After an article on MMR appeared in the Telegraph I wrote a letter, and they printed it: recognition at last. I’m putting it here because to be honest, this blog is kind of my scrapbook…
Their article was ‘Why I am terrified of trusting MMR’ By Beezy Marsh 12/02/2006
Your report on the MMR vaccination controversy (News, February 12) says “population-based studies are not sensitive enough to pick up problems that may affect a tiny minority of children”. The figures do not support this assertion: autism has increased from one child in 2,500 to one in 250, an increase the anti-MMR lobby ascribes to the vaccine. A tenfold increase is not a “tiny minority”,and figures this large present no problem for the sensitivity of population studies.
The purpose of vaccination is to reduce the prevalence of viruses throughout the population – and ultimately eradicate them – not to protect an individual child. For example, there has been an increase in mumps, from only 200 cases a year to 40,000 since the anti-MMR campaign began, but the increase has been mostly among teenagers, not un-vaccinated babies.
(Dr) Ben Goldacre, London NW5