainly could have been immuno-compromised)… then again, maybe had it not been for a similar downturn in update of DPT at the end of the 70s beginning of the 80s, I might not have been exposed to it.

    Onto my eczema, there’s an argument – much stronger than that against MMR. which admittedly aint hard – that the anti-smallpox drive contributed to the rise in incidence of children with acute eczema. My mother was vaccinated.

    Even if this were so, as personally disappointed as I would be, I would consider anyone railing against the smallpox vaccine to be utterly bonkers.


  4. Rob Shorrock

    Why do you believe in the ‘safety’ of a single vaccination over a combined vaccination? What is the active ingredient in MMR that causes autism, in your view, that is not present in a single vaccine.?

  5. Alec

    I think the argument is that it was the MMR itself… no! it was the mercury… sorry, I mean it was introducing wild measles… nah, I mean leaky gut… oh, I don’t know. Like conspiracy theorists, they don’t need coherence or to concern themselves with all the misses in their argument… just the one or two hits.


  6. Autismum

    Really enjoyed this post. I am sick to death of parents – mainly mothers – of autistic children being portrayed as credulous fools who fell for Wakefield’s lies.

  7. Kim Pomares

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    — Kim

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