LYNNE ROBERTSON and ALAN MacDERMID http://www.theherald.co.uk/
A SCOTS couple who believe their daughter was left severely impaired after receiving the controversial MMR vaccination have called for the injection to be given in three single doses to protect other youngsters.
Alan and Anne Prentice believe their daughter Nicola, now six, is one of 1800 children across the UK who have reacted badly to the vaccination, given routinely to babies to protect them from measles, mumps, and rubella.
They have been granted legal aid to pursue a damages action over the injection, which the Department of Health has repeatedly claimed is safe. Around 300 familes have already been granted legal aid to pursue a case.
In an exclusive interview with The Herald, the couple claim their daughter was happy and healthy until the age of 15 months when she received the injection, falling ill nine days later.
The youngster has been diagnosed as epileptic with severe learning difficulties. Her parents insist she also displays symptoms of autism and has stomach problems - a common feature among other children who appear to have suffered a reaction to the jab.
Mr Prentice, a cattle farmer, said: "In the interests of their own children, I think the British public needs to push for the vaccine to be given in three single doses to ensure the child is better able to cope with it. It must be a big shock to inject three live viruses into a child's system. It makes sense to me that a single one is bound to be more gentle to start with."
Mrs Prentice added: "People have to have confidence in the injection. If we sat here and didn't say anything, and just quietly got on with our life, how many more Nicolas would there be?
"I'm not saying it's going to make Nicola's life any better, but if I could prevent somebody else going through what we have endured, it will be worth it."
The couple are supported by the pressure group JABS (Justice, Action, Basic Support). A group spokeswoman said: "What we feel at the moment is that the Department of Health is refusing to do a scientific investigation of our children. They keep saying that it is safe, but unless they investigate all these children, they are not going to improve safety."
Dr Ian Jones, director of the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health, said there was "absolutely no evidence" that three separate vaccines were any different from the combined one.
"People have tested this until they are blue in the face - it would simply expose children to greater risk until the course had been completed," he said. - Oct 23
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