Mother sues for MMR jab

Western Daily Press 13/10/1999

By Barry Leighton

A WOMAN is suing two drug companies for more than 50,000 after her playful, happy baby son completely changed character following a measles, mumps and rubella vaccination.

Mrs Yolanda Turner was shocked at the change in 13-month-old Matthew less than two weeks after he received his routine MMR jab which has been administered to millions of children.

Mrs Turner, of Warminster, Wiltshire, said: "He completely changed - he didn't respond to anyone, there was no eye contact, he didn't want cuddles and he became very obsessive. He just wasn't the same child.

"It all happened just ten days after the vaccine, which is why I believe the vaccine is responsible."

Since then Matthew, who is now 11 years old, has suffered from autism, behavioural problems and epilepsy.

All of these are symptoms which other parents throughout the country claim have been triggered in their children as a result of the MMR jab.

Mrs Turner, who has spent eight years preparing legal action, said Matthew's case had been complicated because of a genetic condition.

But her solicitors are now confident that they can show the MMR vaccination was responsible for the youngster's problems and have filed a High Court writ against SmithKline Beecham plc and SmithKline and French Laboratories.

They are seeking personal damages exceeding 50,000 for injuries allegedly sustained through the use of Pluserix-MMR vaccine.

Mrs Turner said that Matthew, who received the vaccination in June 1989, is now quite healthy and well, although he suffers from behaviour problems and has learning difficulties.

Mrs Turner, who has parted from Matthew's father, refused to allow her two younger children to have the vaccinations.

She said: "This is a very big issue, it has affected a lot of people.

"I am absolutely convinced that Matthew's problems stem from this vaccination."


The writ is one of a number filed against the companies which are responsible for researching, producing and marketing the MMR vaccine.

Mrs Turner is among 550 families taking action after their cases were investigated thoroughly.

Government medical advisors insist that the vaccine, which is given to 1.2 million children every year, is completely safe.

But at least 1,000 British families believe it has harmed their children.

The row intensified in February 1998 when British researchers warned that the MMR jab could be linked to autism and bowel disease.

The MMR vaccine was introduced in October 1988 after being widely used for several years in the United States.  

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