JABS (victim support)
1 Gawsworth Close, Golborne, Warrington, WA3 3RF. Tel: 01942  713565

Web: http://www.jabs.org.uk/



MMR debate: Quiz the specialists (Dr Nigel Higson &  Jackie Fletcher of JABS)

JABS has received reports from the parents of these 30 children. Four of these children have been assessed by the Government's Vaccine Damage Payment Unit and tribunals have awarded payments. Some of these children died from vaccine induced SSPE after being given a number of measles containing vaccines. Twelve of the children died under the age of two years and were therefore ineligible for assessment by the VDPU. There is an absurd clause which does not allow claims to be investigated until the child passes its second birthday. Just remind me Dr Flegg, when are most baby vaccines given?
    The same families could not pursue investigation through the courts because parents cannot access legal aid if the child has died. The Legal Aid Board has its own strict criteria in that there is a cost/benefit rule. As the child has died and obviously does not have any dependents and does not need a long-term care package the value of the child's life if a claim was successful would be rated at about 7,000, it would cost more than this to take the case to court therefore the family would not be allowed to pursue a claim. What price justice?
    Why should any parent put their trust in a system that is so one sided? No policy-maker or medical professional (including you, Dr Flegg) takes any risk whatsoever, that burden is solely carried by the child and the family. What makes the situation worse is that the family are not aware that they are taking any risk and if the worst does happen they are on their own.
    Quite clearly the Government and the medical profession are closed to any open discussion about vaccine side effects and tactically are of one mind when looking for someone to blame for the fall in uptake of MMR. Remove choice, blame the parents, blame Dr Wakefield, blame the media, blame anyone rather than be held accountable for vaccine damaged children. Please tell me who else is going to raise this issue if not the parents of vaccine damaged children?
    he information JABS and its legal team had collected with regard to some 1200 suspected serious adverse reactions and deaths following MMR and MR vaccines was presented to the Health Minister and her most senior DoH officials at the meeting in 1997. I suggest Dr Flegg contacts Prof David Salisbury, one of the officials present at that meeting, and ask how the data was handled and why. From where we stand the issue was raised at the top level with the Health Minister and DoH officials - they simply chose to dismiss the evidence out of hand without any credible clinical follow up to determine either causation or 'wild' claims. One has to wonder why? --Jakie Fletcher  [Letters BMJ Becoming Ben Oct 2008]