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Ministry dismisses Andrew Wakefield’s criticism over Wales measles outbreak

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Press Association
April 14, 2013

The Department of Health has dismissed claims by a former doctor who started a global scare about the MMR vaccine that officials were responsible for the outbreak of measles in south Wales.

The epidemic in south Wales, which has affected almost 700 people, is believed to have been partly caused by parents not vaccinating their children because of fears that the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine could cause autism.

Health officials in south Wales said that more than 1,000 MMR jabs were given on Saturday at the Singleton, Morriston, Neath Port Talbot and Princess of Wales hospitals.

The fears were promoted by Andrew Wakefield, who was later struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC). In a written statement, he accused the government of causing the epidemic by stopping the import of a vaccine that acted against measles only.

Wakefield wrote that in September 1998, the government withdrew the import licence for the single vaccine, effectively blocking this option for parents, and so “measles cases in the UK rose”.

He said: “The government’s concern appeared to be to protect the MMR programme over and above the protection of children.”

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This article was posted: Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 4:52 am

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