Daily Mail
At last they admit it, this jab CAN harm your child

Peter Hitchens

18:18pm 14th July 2007

Would you sacrifice your own child for the common good? Not, I think, if you were given the choice. But this is what the almighty benevolent State thinks you should be ready to do.

I am hugely grateful to Vivienne Parry, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which advises the Government on the controversial MMR injection, for finally explaining the true attitude of the authorities:

'There's a small risk with all vaccines,' she says. 'No one has ever said that any vaccine is completely without side-effects.

'But we have to decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks. If we had measles, it would kill lots of children. If you have a vaccine, it will damage some children, but a very small number.'

It's not really true about measles, a rather minor risk to a healthy child in an advanced country. But what a refreshing change this candour is from the wooden-headed assertions by the medical establishment that the MMR jab is proven to be completely safe.

But what if you are one of that 'very small number', who are damaged by a vaccine? What if, for you, this is not a theoretical risk to somebody else, but a daily misery in your own home?

I think Josh Edwards, now 14, may be such a victim. Of course, I don't know. But Josh suffered severe regressive autism and major bowel problems after his first MMR, given at the usual age of 13 months.

His mother Heather was reassured by her GP that the two were not connected, and authorised the second jab at the usual age of three years and nine months.

Almost immediately, the autism deepened and the bowel problems redoubled. The same coincidence twice? It's possible, I don't deny. But there's a reasonable case for suspecting a connection.

I cannot tell you how awful this is for the Edwards family. Josh has now had most of his bowel removed and the task of caring for him is gruelling beyond any description I am prepared to inflict on you here. I am filled with astonished admiration for Heather's devotion to her rather beautiful, but terribly damaged, child.

She says very firmly that she does not need pity or sympathy and if I were you, I wouldn't dare offer her any. But she badly needs material and medical help.

Perhaps Vivienne Parry will be kind enough to get in touch with her and see the daily miseries with which she must cope, and then do her utmost to see that Heather's sacrifice is recognised and that she gets the assistance and support she needs and deserves.

That would be much more use to all of us than the persecution of Dr Andrew Wakefield, who goes before the General Medical Council tomorrow for alleged 'malpractice', which consisted of daring to raise the possibility that mothers such as Heather may have had good reason to worry about the injection they were assured was safe.