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Statement on the safety of the MMR va\ccination programmes
22 January 2001

Attachment to press notice from Department of Health

Following the MMR summit at the Department of Health today, the following organisations have signed up to the statement below:

  • Royal College of General Practitioners

  • British Medical Association

  • Royal College of Nursing

  • Faculty of Public Health Medicine

  • UK Public Health Association

  • Royal College of Midwives

  • Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association


  • Sense

  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society

  • Public Health Laboratory Service

  • Medicines Control Agency

"MMR is a very effective vaccine with an excellent safety record. It is recommended by the World Health Organisation and used in over 30 countries around the world. We believe that the support for the MMR vaccine among health professionals remains exceptionally high despite recent claims to the contrary.
All of the major health organisations in the UK support the MMR programme. Prior to the introduction of MMR there were thousands of cases of measles, mumps and rubella and dozens of children died. This need not happen again. MMR is scientifically proven to be the safest and most effective way to protect children from disease.
The new report by Dr Wakefield does not present any evidence to change this view. There is a real concern about his advice that the vaccines should be given separately, since children would be left unnecessarily unprotected from these potentially serious diseases. We strongly recommend that children are protected with MMR and not left at risk.
The vast majority of parents do get their children vaccinated but some parents remain concerned.
We want to listen to these concerns and to work with parents and health professionals to provide reassurance and the best possible advice."