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EDITIONS
Panorama Monday, 4 February, 2002, 16:06 GMT
Your comments on MMR: Every Parent's Choice
Your Comments on MMR: Every Parent's Choice

Have your say

Thank you for your emails. We have received 1000s of emails from you. We will continue to post your comments for the rest of the week.


Sarah Barclay's report gave both sides of the argument clearly and fairly. Measles can be a killer and, in my view, the MMR injection should be given to children. This should and must remain parental choice. My thoughts go out to all the parents and their children shown in the film tonight. I very much hope that in the not to distant future, vital questions can, once and for all, be answered helping parents make what is a very vital decision for the long term health of their children.
Steve Fuller
Brighton&Hove

The government's medical experts should not put onto Dr Wakefield the responsibility of proving the connection between Autism and MMR, they should be using all their resources to prove that there isn't a connection. While there is any doubt, parents should be given a choice. The government should trust parents to do the right thing - they are wise enough. Money wasted on advertising campaigns to convince us that MMR is safe, could have been spent on research to find out what is causing the epidemic of Autistic Spectrum Disorders. MMR cannot be dismissed until we know the truth.
Lorna Papaphilippou
Macclesfield

People will respond to given information, regardless of scientific research. So instead of telling us everything is fine which will be largely ignored, surely there is a need to respond to worries and isolate those children at greater risk. Children could then be screened and vaccinated accordingly
Clare Rolfe
Northwich

The oldest is nearly 20 and therefore missed the first wave of MMR vaccines and has not, subsequently, been vaccinated. The second is nearly 16 and was within the first year of vaccines and has had no reaction. My third child (14) was lactose intolerant and had the MMR at 1 year old. He has had continual behavioural problems and I have been told that he has mildly autistic tendencies (Asbergers syndrome has also been mentioned). These problems started after his jabs. My husband and I have decided not to allow out fourth child (4) to be vaccinated because of the adverse (non-proven) comments. There is no history of Asbergers or Autism (I am aware that they are part of the same syndrome) in either my or my husband's family. I asked my doctor about the news stories and was told that they were unsubstantiated and if I was concerned I should think about separate vaccines. I asked for separate vaccines for my fourth child but was told that my surgery didn't provide them as there was a cost implication and they were difficult to source. Autism comes in varying degrees and it is very difficult to get a diagnosis for borderline cases like my son. I wonder how many people are struggling with behavioural problems that could have started at the time of their child¿s MMR jab and have not made any link because there has been no diagnosis of Autism? Do you think there is a case to investigate behavioural problems and their onset as a whole?
Sian Howell
Newbury, Berkshire

We are the parents of a nine month old son and are considering the risks of having him immunised against measles, mumps and rubella. Most of the media coverage of the issue concentrates on the risks of failing to immunise at all, but we don't need convincing of that. We would however like answers to the following questions:- 1. What are the risks, if any, of the single vaccines? 2. What and when are the risks to the child of the diseases that the vaccines are designed to prevent? Are we being asked to have our child immunised to protect others? 3. In what order are the single vaccines given and can this be altered (e.g. have the rubella vaccine earlier if we are planning a second child who might be affected in utero)? 4. At what age can / should the single vaccines start to be administered? 5. Where can we go to have our child immunised by way of single vaccines?
Stella and Tim Lumb
Worthington, Leicestershire

After watching tonight's programme, I am now a bit confused. My daughter had her first MMR vaccine just under 2 years ago with no adverse effects whatsoever - thankfully. When the slip of paper comes through the door for her pre-school one, is there any chance of it having an effect? The programme said that it usually happens before the age of 2 if autism is gong to affect the child. I would appreciate it if you could find the time to reply, as I am now quite anxious about it all.
Patricia Taylor
Braintree

I am a friend and neighbour of the Morrish's, whose son Adam featured in the programme, and I also have several friends whose children are autistic. I wonder why it is necessary for all children to be immunised against measles, mumps and rubella. Surely it is only necessary for small children to be immunised against measles. As I understand it, mumps is only dangerous for boys past the age of puberty, so why could boys not be vaccinated at school at the age of, say, nine. Rubella is not a serious childhood disease and only dangerous for the unborn child, so girls could be vaccinated, say, when they start secondary school. I realise that the government probably wants blanket vaccination to wipe out the disease, but in the face of growing concern and controversy, and diminishing uptake of the triple vaccination, surely it would be better for the government to rethink whether blanket vaccination is desirable - you cannot remove all risk from life.
Nicola Chambury
Crathes, Banchory

I think your programme was propaganda for MMR and for you to ask Wakefield why he didn't wait for further scientific evidence before submitting his studies is tantamount to asking why someone doesn't take precautions against all sorts of threats because there is not enough scientific evidence. Would you suggest the same criteria for the Bubonic Plague? Or a gas attack? Your programme is an irresponsible endorsement of those who are in the pockets of pharmaceutical companies. Vaccination of any sort is tantamount to criminal. I know Wakefield doesn't agree with this, but what cancer time-bomb might have been released with vaccination? I think you could do better, but for some reason you think vaccinations are useful. I suggest you are reading the wrong research.
Tina Graefe
London

I have just watched Panorama in the hope of obtaining information not only on the MMR vaccine but also the alternatives i.e. the pros and cons of single vaccines . I have a ten month old daughter and nobody seems to be able to give me info on the alternatives to MMR .Why?
Sally Hargreaves
Wareham

Make a single vaccination alternative available. After 4 years of debate claim and counter claim no one seems to be able to give a rational explanation as to why a single vaccination cannot be made available. Government and Health Officials all stated that Thalidomide was a safe drug...My son is due for the booster tomorrow and I am not going to allow him to have it. We have already made arrangements for his younger sister to have a single vaccination in France this month, and I will now attempt to ensure my son has the booster in single vaccination form at the same time in France. I understand that thousands of parents are taking legal action, and with the unprecedented increase in numbers of Autistic children in the states, where the vaccine has been used for the longest period, seems to suggest there is no rational explanation or reason to not provide an alternative single vaccine if there is integrity in the desire to reach a 95% rate of immunisation within the population.
Jim Gordon
Brighton

As a father of a 3 month old, I awaited this program with great anticipation. Panorama normally cut to the chase, but in this case I feel they have left the most important questions unasked and unanswered. If there is any doubt no matter how small of MMR causing any form of illness then as a parent we must weigh up the risks and look for the most risk free option. The only option open to us, assuming you want your children vaccinated is to go for the separate vaccinations so why did Panorama not tackle the government over why they are against this, is it simply a matter of clinic time of the cost of separate vaccines. The excuse that any admission of problems with the MMR would put off parents is nonsense. Secondly Where is the information of the countless numbers of parents who have opted for separate vaccines, how many cases of autism per head. This would be the most compelling evidence. I feel thoroughly let down by this program all it has done is given us more questions.. My decision based on the information that the USA has 1 in 32 children now with autism after less than 10 years of MMR has to be to go for separate vaccines regardless of the cost.
David Barber
Stafford

I am a student and I work with people with autism and autism have been around for a long time even before the MMR so you are confusing parents. Bowls desire is a interesting one as well but again that have been around for ages but just been found out a few years ago. I am 21 and I have got crohn's now which I found out in 2000 and went though a bad experience about finding what was wrong with me. My parents didn't know what was going on and I thought it was nothing but it was. I wish it could be all sorted out.
Michelle
Oxford

I am concerned that when a doctor such as Andrew Wakefield feels the need to suggest that there may be a problem he is ridiculed by the medical establishment - instead he should be supported - in medical science it is very difficult to prove anything, many things are discovered many years later- we should not compromise the safety of individuals whether they be children or adults for the sake of politics. Unfortunately anybody who dares to question the status quo is subject to character defamation and public ridicule by the powers that be.
Ann Shillam
Briefly Hill

The anecdotal case of the boy from Leeds sounds quite convincing e.g. the temporal relationship between the MMR jabs and the clinical deteriorations. However, if Dr Wakefield wanted to make a convincing case, surely he should have looked at a large number of non-MMR cases (e.g. from years ago) along with a similar number of MMR cases to assess for a statistically significant difference.
Dr D Purnell
Leicester

Andrew Wakefield is right. We have direct personal experience our son went into a massive decline following MMR. We have spent many 1,000's of pounds on therapy helping him, and everything that his theory predicts is bourn out by what works and hasn't worked with our son. At the moment there can be no definite yes or no answer, but it is obvious to me from our experience that there are sufficient grounds for concern to a) Do proper research into this specific issue * b) Allow concerned parents to have single jabs * From what I can see none of the prior studies would have found a link - the onset of autism following injection in many cases can be many months - most of the studies, e.g. the Finish one had protocols that would not have necessarily connected autism to the MMR they were looking for more immediate side effects. we should do proper research on this as soon as possible. I've seen the issue with my own eyes - there is something serious happening with our children and the government is simply being blinkered to not take this seriously and do the proper research.

Guilford

All of our children received the first MMR - interesting 1 born in Germany received Measles/Mumps and would have had Rubella at Puberty but received it at the age of 4 on our return to the UK. However MMR was billed as once in a lifetime immunisation, and newspaper broadsheet reviews (which we have seen since 1996 )have suggested that the MMR is not easy for young children to accommodate who are coping with growth, and normal exposure to viruses in the community. Because we saw that this reflected what had happened in the months after their first immunisation, our children have not received the booster MMR although they have had the other pre-school booster immunisations. Our youngest child is invited to receive the booster MMR next week. We would be interested to know the experts advice on the benefits or possible problems of receiving the MMR booster ?
Mr Cook
Peterborough

I am not a doctor, but I have been doing a lot of reading on genetic viruses recently. From the comments made by Andrew Wakefield concerning the profile of children who appear to be more susceptible to ill-effects from the MMR vaccine (e.g. they also suffer from food allergies and bowel disorders), it would appear to me that these children may have an inherited genetic viral profile that predisposes them to these reactions. Testing a random sample of children for ill-effects from the MMR vaccine will not provide conclusive evidence for or against it, because not all children in the sample will have the same makeup of inherited viruses. Considering that medical science knows so little about inherited viruses, is it not possible that their effects are being overlooked?
Nuno Bento
Windlesham

So Andrew Wakefield's latest research found traces of the measles virus in 83% of children with autism and bowel disorders and only in 7% of children without such disorders. It must be crystal clear to the government that there is REAL cause for concern with the MMR vaccine. The government should not keep fobbing us off with statements that there is no proven link - if there is cause for concern they should fund the necessary scientific investigations NOW to provide an answer one way or the other, instead of spending three million pounds on an advertising campaign which will convince nobody, and in the meantime give parents the choice of single or triple vaccines. Understand parents' concerns and do something about it or the problems associated with children not being sufficiently vaccinated will get much worse. (Parents of a six year old autistic boy who may or may not have been damaged by the MMR vaccine)
Nick Portch & Gill Rogers
Hornchurch, Essex

Thank you for tonight's programme. I hope that it may force the government seriously to investigate the issue of the combined vaccine. I have a 16 month old son and have researched the issue of combined vaccine 'safety' for some time. The result of this research was that I became thoroughly confused. NHS doctors, health visitors and literature issue unsupported statements such as 'there is no evidence to show that the combined vaccine causes Crohns/autism etc etc'. What they don't say is that there is no evidence to prove that the vaccine is safe. In tests, monitoring of patients post-vaccine stopped at three or so weeks, whereas reactions such as Crohns and autism are unlikely to reveal themselves instantly. In contrast, I have read a great deal of compelling anecdotal evidence and credible scientific evidence (including Dr Wakefield's) that have convinced me that the risks associated with the combined vaccine are too great. I am not prepared to put my son's health in jeopardy for what appears to be an NHS stubborn attempt to save money. In offering parents unsupported opinion and in not offering them any choice (unlike in the US, in France and other European countries), the NHS is itself responsible for the fall in Measles vaccination uptake. As a responsible parent, I understand that vaccination (specifically measles, I can't see that it's important to vaccinate a male child against rubella at the age of 12 months but that's another issue) is important for the good of the child and for the community as a whole. For this reason, we have saved up to pay a private clinic to give separate vaccines. We are lucky that we are in a position to be able to do so. Many parents are not and therefore have no option but to refuse vaccination.
Isabelle Garnett
London

As parents looking to make decisions on MMR ourselves, we were very disappointed by the lack of analysis presented by the programme. It seemed to focus very much on a few personal cases, and the characters involved in the debate, to the detriment of any statistical or other analysis whatsoever. A few simple questions would, had they been answered, have been very helpful to us as parents trying to make this decision. Can you answer them? 1) Has the incidence of autism in the UK increased or changed since the introduction of the MMR programme 2) What investigations or evidence on this is available in the US and Scandinavia, and what are current policies on MMR/single vaccines in those countries? 3) What are the rates in the UK of children with - MMR getting autism - Single Measles jab getting autism - No vaccine getting autism 4) What are the chances of measles ending up in complications having a serious impact on health 5) Is it possible that autism is triggered by the measles vaccine independent of whether administered via MMR, single vaccine, or simply caught?
Andrew Chittenden
Putney

My son was born in 1992 and had his MMR vaccination at 14 months. However, by the time it came for his booster just before staring school in 1997, the debate on the safety of MMR was in the news. I decided not to let him have the booster until I was convinced of its safety. I searched the medical literature and found very little published on adverse events following the booster. In addition, I understand that the booster is primarily given to 'catch' the few percent of children who did not get full immunity with the first dose. Is there any evidence of adverse reaction following the booster if this did not happen with the initial dose? What percentage of children do not get full immunity first time round? Is it possible to have a blood test to determine my son's immunity from the first vaccination? What evidence is there to show that the booster is safe in older children e.g. 10 years? Very little information is available to parents with the dilemma of whether or not to have the booster and answers to these questions will help. Many thanks
Stephanie North
Royston

As a teacher of children with Special Needs in the Home Tutoring Service I am sympathetic to both sides of this debate. I am worried about coming into contact with children who have not been immunised particularly to Measles since I've seen the results of that disease. I am also sympathetic to the possibility that there is something at work here to increase the incidence of Autism and Bowel disease where there was none before. I cannot see why the Government and the Health Service cannot offer a choice of single vaccine.
Kathleen Collingham
LINCOLN

Thank you for your MMR/Autism programme. My grandson had the MMR he now has Autism first signs were three days after the injection. Who is looking after the rights of the children to have SAFE vaccines. How many must suffer Autism before there is enough `evidence` for the so-called experts.
Anne Oliver
Colchester

I really do not know why the government is insisting on the absence of link between the MMR and Autism. As a mother of a six year old boy who became autistic after his MMR jab, I believe that the government is frightened of being sued by autistic children's family. As for me and definitely many other parents, I would rather see the government do something about it. Definitely I will not sue the government because what is done is done It would only be humane and fair to other families and children to be aware of the dangers of the MMR.
Widad Stevens
Reading

My son has Asperger's Syndrome, but does not form part of any government stats, as far as I know. How many other autistic spectrum children are not included? My child has been scoped at the Royal Free and confirmed as having this type of unusual bowel complaint. We have video/anecdotal evidence that he changed after MMR, no eye contact, hand flapping etc. We did not connect the changes to the vaccine he was given at 13months as it happened over months. How many other parents have children with behaviour problems that don't connect the two things? Single vaccines should be available. Parents are well informed and can decide for themselves. I suspect that in the future a connection will be made with vaccine overload and damaged babies through good science - too late for our boy.
Mrs. Christine Bowles
Tonbridge

I feel the programme wasn¿t balanced enough and spent too long on highlighting the difficulties experienced by parents with autistic children. Also not enough emphasis was placed upon today¿s parents not having seen the effects of measles on children or the effects on foetus' when the mother contracts rubella.
Julie Harrington
Leicester

We desperately want our twins immunised against measles (they are now 15 months old) but we cannot find anywhere that will give single measles vaccinations. Currently we have a possible in Darlington on 18.2.02 but it does not seem definite. We will not have the MMR vaccinations for our children ever. I am sure if you are parents you will yourself understand that we cannot go ahead and vaccinate when there are doubts about the vaccinations' safety. We would willingly travel to London or Edinburgh or elsewhere to have our children vaccinated against measles in a single vaccine if we knew of anywhere that would do it. We are prepare to pay for the vaccinations. Know anywhere?
LOUISE POWELL
GATESHEAD

After much discussions both of our children received the first MMR jab. We are worried about the pre-school second MMR that our son is due to have shortly. We remember reading somewhere that it is not necessary to have this jab because it is only given to try and catch those who were not immunised by the first jab. Are very confused and would like to know why and what this second MMR jab is for
Mr & Mrs R Dowling
Sevenoaks, Kent

It is a pity that so few facts were mentioned during the programme. How many children have received the MMR vaccine in the UK and of those how many now have autism? It was stated that half a million children are now autistic. How many of these had received the MMR vaccine? How does the increase in autism compare with the increase in asthma on a like for like basis?
Tim Bonham-Carter
Richmond, Surrey

I watched tonight's programme with a great deal of alert, and I acknowledge there were solid claims between the measles vaccination and autism. What I am not clear on was the significance of the combined MMR vaccination and why this combination is considered more of a risk. Why is single vaccination considered 'safer' when there seemed so much emphasis on the link between the measles vaccination and autism? What are the concerns about this particular combination of vaccinations? This didn't seem to come across in the programme.
Karen Andrews
Preston

I had my 16m old daughter vaccinated with MMR last week after much difficulty in making the decision. after watching the programme I am afraid of the chances of complications. my own 18 yr old cousin is severely autistic and I have autoimmune disease history in my female relatives. please can someone advise me and give me some information. how would I know if she was developing any problems, how could they be spotted early
Carrie
Ryton, Tyne & Wear

Why was so little light made of the uncontrolled and anecdotal nature of Dr. Wakefield's research? There is a heavy body of research that stands up to the rigorous assessment of validity suggesting that there is no link whatsoever with autism. The programme has, in my opinion, failed to supply the kind of information that doctors have access to and that parents need to make a valid informed decision regarding MMR.
Nicole Horwitz
London

I would like to be able to believe that giving the MMR vaccination is safe. No vaccination or any other medical intervention is without risk. What I want is the information to be available for me to make a risk assessment, this is just not possible at present. Politics and professional egos are getting in the way. My daughter developed eczema following her MMR vaccination. My sons are having separate doses.
Sarah Brown
London

Once again the BBC have managed to mask what may have been a rigorous scientific investigation with emotive visuals from both points of view. Whilst there is a requirement to keep the viewer interested, with such a vital issue at stake the risk must be taken that some viewers will be turned off by sterile, scientific analysis. This risk was not taken, and the impression I am left with is that whichever case tugged the heartstrings most is the one that will inevitably make up peoples' minds. We are all human, after all. I do have a viewpoint on the issues raised but, unfortunately, objective and scientific viewpoints were deeply overshadowed by the words of inevitably subjective parents who have personally been affected in one way or another. Another missed opportunity to present just the facts. Another bit of tabloid journalism.
Keith Farnish
Rayleigh

My daughter of 13 months was diagnosed as having measles last Tuesday by my GP. At the time of writing, we do not know where she contracted the disease. As she is only 13 months old, she had not yet had the MMR vaccine. As far as we were aware, it was not due till she was 15 months. Are we to presume now that she should not have the MMR, as a double hit risk may apply. Also, would any of you advise us to give her the remaining 2 vaccines (mumps and rubella) separately, presuming that now she has had measles, she no longer needs to be vaccinated.
Edward Jones
Brixton, London

As a new mother of an 8 wk old baby, I'm afraid I strongly believe it is MY CHOICE to have individual injections. Yes I want my child to be immunised against all three, but I should not have to put my child's health at risk in doing so. Why can't the government play safe until the full facts are known, instead of taking chances with human lives !
Alison
Preston

Media portrayal of a Andrew Wakefield¿s studies has irreparably damaged MMR¿s chances of achieving adequate cover. What evidence do parents want to prove to them that the vaccine is safe? Apparently they only listen and believe studies suggesting a link that are not recognised as quality investigations and not to large scale meta-analysis by government and independent review bodies which don't support this evidence.
Neal Marshall
Bath

The programme covered some of the angles well. But there were some key issues that were not addressed. (i) Why is the government INTENT on such high levels of social control? There is clearly a widespread feeling that the 3 separate jabs would be acceptable to almost all of the dissenters. The govt's argument for not letting them have that is untenable. (ii) Why is the information not made available to parents on all three options, as suggested by the last speaker on the programme? (iii) DOES 'science', in its current form, hold the key to our understanding of this problem? It is cumbersome, slow, and riddled with politics. True 'evidence-based medicine' would welcome, not reject, the submissions of the parents of the 500,000 autistic children. (iv) Homeopathy offers a safe complement to vaccination, so that its long-term side-effects can be minimised. Why is homeopathy not more widely called upon?
Charles Lowe
London

Are there any other countries investigating the safety of MMR as opposed to single jabs. My son (4 year and 3 months) had his second jabs last Thursday and I am worried !
Claude Desouche
Bournemouth

My son became Autistic I believe after the last MMR jab and is now severely developmental delayed and has been diagnosed as being profoundly deaf. Now he has been asked twice for his booster jab because he is now 4 years and 5 months old and I am petrified of what the next jab will do to him. Will you push me aside as the other doctors have done so far when the next jab makes him regress or will someone sit up and take note about what the jab has done to my son. Who will take the responsibility if I do let him have the jab and it makes my son worse. The Government won't listen to us now let alone after the next dose.
Yvonne Campbell
Motherwell

I had my two year old vaccinated under intense pressure from family and GP, health visitor . I now have a little girl who had an appointment for an MMR 6 weeks ago but has always been poorly since i.e. temperatures, teething ,couches and colds and no one will tell me where I can get the jabs seperately. Can anyone help?
Julie rice
High Urpeth

It's not just what you say - it's also what you don't say and that applies to your programme. You did not point out that the devastating SSP can also be an effect of the vaccination itself!
Alison King
London W5

I read recently that a high percentage of autistic children (over 90%) lacked an essential protein needed to deal with heavy metals. A mercury compound had been used as a preservative in the MMR vaccine ( as well presumably as others) and hence children unable to deal with this heavy metal suffered neurological damage the symptoms of which could be autism. Would you like to comment as I was surprised no mention was made on the programme? A further point is that children now have about 6 vaccines whereas up until say the 1960s three would have been more common. Hence the challenge from vaccines and heavy metals (mercury) in the vaccines is much greater now than then. I look forward to your comments. Richard Hughes
Richard Hughes
Crowthorne

My son has currently got the measles and attends the South London nursery school that has been splashed all over the press this week. I felt for the family featured in the Panorama Programme with catastrophic complications, but my son has been, like most other measles cases been mildly ill and I would take the chance on measles over the MMR any day. I also feel that the vilification by the Government of parents that opt out is despicable Elizabeth Moore
Elizebeth Moore
London

Our son age 8. Has had the first MMR injection at the age of two, although his reaction to the MMR was bad, high temp + incoherent for approx two days, thankfully he recovered well. Despite great pressure from the local medical community we have to date not allowed him to have the booster. Is the booster essential? We are told a blood test for immunity is not valid? We are considering taking him to the private clinic in Liverpool & paying for single jabs. Considering his adverse reaction at the age of two are there any additional risks of single jabs specifically the measles. Or was the measles jab generally fine when given prior to 1988.
Nathan Evans
Manchester

Very informative programme, re-enforcement of what the public really want- more information. I was a little disappointed that no reference was made to the policy adopted by other EU countries. Is the MMR vaccine only used in the US & UK, and if not then please relate some of the current related issues from elsewhere in the world
Minesh Patel
Croydon

I feel that parents should be given a choice in relation to their child¿s health and treatment. There is obviously and issue surrounding MMR, and this should lead to proper research both at a Government level and at an independent level. Until definitive answers can be made available to the public, the government and the health department should make available a choice of either MMR or Single injections. If parents do not wish to have their children inoculated that is there choice and I do not condone such a choice but that is their choice. I want to have my child inoculated, I could not bear to see the damage that a disease like measles, mumps or rubella could to my child. But MMR frightens my wife and I. We are trying to find an alternative option to MMR and from being told/forced to go the MMR route by our local community health centre as they will offer no other solutions. I thought the programme was very good and gave us a great deal of food for thought. I some ways in reinforced my opinion that choices are being taken away from us but no real answers are being provided.
Antony Brownsea
Aldershot

As parents of an autistic child we have never been asked to contribute our views on the MMR debate. We do not know of any parents of autistic children who have taken part in any government research. Who have the government used in their research?
Daniel Dillon
Wishaw

What a disgustingly one-sided portrayal of a complex subject. I can only think that the makers are wanting the controversy fuelled or that they are truly ignorant of the issues surrounding MMR. Only 30 seconds of footage were dedicated to the potential harmful and devastating results of measles infection. This short insight was then punctuated by the twins with autism. When will programme makers and producers of programmes like Panorama realise the potential impact of their work and will they be willing to take responsibility for its consequences.
Rohan Perera
Bristol

My son was given MMR during the early stages of Chicken Pox at 12 months. He had 8 bowel motions each day after that. He became autistic some months later but paediatrics told us he had toddlers diarrhoea!!! If my son was not autistic his bowel problems would have been investigated but as he was autistic they didn't bother. My son has shown in testing that he has damage as a result of MMR by a complementary therapist but doctors would treat complimentary therapist as crackpots. I personally believe them because something went wrong with my son. Yes measles is a killer, my husband almost died of it, but autism is a devastating disease also and lots of the kids I have met amount to not much more than a dead soul in a live body. I am not anti-vaccine but this government is wrong to not let parents give their children the single vaccines. I have heard Andrew Wakefield talk at a conference and think he is a brilliant man. Just typical of this country to turf out. Our country¿s loss. I too remember the governments advice re BSE.
Alison Cochrane
Aberdeen

My son is autistic which I believe is from the MMR jab. Can u tell me what is the stance in other countries if they use MMR, as I know in Canada it was withdrawn because of doubts of the injection. thanks Jon
Jonathan Winsor
Swansea

Whose science is it anyway? I think this Government should listen to and respect the observations and experiences of the parents of autistic children. Scientific research should be funded immediately to test the parents' hypothesis that there is a connection between MMR and autism. Meanwhile the separate vaccines should be made available on the NHS for those who still wish to vaccinate their children.
Amanda Geary
Lewes

I have 3 children aged 6/4/4. All have been vaccinated because I thought it would be for the best. Mine are healthy. I always say the children most likely to be affected by a measles epidemic are babies and those parents do not have the choice to vaccine. Do we need to act as a community protecting the majority or act as most parents including myself in the interest of their children selfishly. Many will say she can say that her kids are fine, I know that¿s why even though mine are vaccinated I am not sure how I would have dealt with it if things had gone wrong. However I knew the risks and took them anyway. What is the probability of it happening? Are they more at risk going out to play near a road? Is it genetically connected? With all these questions the answer has to be research.
j Nicholas
Stamford

Saying that "there is no evidence to link MMR with autism" is not the same as saying "there¿s evidence that MMR is not linked to autism" There is no evidence until there is evidence and then it is too late. Almost every child with autism had been or were on extended treatment with antibiotics at the time of their MMR vaccination, and as many researchers will acknowledge there has long been a suspicion that autism is closely linked to immune system deficiencies.
Roy Silcock
Aboyne

I believe that it does not matter about how conclusive the evidence linking MMR to autism is, the fear has been installed in parents across the UK. No matter how many specialists and MP's say it is safe, parents will still not wish to give this controversial jab to there children. I beg the government to give parents the choice of a single measles jab. I see this as the only way to avert a measles epidemic. Mother of one
Margaret Angel
Edinburgh

I have 2 sons 15 months apart, the younger one had the MMR jab and within 2 months we were taking him to doctors but he is now diagnosed "Autistic" and therefore does not seem to qualify for any more understanding of his problem, my older son was learning to read at 2 and was we considered above normal intelligence, had the MMR at 4 years old and by the time he started school had severe learning difficulties, nobody has been at all interested in why this might be, one doctor asked the older boy to stand one leg which he managed for a few seconds and was pronounced normal.
Adrian Griffin
oxford

I chose to have both my children vaccinated for many reasons which I shall not go in to now. Your programme was inconclusive but has served to put some element of doubt in my mind to the point of causing anxiety as to what may happen in the future. I am prepared to take this on come what may but I am not sure it was responsible to put this programme out given that the end result, by your own admission, was inconclusive. Most parents are already aware that there is nothing to say for sure that MMR is 100% safe nor are there stronger grounds to suggest it causes bowel disease and autism. How has your programme served to be in the best interests of the public?
Diana Leahy
Eastleigh

I read a lot of correspondence on a New Zealand health website where parents of vaccine damaged children write in and you wouldn't believe how many letters we receive each day. Autism is at an epidemic level. We cannot ignore this fact any longer. The causative link is very strong now. Babies that were intelligent and healthy before their triple shot have quickly become docile, with a glazed look in their eyes and a complete change in their behavioural patterns within 1 week of the vaccine injection. Anyone who tries to say there is no link obviously has not seen it happen in their own child or friends child yet, but the evidence for a casual observer is overwhelming. Unfortunately there is a climate here of denial by medical professionals who simply don¿t want to believe this could be true, for obvious reasons... if you were a doctor who had given out 1000's of vaccine shots to kids would you be willing to believe that you could have been permanently damaging many of these kids? The obvious first reaction would be complete denial that this could be happening. This is the stage we are at now, denial by most and acceptance by some brave few... (the numbers increasing every day). My question is; "when are the so called experts going to listen to the mothers and parents of these vaccine damaged children, instead of listening to the makers of the vaccine who make billions a year producing the stuff?"
Jason Barnett
Wellington, New Zealand

I found your programme very 'pro' the MMR vaccination which was extremely disappointing as the trailer suggested that you would be giving evidence against the sinister concoction. Dr Andrew Wakefield has been practically chased out of Britain because of his painstaking work. There was no mention about the vast amounts of money greedy doctors receive for injecting this muck into our innocent children, or about the millions of pounds the pharmaceutical companies receive. We still don't know the truth about the Blair¿s' child, but we have to presume that they haven't been negligent enough to go ahead with risking their baby's health. Did the multi-national companies get to you too BBC? Not impressed!
Lorraine

The program did not seem to make clear in the beginning whether or not the young lad [Moorish]was vaccinated himself and it didn't give him the immunity to protect himself against the wild strain that he caught on the bus. It is possible that Dr.Wakefield is right in saying that this is something that will be proved the more we vaccinate in the future. If we think back to the Polio vaccine in the USA in the 50's, the increase in Gillian-Barrie syndrome lead the manufacturers to change the Polio strain. To offer both MMR and the vaccines separately means that no-one needs to back down and independent bodies can continue to study the outcomes.
B. Collins
Beccles

MMR: Every Parent's Choice


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