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Home Industry News Immunisation director gives MMR evidence

Immunisation director gives MMR evidence

23rd August 2007

An immunisation expert for the government has given evidence to a General Medical Council hearing against Dr Andrew Wakefield regarding the initial effect of the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in tackling these diseases.

The BBC reports that David Salisbury informed the hearing that progress was being made in the fight against these conditions following the introduction of the combined vaccine in 1986.

Uptake of the combined vaccine dropped following the publication of research by Dr Wakefield that purported a link between the injection and autism in children.

Professor Salisbury told the hearing that prior to the introduction of the combined jab, Britain was being outranked in its battle against measles, mumps and rubella by other developed countries, with some developing nations also surpassing British efforts.

“There were roughly 20 deaths a year, averaged across the years,” said Professor Salisbury.

Following the introduction of the combined injection, Professor Salisbury noted that “we saw the results very quickly – we saw, gratifyingly, that coverage rose.”

In October 2006, the NHS announced the publication of “a very important article” in the Paediatrics journal, where sophisticated clinical analysis of samples found evidence of persistent measles infection in children with autism to be false positives, adding to the weight of evidence that administration with the MMR vaccine does not cause autism.

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