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Friday, 8 February, 2002, 09:41 GMT
Confusion over MMR vaccine safety
Child receiving injection
The outbreak of measles in the UK has raised questions over whether parents should use the MMR vaccine to protect their children. BBC News Online examines the debate surrounding the MMR controversy.


February 2002: Fear of measles outbreak

Children in playground
Scientists fear children not being vaccinated could lead to an epidemic

Health officials in South London say they could be facing a major outbreak of measles. Three children have been taken ill with the disease and one has been treated in intensive care. Twenty-two others have shown symptoms of the virus. None of the infected children has had the controversial MMR vaccine.

 The BBC's social affairs editor Niall Dickson reports


Parental concerns

Child receiving an injection
Some parents feel no jab is better than the MMR vaccine

The fear the combined Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine could have side effects such as autism are leaving parents confused. Parents Carol and Darren Warburton have a 14 month old son and face the decision whether to vaccinate their child.

 Click here to listen


February 1998: Research questions the safety of MMR vaccine

Dr Andrew Wakefield
Dr Andrew Wakefield's research led to concerns about the MMR vaccine

The MMR vaccine has been linked with autism. Scientists at the Royal Free Hospital in North London say cases of a bowel condition associated with autism were discovered in children soon after they were given the injection. Government officials say parents should still immunise their children.

 The BBC's Fergus Walsh reports

See also:

28 Jan 02 | Panorama
MMR: Every Parent's Choice
04 Jan 02 | Health
Measles outbreak fears spread
01 Feb 02 | Panorama
Wakefield stands by MMR claims
12 Apr 01 | Health
'Super-measles' warning
04 Jan 01 | Health
Measles: The Irish experience
06 Feb 02 | Health
'My worries over MMR'
06 Feb 02 | Health
Q&A: Measles research
06 Feb 02 | England
Child dropped as patient over MMR
06 Feb 02 | UK Politics
Blair attacks MMR 'scaremongers'
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