You should know, you're a medic: Is the MMR vaccine safe?
Carolyn Edwards explains why it is important for nearly all children to receive the MMR vaccine
- By: Carolyn Edwards
See also The Press: Vaccination scaremongering
Media reports in 1998 of a possible link between autism, bowel disease, and the combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) have made many parents question the vaccination. Understanding what their concerns are and being familiar with the current scientific evidence about the safety of MMR is important if doctors are to allay doubts about the vaccine.
Parents simply worry that MMR may cause autism or bowel disease. But the Department of Health, the World Health Organization, and medical establishments, such as the British Medical Association and the medical royal colleges, do not believe that MMR is linked to these conditions. They give several reasons.
The Andrew Wakefield study1 that sparked the MMR and autism scare has been widely criticised for several reasons. The study investigated only 12 children, nine of whom were diagnosed as being autistic. This sample is too small to make