To date (September 1998) in excess of 900 families have contacted the JABS group (1,800 to Dawbarns Solicitors) to report serious health problems following the MMR vaccination. JABS families come from all walks of life including the medical profession. We have doctors, nurses, health visitors etc who have reported severe problems in their own children. Problems include: encephalitis, epilepsy, acquired autism, loss of speech and communication, arthritis, diabetes, profound deafness, Guillain-Barre syndrome - a paralysis condition. Families quote time periods, symptoms and long term problems that in the main are listed in the vaccine manufacturers' own leaflets.
JABS has not been able to find any properly conducted trials where the safety of the vaccines has been monitored for more than a few weeks. JABS has not been able to find any studies of the long-term consequences of the use of the MMR vaccines. Indeed the prestigious Institute of Medicine in the USA has this to say about vaccine safety:
"In the course of its review, the committee encountered many gaps and limitations in knowledge bearing directly and indirectly on the safety of vaccines. These include inadequate understanding of the biologic mechanisms underlying adverse events following natural infection or immunisation, insufficient or inconsistent information from case reports and case series, inadequate size or length of follow-up of many population-based epidemiologic studies, and limited capacity of existing surveillance systems of vaccine injury to provide persuasive evidence of causation. The committee found few experimental studies published in relation to the number of epidemiological studies published. Clearly, if research capacity and accomplishment in these area are not improved, future reviews of vaccine safety will be similarly handicapped."
The DoH is well aware of the problems because some of our children have been awarded the government's vaccine damage payment. Payments have been made for various adverse effects, including: epilepsy, Guillain Barre syndrome, SSPE (a brain wasting condition), profound deafness and death.
The information supplied by parents to JABS keeps being referred to as anecdotal. It must be remembered that scientific evidence always has its roots in anecdotal events. We presented the Public Health Minister, the Chief Medical Officer and other senior advisors with a list of our 'anecdotal' evidence, in October last year, pointing out that each entry represented a real child not just a statistic on a piece of paper. We requested that the anecdotal evidence should be investigated urgently.
The current method of reporting adverse reactions is totally ineffective. If a child reacts to a vaccine the doctor/consultant caring for the child should report the problem using the 'yellow card' system. The card is supposed to be forwarded to the Medicines Control Agency to be investigated. This has been recognised by the Public Health Laboratory's Service as far back as 1995 (Lancet 4 Mar. 95: Vol. 345: 567/569). "There is an urgent need to find more reliable methods of adverse event surveillance". The system continues to fail our children - reactions are very rarely reported!
If the benefits of vaccines are proven clearly to outweigh the disadvantages, there can be no objection to vaccination campaigns being carried out provided that the victims of vaccinations are properly cared for (which they are most certainly not). JABS is concerned that the Department of Health and/or the Medicines Control Agency is not prepared to listen to the genuine concerns of those who have experienced directly the problems of vaccine safety.
JABS believes there is evidence that the MMR vaccine is linked to late onset autism because:
Doctor Jeremy Metters, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, answered a question on the possible link between MMR vaccination and autism on GMTV recently. He stated that MMR vaccines have been given to one hundred and fifty million children in the United States alone, over 26 years, and this link has not emerged there at all.
If that is the case, why have the two American parent research organisations Autism Research Institute and Cure Autism Now Foundation (CAN) joined with the National Vaccine Information Centre (NVIC) in calling for independent studies conducted by non-governmental researchers into the possible link between vaccines and autism? The NVIC is also calling on federal health agencies to publish details of the prospective case controlled clinical trials and other safety data used to licence the live MMR vaccine and recommended second dose of measles vaccine for all children. Besides, US researchers have pointed to links between the vaccine and autism (eg Gupter, Fudenberg and Warren).
Many families have contacted JABS to complain that the Department of Health (DoH) are denying parents the right to decide how they vaccinate their children. One of the MMR vaccine manufacturers', Pasteur Merieux, has stated that it produces a limited supply of single measles vaccines as the rest of its measles stock goes into the MMR jabs. Representatives have stated that all they need is a directive from the DoH and the company can supply more single component vaccines. The DoH has indicated that it has no intention of changing policy as there is no scientific evidence to warrant a change in policy, even if that is what parents want!
In Japan the MMR vaccine was withdrawn in 1993 because their surveillance system showed an unacceptably high level of side effects and their policy makers reverted back to single dose vaccines. They didn't just buy in alternate MMR vaccine supplies.
It is not satisfactory for the DoH to say that there is "no evidence" of the link between MMR vaccines and injuries which these children now suffer. These facts are indisputable:
It is for the DoH and the manufacturers to prove that the vaccines are safe not the other way round. This clearly has not been done. Safety trials were grossly inadequate - and Government doesn't even have a central register of autistic children, so that it does not even know whether autism is on the increase.
Care and consideration must be brought back into vaccination policy. Children should not be treated as a unit on a production flow line. Each should be treated as an individual and the family and child's health history taken into account before vaccinating.
In the interest of safety for British children JABS calls for an immediate suspension of the MMR programme whilst urgent research is undertaken. In the meantime children should be offered protection against the diseases by providing measles, mumps and rubella as single vaccines, with an adequate time interval and at an age that is appropriate to the child.