This imposed decision deterred many parents from having their children vaccinated and, having imposed it, government can be held responsible for the large current measles outbreak.
Parents who could afford it went to doctors and clinics who made the effort to obtain it and offer the individual vaccinations for measles and rubella as an alternative to the combined MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine when the combined vaccination was first introduced in 1988.
What is an ‘acceptable risk’?
As Peter Hitchens writes: “There is no proof that MMR causes or has ever caused autism, or the severe bowel disorder Crohn’s disease which can lead to brain damage. But both of these afflictions have become more common since the triple MMR was introduced in 1988, and they have brought unutterable misery to many families. Heartbroken parents speak of how they have ‘lost’ their children even though they are still alive. Toddlers who were alert, responsive, full of laughter and recognition, suddenly went quiet, and retreated into an unknown world where they are no longer the people they were or might have become”. The writer asked a local doctor in general practice about his stance after its introduction and he said that after he had seen what happened to the child of his friend after receiving the MMR vaccine he would never administer it.
Governments may regard damage to a ‘small number’ as unimportant, but to a parent and child it is all-important.
Hitchens continues (remembering misleading government advice re thalidomide and cot deaths): “The wise person responds with deep caution to the words ‘Trust me, I’m a doctor’, and with even more caution to the words ‘Trust us, we’re the Government’.”
Did MMR even work well?
Hitchens – the only journalist to track the measles deaths in Dublin and find out the true circumstances from the Irish authorities – says that the Irish epidemic in 2012 also revealed an ‘unsettling fact’ for the ‘MMR at all costs’ lobby; “At least ten per cent of those who developed measles had been given the MMR jab. One in ten is a pretty high failure rate for a treatment that is being pressed on the public as a great social duty”.
He gave no source for this allegation and a websearch revealed no such information in the mainstream media. The nearest the writer got was in a report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, published four months later, which said that only some of the children, teenagers or young adults had missed vaccination and that Almost all parents (96.1% in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) and 93.4% in Northern Ireland (NI)) reported that their children receive vaccinations.
Political and corporate pressure?
By 2009 Merck acknowledged that it had decided not to resume production of their single vaccines for mumps under pressure from Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices, professional societies and scientific leaders.
Hitchens points out that though public money could not be used for single jabs, it was used to pay generous bonuses to doctors who increased the uptake of MMR (doctors could increase their annual income by £860 if they achieved a 70% take-up of the jab, and by £2,580 if they reached 90%) and it could be used for MMR propaganda campaigns. He reminds us that the prime minister of the government which used tax money for these purposes refused to reveal if his own small child had been given the MMR which his ministers and civil servants were vigorously pressing on everyone else.
“Exhortation and official reassurance were never going to work. A significant minority of parents would not let their children have the MMR, but would unhesitatingly have given them single jabs.
“Had this happened, there would now be no Swansea measles outbreak, or it would be much smaller (no injection has a 100% success rate, even when given twice, as the MMR is).
“If there is a measles epidemic in this country, the rigid minds of the Health Department will have to share the blame for it.”