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Wednesday, July 29, 1998 Published at 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK


Immunising against worry

The new guide will give independent information on immunising children

Parents worried about immunising their children in the wake of concerns about the MMR vaccination are to get a new step-by-step information guide.

The Health Education Authority has issued an independent review of informtion about children's vaccines which covers everything from homeopathy and GP charges to the possible link between vaccines and disease.

A dramatic fall in the MMR vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella followed a recent study suggesting it was linked to autism.

The government argued that the risk from the three diseases was greater than the risk of developing autism, which is not properly proven.

A spokesperson for the HEA said the information guide would "put parents' minds at rest".

It was devised before the MMR scandal and covers a wide range of issues concerning immunisation.

Plain English

The review, entitled Childhood immunisation - a review for parents and carers, was written by Helen Bedford, a research fellow at the Institute of Child Health, and Dr David Elliman, a consultant community paediatrician.

It has been praised by the Plain English Campaign and was devised in consultation with parents and health professionals.

Ms Bedford said: "It's vitally important that parents receive accurate and independent information about childhood immunisation in order to help them make an informed positive choice and this comprehensive review will help widen their knowledge."

The guide, priced £6.99, and a free leaflet, called A Guide To Childhood Immunisation, are available from HEA customer services Marston book services, PO Box 269, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4YN.

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