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Vaccine safety: British are less sceptical than Europeans, but younger people need assurance

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4291 (Published 19 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4291

Rapid Response:

Re: Vaccine safety: British are less sceptical than Europeans, but younger people need assurance

This report seems to assume that vaccines are safe as a class of product [1], but it would be helpful to know what body of science is being cited. Which products if any, for example, have been trialed against saline placebo, or if not have been trialed against products which were originally trialed against saline placebo? What is the evidence for saying the the combined infant schedule to 12 months [2] is safe?

DTaP, Polio, HiB, HepB+Rotavirus+13 Strain Pneumococcal+MenB (8 weeks)
DTaP, Polio, HiB, HepB+Rotavirus (12 weeks)
DTaP, Polio, HiB,HepB+13 Strain Preumococcal+MenB (16 weeks)
13 Strain Pneumococcal+MMR+HiB, MenC (12 Months)

At the moment people are just being asked to put their trust in national and global agencies, which are fallible human institutions [3-5] and far from independent of the manufacturers [6]. Reassuring the public might depend on more convincing scientific presentations rather than an appeal to authority, as well as listening to people if things go wrong. Then we might establish the basis of trust.

[1] Gareth Iacobucci, 'Vaccine safety: British are less sceptical than Europeans, but younger people need assurance',
BMJ 2019; 365 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4291 (Published 19 June 2019)

[2] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/childhood-vaccines-timeline/

[3] John Stone, 'Fear of the disease is not a reason for confidence in the product...', 21 March 2019, https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l1259/rr

[4] John Stone, 'What is the basis of Heidi Larson's confidence?', 29 March 2019, https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l1259/rr-1

[5] John Stone, 'Re: Overcoming vaccine hesitancy: five minutes with . . . Heidi Larson: How would we detect neurological complications?', 3 April 2019, https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l1259/rr-9

[6] John Stone, 'The MHRA', 28 October 2018, https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k4152/rr-13

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 June 2019
John Stone
UK Editor
AgeofAutism.com
London N22