Saturday, 21 February 2009

The Immunisation Debacle

While parents are now being told that the MMR vaccine is totally safe, there are many of us who still have our doubts. This has resulted in many people refusing to vaccinate their children at all. Indeed, every time I visit the Active Birth Centre to see my osteopath, I see piles of literature about the dangers of all immunisation.

I personally didn't feel comfortable not getting my daughter immunised. Instead, I took what I saw as the middle, reasonable road, opting to get her jabs done separately. This meant I had to go privately - something I had never considered doing before. It is quite a scary experience, stepping outside the NHS for your healthcare, and not one I savoured. But having read several books on the subject it seemed the 'least worst' option available.

Having had both her measles and rubella jabs, however, I have now received a letter from the private clinic telling me that there is no more mumps vaccine, nor will there ever be. The clinic that before told parents that the MMR vaccine was a really bad idea is now advising parents to get their child injected with said controversial vaccine...

Obviously, I am annoyed. How long have the clinic known this was going to happen? Earlier this year they said that the mumps vaccine was in short supply. The we were told that it would be available in June '09. Now we're told it isn't going to be available at all. I would like to know 'the story behind the story'. My qualms about going outside the NHS have proved to be well-founded.

I may well get some stick for spurning the MMR vaccine, or indeed for vaccinating at all - this is certainly an area where people have strongly-held views. I recall Blair refusing to say whether he was getting his baby son immunised with the MMR jab. Well, I am going to put my head above the parapet and have the guts to say what route I went down here. It may have been the wrong route in retrospect, but believe me, I thought it was the right decision at the time...

The joys of parenting!


  1. Can I suggest a read of Ben Goldacre's Bad Science, if you haven't already?

  2. Good suggestion.
    I suggest pulping those books.