July 30, 2003
MMR is in the news again - Mothers lose MMR battle. Lord Justice Sedley said the evidence presented by the mothers in the earlier hearing that the MMR vaccination was dangerous and untenable was "junk science". A bit of sanity, at last.
In general, the Media's coverage of MMR is appalling. The impression given to the public is that the jury is still out on MMR, whereas in fact the scientific consensus is that it is totally safe.
To any parents out there who are wondering about MMR, I say this: Do some reasearch. Don't rely on newspapers to tell you what's going on - they are, uh, misleading, to say the least. "MMR Controversy" is a story, "MMR Safe" isn't, and the papers seem to value a story more than they do the truth. Don't trust me, either. Do some reasearch.
Speak to your GP. Visit the NHS's MMR - The Facts site. Do a bit of on-line research, being careful to stick to reliable sources.
And don't get me started on Carol Bloody Vorderman...
Posted to Parenting by Simon Brunning at July 30, 2003 01:50 PM
The "media" love this rubbish about MMR. A lovely scare story; scientist against sicentist; no real danger.
Blimey, I wrote about this in September 2001 and it is still an issue. Bah.
It'd be much better for public debate if the media started reporting on this issue in terms of risk. I'd welcome something like this: "Proponents of the theory state that up to 125 in every 100,000 MMR vaccinations trigger mild or severe autism. If this claim is true, then 20% of all cases of autism are triggered by MMR. However most epidemiologists believe that the risk, if present, must 1 in 1,000,000 vaccinations or less." (I just made those statistics up.)
Aside from that, the idea that a government can order its citizens to be medicated is creepy.
The government isn't *ordering* anything. It's just that it's advising its citizens to have the MMR jab, is paying for MMR jabs from public finds, and is refusing to pay for alternative forms of inoculation from public funds, because it disagrees with their use.