Due to the success of earlier vaccination programmes, measles was extremely rare during the 1990s. This began to change after researcher Andrew Wakefield published a piece of research claiming that there was a link between the MMR vaccine and the developmental condition autism.
Despite serious flaws in this research, it received widespread coverage in the media. The research has been proven to be worthless and Wakefield has been struck off the medical register for
acting “dishonestly and irresponsibly” in his research and “bringing the medical profession into disrepute”.
Sadly, the damage had already been done – there was a drop in
coverage rates (the proportion of people vaccinated against a disease) for measles and this has led to the disease becoming more widespread. In the first quarter of 2013, there were a record 587 cases in England and, worryingly, a number of outbreaks in
schools. Complications of measles include:
- Hearing loss, which may be partial or total
- Learning difficulties, which may be temporary or permanent
- Epilepsy – a condition that causes someone to have repeated fits
- Cerebral palsy – a general term for a set of conditions that affect movement and co-ordination
- Vision loss, which may be partial or total
If you think you are due an MMR vaccination, please contact reception.