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Friday, 8 February, 2002, 18:27 GMT
MMR: A family dilemma
Child receiving injection
BBC Radio 5 Live's Breakfast programme has been following a couple's search for answers to the MMR controversy.

Carol and Darren Warburton, from Cardiff, quizzed experts as they tried to decide whether to give their 14-month-old son, Philip, the triple vaccine.

Below you can hear their questions and find out what decision they reach.


Parental concerns

Darren and Carol Warburton, and 14-month-old Philip
Darren and Carol Warburton, and 14-month-old Philip

The fear that the MMR vaccine could have adverse side effects, such as autism, is leaving many parents confused. The Warburtons outline their main concerns.

 Click here to listen


A single solution?

Hypodermic needle
Health officials do not believe the single vaccine is effective

Many parents are now choosing the single measles jab. Dr Peter Mansfield, a retired GP, advocates the use of the single vaccine. He tells the Warburtons commercial pressures are the key barrier to the single vaccination becoming more widely available.

 Click here to listen


Fear of measles outbreak

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

Some health officials feel cases of the disease in London could hint at dwindling levels of immunity across the nation. Carol Warburton asks the head of the Public Health Laboratory's immunisation department, Dr Elizabeth Miller, why the MMR vaccine is still the preferred option.

 Click here to listen


Worries over levels of risk

Dr Andrew Wakefield
Dr Andrew Wakefield

Carol Warburton tells Dr Andrew Wakefield, whose research led to concerns about the vaccine, that parents are confused about the level of risk associated with the jab.

 Click here to listen


Scientific reassurance

Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Sir Liam Donaldson
Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Sir Liam Donaldson

The government's chief medical expert defends the MMR vaccine as a safe and effective way to protect children from disease. Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer for England, warns that switching to a single measles jab would inevitably put more children at risk.

 Click here to listen


Final verdict

Philip Warburton
14-month-old Philip's parents remain uncertain of the risks

The risk of side effects from the MMR vaccine is the family's main concern. England's deputy chief medical officer Dr Pat Troop explains why the policy of MMR vaccination remains the only choice on the NHS and Darren Warburton reveals the decision the family has finally reached.

 Click here to listen to the Warburton's conclusions

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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