A Problem Shared: MMR & Autism?

A Problem Shared | by | 16th May 2016

Child having an injection for MMR and Autism article

Lucy in Wrexham has concerns over the MMR Vaccine and wants some advice…

Hey, my boy is coming up to his 1st birthday (yey!) and I received a letter from my GP surgery to take Jake to the clinic to get his first MMR injection. I’ve read that it could be linked to autism. But there’s loads of people saying that there’s no link. Who do I believe? Where can I get more info? Should I get it done? All I want is for the best for my Jake and I’m worried about making the wrong decision.

Our FamilyPoint advice to Lucy…

It’s totally understandable that you’re concerned when it comes to making decisions which you think might affect your child’s health or future well-being. And it’s great that you’re taking action to obtain information to enable you to make an informed decision about the most appropriate course of action.

The big question on parent’s minds at this stage of their child’s development is “Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?”

The NHS Choices website says:

There has been some controversy about whether the MMR vaccine might cause autism, following a 1998 study by Dr Andrew Wakefield. In his paper, published in The Lancet, Dr Wakefield claimed there is a link between the MMR vaccine and autism or bowel disease.

However, Andrew Wakefield’s work has since been completely discredited and he has been struck off as a doctor in the UK. Subsequent studies during the last eight years have found no link between the MMR vaccine and autism or bowel disease.

Watch healthtalk.org videos where parents discuss their worries about the MMR vaccine.

This article from The Guardian also provides further information and links to a large scale study that was undertaken into the issue.

With any decision about your child and vaccinations – the benefits of the vaccinations also have to be considered. The purpose of the MMR vaccine is to protect children against measles, mumps and rubella, which are common highly infectious conditions that can have serious, and potentially fatal, complications, including meningitis, swelling of the brain (encephalitis) and deafness.

You may wish to talk to your GP or Health Visitor about any concerns you have and to provide reassurance and guidance and your local Family Information Service will also be able to provide details of organisations who you can talk to.

If you would like further information on national or local support services, then you can contact us at FamilyPoint Cymru via phone 0300 222 57 57, text 07860 052 905, or IM/Chat. We are open Monday – Thursday 6pm – 10pm and Friday & Saturday 10am – 2pm.

Kind Regards
FamilyPoint Cymru

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