11 January 2012
Teenagers offered MMR vaccination
TEENAGERS in Lothian and the Highlands who missed out on the MMR jab as children will be offered the vaccine this month in a drive to increase protection in the wake of a surge in measles cases in Europe.
They are the latest health boards to announce plans to target those affected by panic following Dr Andrew Wakefeld's now discredited 1997 Lancet paper, which claimed a link between the MMR jab and autism.
It comes after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed it would be distributing letters to pupils in S2-S6 this week, inviting parents of children never immunised against measles, mumps and rubella, or who only received one dose of the two-step jab, to consent to it second time around.
Now both NHS Highland and NHS Lothian have confirmed they will be following suit when pupils return for the new term.
Dr Duncan McCormick, consultant in Public Health Medicine for NHS Lothian said: "We are finalising our plans to offer the MMR vaccination as part of the teenage immunisation programme. We will be writing to parents of children in S3, S4, S5 and S6."
Comments invited - http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/health/teenagers-offered-mmr-vaccination.16422155
This news makes me really nervous. There was an MMR catch up scheme organised by the DoH back in 1994. My then teenage son was given MMR and within 10 days of receiving it started suffering ‘neuropsychiatric’ symptoms. His life has been effectively ruined. So - many children seem to cope with MMR without any adverse consequences, but on the other hand, many parents say it was after MMR that their children lost eye contact, language and socialisation skills. Then they went on to be diagnosed as autistic. Do you want to take the risk? Your decision.
Two previous versions of MMR had to be withdrawn because of dangerous side effects. [Pre Dr Wakefield] How do we know this present one is any safer? We don't.
Dr Wakefield didn't say MMR was linked to autism - he - AND THE REST OF THE TEAM raised a red flag and requested further safety research. That was all. And what a furore ensued. I'm pleased to hear he plans to sue the BMJ, its editor and the journalist whose articles they published. This story is by no means over.
Before agreeing that your teenage children have this vaccine, please do the research. I'd have much preferred my son to have spent a fortnight in bed with measles, than the life he presently has.