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News of the Day ... In Perspective

06/30/2006

Authorities try to squelch concerns over MMR; row continues

In an open letter, 30 leading British experts including Dr. David Elliman of Great Ormand Street Hospital in London said it was time “to draw a line under the question of any association between MMR vaccine and autism.”

Loss of public confidence in MMR, and unavailability of single vaccines, means that many children will be entering school unprotected against measles. The number of confirmed cases of measles is already increasing, and the first death from measles since 1992 has been reported.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who linked MMR with autism in 1998, said that the issue was by no means closed. The letter “flies in the face of scientific logic and professional responsibility” (Mirror.co.uk 6/29/06). He defended his research, stating that “every aspect of the original 1998 report of the first 12 children with this disorder has been endorsed by independent research” (Manchester Evening News 6/28/06).

In a reply to the Elliman letter, Mr. Clifford Miller lays the blame for children’s death on Elliman and his colleagues. Miller states that measles had been conquered before the vaccine became available and blames the vaccine for increasing levels of other potentially fatal conditions such as asthma and food allergies.

“Where are the peer reviewed short and long term safety studies that show the MMR vaccine is safe?” Miller asks. “There are none.”

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