Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations Medicine and the Media

MMR, measles, and the South Wales Evening Post

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2598 (Published 22 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2598

Re: MMR, measles, and the South Wales Evening Post

Margaret McCartney appears convinced that MMR is safe. But how convincing is the evidence?

Was the MMR safe for Valentino Bocca, a nine year old Italian boy? The evidence suggests not. A judge in Rimini last year awarded compensation to the Bocca family on the basis that MMR had caused autism. [1] The judge had no option but to follow the evidence of independent, court appointed experts, because the Italian Health Ministry conceded causation.

The Cochrane Collaboration tested the evidence on MMR safety in 2005 and 2012 and reported that the design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre- and post-marketing, were largely inadequate. [2] [3]

The evidence does not convince me that MMR is safe.

[1] Bignell P. Italian court reignites MMR vaccine debate after award over child with autism. The Independent, Sunday 17 June 2012. http://ind.pn/13VMDBw

[2] Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Oct 19;(4):CD004407. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16235361

[3] Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Feb 15;2:CD004407. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004407.pub3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22336803

Competing interests: No competing interests

05 May 2013
Mark Struthers
GP
Bedfordshire
mark.struthers@which.net