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Views And Reviews Acute Perspective

David Oliver: Vaccination sceptics are immune to debate

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 22 May 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l2244

Rapid Response:

Questioning the second dose of live MMR vaccine - response to David Oliver

David Oliver, you say “My starting point in looking into any medical field investigation or treatment not in my own field of expertise and practise would be to go for systematic reviews, expert guidelines, professional bodies and acknowledged content expertise.”[1]

I cited a Cochrane systematic review of MMR vaccination in my letter questioning the Australian government’s requirement that children be vaccinated with two doses of the MMR vaccine to access financial benefits, i.e. challenging the second dose. My letter was addressed to then Australian Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, and was forwarded in June 2012.

In my letter to then Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, I note that the Cochrane systematic review of MMR vaccination reports that “based on the available evidence, one MMR vaccine dose is at least 95% effective in preventing clinical measles and 92% effective in preventing secondary cases among household contacts”. The Cochrane review also notes that: “The design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre- and post-marketing, are largely inadequate.”[2]

FYI, a copy of my letter to then Health Minister Tanya Plibersek can be accessed via this link:

(My letter to Tanya Plibersek is fully referenced. The letter also includes hyperlinks, but some of these might now be broken, or hyperlinked documents might have been modified/updated, given the passage of time since 2012, but the references are there for back-up.)

1. David Oliver’s response to Elizabeth Hart (27 May 2019) on David Oliver: Vaccination sceptics are immune to debate:
2. Demicheli V, Rivetti A, Debalini MG, Di Pietrantonj C. Vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD004407. DOI: 10. 1002/14651858. CD004407.pub3.

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 May 2019
Elizabeth M Hart
Independent citizen investigating conflicts of interest in vaccination policy and the over-use of vaccine products
Adelaide, Australia