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Open season on MMR

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 12 January 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:120
  1. Caroline White, freelance medical journalist

    How the Blairs' silence sparked a media storm

    In recent weeks opponents of the triple measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine have had rich pickings. In late November the General Medical Council cleared former general practitioner Peter Mansfield of professional misconduct for offering separate vaccines. The Daily Mail heralded this as a victory. Shortly afterwards, the Express picked up an editorial in the British Journal of General Practice, which argued that the Department of Health needed to respond to parental concerns and rethink its policy on single vaccines.

    In early December Andrew Wakefield, whose research in the Lancet in February 1998 stoked widespread alarm over possible links between MMR and bowel disease and autism, left the Royal Free Hospital in London. He claimed that he had been forced out for his rebel views. His departure was extensively covered in …

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