Why You MUST Safeguard Your Children

Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England), July 5, 2006 | Go to article overview

Why You MUST Safeguard Your Children


We are currently in the grip of a measles outbreak as cases of the disease are running at a ten year high.

Seven cases have been diagnosed on Teesside - the first since 2004.

And two children from the same Middlesbrough family have been hospitalised with the highly contagious condition.

The sharp rise in cases is being blamed on a reduced take-up rate of MMR vaccinations.

Experts blame this on the now discredited report by Dr Andrew Wakefield, which suggested a link between the jab and autism.

Today, in an open letter to the media, politicians and health professionals, say parents have been "confused and dangerously misled".

Experts fear that if current low levels of immunisation continue, more children's lives will be put at risk.

Dr Ian Holtby, Teesside's consultant in communicable diseases, said the MMR vaccine is the most researched vaccine in the world.

"No other vaccine has been studied in such depth. The first paper was given huge coverage in the media and it frightened people.

"That is when the rates for the jab dropped. The studies carried out since (which discredit the report) haven't had the same media coverage."

Dr Holtby says the three in one jab is not a risk factor for autism.

"Children should be protected with the MMR vaccine.

"It has been a long time since we have experienced outbreaks like this.

"The only way to protect people is to get the levels up to the recommended amount."

There has been a small uptake trend but health bosses want to see the uptake for the jab back to the recommended level of 95pc.

"There is still quite a way to go.

"Until we have got the uptake up there are going to be increased numbers of children at risk."

The measles outbreak bears a similar resemblance to last year's mumps epidemic. …

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