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Mandatory childhood vaccination could cause “irreparable damage,” says expert panel

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 11 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l5995

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Propaganda should not be allowed to overwhelm policy

I note the letters of Selwyn and Melanie D'Costa as well as Allan Cunningham [1], but while many professionals have an awareness of the limitations of influenza vaccines there may be quite similar issues with measles. Not only has the measles vaccine reduced the general level of immunity in the population [2] it may have caused the evolution of the B3 strain which is apparently less susceptible to the vaccine [3], and has resulted the loss of the UK's "WHO measles free status" [4]. It would be disturbing if experts and officials who are aware that there is problem are allowing it to be blamed on the unvaccinated, when it is the programme itself which needs scrutiny.

We wonder what our politicians are being told by their advisers?

[1] Responses to Mahase, 'Mandatory childhood vaccination could cause “irreparable damage,” says expert panel',

[2] John Stone, 'Measles vaccination has substituted one problem for another', 20 June 2019,

[3] Melenotte C, Zandotti C, Gautret P, Parola P, Raoult D., 'Measles: is a new vaccine approach needed?', Lancet Infect Dis. 2018 Oct;18(10):1060-1061. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30543-7.

[4] Amy Hunt, 'Why has the UK lost ‘measles-free’ status – and vaccines could become ‘compulsory’, Good to Know September 30, 2019.

Competing interests: No competing interests

23 October 2019
John Stone
UK Editor
London N22