I have been watching the news coverage of the measles outbreak in Wales with interest, and have not been at all surprised that some people have been blaming Dr Andrew Wakefield for it.
Dr Wakefield, if you recall, was the one who suggested that having the triple MMR vaccine was too much for some children and may be a cause of autism. He recommended that people use single vaccines if they were concerned.
The Wales outbreak has been blamed on the fact that he scared people into not having the measles vaccine and here now are the consequences of it.
But, is that really true?
I read a really damning article in the Guardian weekend magazine along this line the other day (like this one too) and I wondered what Dr Wakefield would have to say about it. I came across this video response on You Tube from him where he responds to the criticisms levelled at him with this latest outbreak. He says he is using video as there is a Govt media ban on interviews with him. I have no idea if that is true, but that’s awful for free speech if it is. I did see his response statement published here in the Independent, so perhaps not.
The video is 16 minutes long and, in it, Dr Wakefield explains that he feels the real problems causing the measles outbreak are, first, that a decision was taken to remove the option of having single vaccines 6 months after he made his ‘single vaccine is safer’ recommendation and so many parents chose not to have the triple version; and, second, that the take-up of the MMR vaccine is actually at an all-time high and yet we are having outbreaks and he feels this points to the fact that the vaccine is actually too old and is failing.
The Govt has dismissed his claims.
Interesting stuff anyway. I make no judgements either way. At the end of the video, he suggest there should be a public and scientific debate to address the question once and for all of whether the vaccines are causing autism in some children. I, for one, look forward to it so that parents can take a decision and not be left in this vaccination safety limbo-land.
There is much more info on Dr Wakefield’s autism/vaccination debate on the Autism Causes section of Foodsmatter too here.
Some of you have been asking me about alternatives. My best advice here is to consider your options carefully. See here where I wrote about the importance of Vitamin A to prevent complications and I would recommend you read WDDTY’s Vaccination Bible which you can get through this link and costs £4.95 (delete one if it comes up with two; it’s just the way the link works).