[This doc wants everyone to have MMR due to his experience of a drug associated measles death!]
"In his case, it wasn't down to his parents not giving him the vaccine because it was a contra-indication to other health problems he had. "He was admitted to hospital because of those problems and picked up the virus while on the paediatric ward."
Why there was never any doubt in this doctor's mind that his children should have MMR jab Jun 21 2006
Jun 21 2006
Barbara Argument, Evening Gazette
Memories of a nine year-old boy's death from measles haunt Teesside GP
"I must be one of the few doctors around who can remember a measles
death," said Dr. Stockley. "It can kill - and it can kill quickly."
His warning comes after one Middlesbrough mum, Bernadette Linch, said
four of her children were battling the disease.
The news comes in the wake of a national rise in measles cases.
Dr Stockley said experts had been worried for some time that MMR
vaccine coverage levels were not enough to prevent an outbreak.
The Eaglescliffe GP and Gazette medical expert said his practice was
fortunate to have a high uptake of the MMR jab. "But I suspect coverage is
patchy throughout Teesside," he admitted.
"It is unfortunate, but this outbreak now is because of some of the
people who advised against giving the combination MMR vaccine - and they
have been discredited."
Dr Stockley has two children, aged 13 and 11, and says they had the
He said there was never any doubt in his mind that his youngsters
should have it.
"There was no question at all. It was devastating to see that young
boy die. In his case, it wasn't down to his parents not giving him the
vaccine because it was a contra-indication to other health problems he had.
"He was admitted to hospital because of those problems and picked up
the virus while on the paediatric ward.
"That memory has stayed with me since 1986 when I was a hospital
doctor and it has always been a reminder of the importance of vaccination.
The consequences of these viruses are devastating."
Dr Stockley, who is also an emergency services' frontline medic, said
there is no treatment for measles. "If you came to me with measles today, I
would have to say there is no antibiotic or anti-viral drug I could give
Dr Stockley said few of us have seen the childhood diseases of the
past which kill - like diptheria, tetanus, measles, mumps and rubella.
Dr Ian Holtby of the local Health Protection Agency team in Teesside,
said the Health Protection Agency nationally received reports of 449
confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales by the end of May.
This compares with 438 cases for the whole of 2003.
The outbreak is being blamed on a fall in the number of babies being
given the triple measles, mumps and rubella jab after allegations it was
linked to autism.
Dr Holtby said: "Local MMR uptake rates in the North-east are among
the best in the country, but they're still not high enough to prevent
measles coming back."
Between October and December last year, over 87pc of eligible children
in the North-east were vaccinated with MMR by their second birthday.
But Dr Holtby warned uptake rates need to be at least 95pc.
"We urge all parents to make sure that their children receive two
doses of MMR vaccine," he said. "And it's never too late."
Coincidentally, the controversial doctor who sparked the MMR vaccine
scare could face a charge of serious professional misconduct, the General
Medical Council said.
Research led by Dr Andrew Wakefield suggested a link between the
triple measles, mumps and rubella jab and autism and bowel problems.
Bernadette Linch in yesterday's Gazette said her decision not to have
her children vaccinated with the MMR jab was the biggest mistake she had
Bernadette, 24, said she was scared off by reports of autism.
Gazette Agony Aunt Claire Silvers admits she agonised over giving the
MMR jab to kids Louis, almost three, and Leila, 20 months.
"I got caught up with reports that it caused autism and eating
disorders," she said.
"Then I did my research and thought about it and decided to go with
the MMR, but I did delay it until they were 18 months.
"That meant they had hit all their developmental milestones and I felt
totally sure everything would be OK.
"But I was aware that I was putting them at risk during the last six
months at toddlers' groups and as they socialised."
Families who said yes to jab
Mum-of-three Susan Meloni, 36, left, lives in Yarm with her husband
Craig and children, Thomas, 11, Georgia, nine, and Katie, three.
"All my children have had the MMR vaccination. I wouldn't even think
twice about it and none of them have had any problems.
"I know there have been reports that MMR has allegedly given some
side-effects to some children but to be quite honest, I think that there may
be something in those children already that the MMR sets off. However I
don't know the scientific side of it and that's just my thoughts on it.
"You must protect your children as much as possible.
"I know people with children younger than Katie, and they have taken
the decision to pay privately to get the injections separately. If you are
worried about the MMR vaccination and you have the money to do it, then get
"But whatever you do, don't just not get it done."
Meanwhile, Christine Cook, of Billingham, is mum to Wayne, 37,
Richard, 23, Jacqueline, 16, Adele, 15, Alex, 12, and Jenny, four.
"I am a believer in the jabs. By all means look into it and get all
the advice that you can and weigh up the pros and cons.
"I did, and I still went ahead and all of my children have had all of
"One of my children has complex needs but that is nothing to do with
"I know a lot of friends with big families but I don't know any who
have had a problem because of the MMR."
Jo Radcliffe, of Yarm, right, has two children, Oliver, now 11, and
Toby, three. She has looked into the issue and believes the MMR vaccination
should be compulsory.
"Both of my kids have had the MMR vaccination.
"I looked at the pros and cons of it and the pros outweighed the cons.
I don't think anyone knows 100pc but all you can do is what's best at the
"I think it was in the news both times my children were due for it,
but you just have to go with what you think is the best option.
"My thoughts on it are that I would hate to be in that lady's position
where all my children had measles.
"To me, the effects of measles outweigh the chance of getting autism.
There is no proof that the MMR vaccination can cause autism but illnesses
such as mumps can cause infertility.
"My children have had no problems since they were vaccinated.
"Until it can be proved categorically, then the MMR vaccination should
be made compulsory. I don't think we should be given the choice.
"I feel sorry for this family but if there wasn't all this hype around
it maybe she wouldn't be in this position."