Saturday, January 10, 2009

A local measels outbreak - do as I say not as I do

There's a lot in the news about measles and the need to get your kids vaccinated right now.

MMR has been one of those debates many of us have tried to follow, but as always with partial information combined with the now instinctive distrust of government. I wrote about this a year of two ago as I have a strong personal interest, and I pointed out that one of the key things I look for is how those in authority, medical and political, treat their own children.

Now the local paper reports an outbreak of measles locally (Cherrywood Nursery), but wait for it, its at the nursery attached to the local hospital - ie filled with kids of people who work in the NHS. The story just gets more significant as you discover that children taken to the A&E dept were refused treatment as the Doctor's there were pregnant and hadn't had measles ( or the jab ) themselves.

What does that mean ? It means the medical health care professionals haven't been immunising their own kids or themselves.

This is why people have doubt - politicians ( see Leo Blair ) and medical staff aren't practising what they preach. Why not ?

[ For the record both my children have had the MMR vaccination. The eldest never had the boaster as he has also been shown to be autistic and for what are emotional reasons I couldn't do anything that might make the situation worse - even if I believe that to be very unlikely, but my younger child had both injections . In the end its a tough decision, one which the medical profession and politicians could try a little more humility in lecturing us all on, especially given their own private records.

Also for the record Measles is a nasty disease with potentially disastrous consequences. If I had another child it would be getting the MMR also.]


marksany said...

Ben Goldacre has a de-bunking of the MMR myth on his website and his book:

The fact that people are still dying (measles can kill) because our govt. is so mistrusted by the population, they can't get a public health story straight, is appalling.

Anoneumouse said...

Measles isn't a nasty disease, it is a life form. Unfortunatey it is not classed as HUMAN, it has no RIGHTS

Man in a Shed said...

Mark - which is what makes the fact they can't persuade people who work in the NHS ( many nurses and Doctor's ) to follow their advice even more alarming.

Elby the Beserk said...

What was really shit about the whole MMR scare is that many parents would have happily accepted the single vaccines, but the govt refused to provide them.

None of my kids had vaccinations. My belief is that healthy kids ride these diseases and that they are a natural part of growing and strengthening the immune system. BUT that they definitely do have a role where children's health IS compromised - 3rd world of course.

Were we to have gone for vaccination, we would certainly have refused MMR, as I believe that shooting a tender organism such as a small baby up with a cocktail of chemicals is not a good idea. Especially when it includes mercury.

Between our four kids, they had most of the usual childhood diseases, and rode them just fine. I make no apologies for what I now gather is deemed to have been a crime against society.

marksany said...

There is no Mercury in MMR. The whole MMR causes autism is a hoax. (see Ben Goldacre and Holford Watch) It has fooled sensible people and it has killed children. We need to maintain immunisation rates to protect everyone. If immunisation rates are very high, then the few that aren't immunised are at a lower risk than they would be in a non-immunised community. What we have now is lots of people choosing to be in that small section that isn't immunised, causing the immunisation rate to drop below a level where protection is still good. What separates us from third world countries with disease is the immunisation rate, nothing else.

Rachel Joyce said...

I'm a doctor and both my kids were vaccinated. Nothing is completely safe but I am convinced that the chance of serious damage is higher without the vaccine than with it.

Parents have tough choices to make in life and they should feel confident that they are fully informed by unbiased professionals where relevant. Most parents should be able to make a sensible decision - it is only those like baby P where the state needs to step in (and that is where it usually fails to do so, in contrast with the rest of our lives).

It does speak volumes however that people just don't trust what the government says.

wildgoose said...

Our eldest child (a boy) has Asperger's Syndrome, an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. He had the MMR jabs, and just for the record, I don't think that the MMR vaccine is in any way related.

Our two daughters have also been given the MMR vaccine, but we did delay the jabs until a little before they were going to start Pre-School. Like you, we weren't too keen on hammering their immune system too early.

Elby makes the real point. The government refused to provide the option of single vaccines for those who were frightened of the MMR vaccine. (Enthusiatically backed up by the Liberal Democrats I might add). In other words, they thought that middle class parents (like themselves?) could pay for single vaccines whilst the poor and frightened could go without.

If they really were concerned they would have made the option available. That they didn't shows once again that at the end of the day they really couldn't give a damn.

Elby the Beserk said...


Google "mercury in vaccines".