Anti-Vaccination Forces Get Much-Needed Shot in Arm
A British study supports the position of the anti-vaccination forces.
By F.C. Blahut
Parents who have had the traumatic experience of registering their children for school are familiar with the demand that the children have certain immunizations.
Those who don’t want to immunize their children face a gauntlet of state and federal problems and the possibility that their children will not be allowed to attend school without a court order.
The parents are assured that the federal government says the shots are safe and effective.
But things may not be as worry-free as the government says.
A United Kingdom study—not widely disbursed in this country—says the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) has been linked to a rare bleeding disorder in children.
According to research published Feb. 21, two out of every three cases of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), or bleeding under the skin, in the six weeks after MMR immunization are caused by the vaccine.
This accounts for one child in every 22,300 in the UK given the MMR vaccine who were admitted to the hospital.
The study, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, was led by Dr. Elizabeth Miller of the Public Health Laboratory Service who has conducted extensive research into any adverse effects of the MMR vaccine.
The vaccine has been linked to an increase in a form of bowel disease and autism in children, although Miller’s earlier studies have found no association with autism.
The study says that ITP is caused by a shortage of platelets, the cells that make blood “sticky.”
In the general population, with or without MMR vaccinations, ITP occurs in about one in 10,000 people and in children and young people it is often preceded by a viral infection.