These pages include helpful information for parents on:
- how to assess information on immunisations
- why children should be immunised
- what vaccines contain
- immunisation schedules
- frequently asked questions
In other immunisation news, the General Medical Council’s ruling against Professor John Walker-Smith has been overturned. He had been found guilty of professional misconduct following claims he took part in unapproved research that suggested links between the MMR vaccine, bowel disease and autism.
Helen Bedford, Senior Lecturer in Children’s Health at UCL Institute of Child Health and David Elliman, consultant community paediatrician at Whittington Health, comment on the news:
“The reversal of the GMC ruling does not alter the fact that there is no link between MMR vaccine and autism and bowel disease; there has never been any sound evidence of a link, indeed there is a strong body of research showing no link. However, many parents who were anxious about the safety of MMR vaccine in the early 2000s decided not to have their children immunised. These children are now teenagers and remain at risk of measles, mumps and rubella. Ironically all these diseases are more serious in older people. Fortunately, it is never too late to have the MMR vaccine and I would strongly recommend that young people who missed out when they were younger have two doses of the vaccine to protect them into their adult years.” Helen Bedford
"Mr Justice Mitting's decision that the GMC was wrong to strike Professor John Walker-Smith's name from the medical register has no bearing on the proposed link between the MMR vaccine and autism. There has never been any reliable scientific evidence supporting a link and, as Mr Justice Mitting himself said, now there is a large body of evidence against a link. The vaccine is highly effective and extensive research has shown that serious side effects are uncommon. Because of the scare surrounding the original paper published in 1998, many parents did not have their children immunised and there has been a large increase in cases of measles. The uptake of the vaccine is now improving and we should be able to get measles under control again. It would be a pity if this judgement was taken as supporting a link between MMR and autism, and parents starting rejecting the vaccine again." David Elliman
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