CPHVA logo

Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association

Back to home pageGeneral information about CPHVAMembership information Contact CPHVA staffSearch CPHVA site for general informationHelp on navigating the siteLinks to other useful sites Enter members' area

Health visiting information
School nursing information District nursing information Practice nursing information Countries-Scotland, Wales and Northern IrelandPublic health information Clinical effectiveness information Courses, grants and reportsCPHVA responses to government and other reportsCPHVA and non-CPHVA eventsPress releases and media relationsCPHVA campaignsSpecial Interest GroupsFrequently asked questionsIndex to site
Link to Amicus the union

Press Release Press Release Press Release Press  Release   

2nd January 2001



Joint press release issued on behalf of:
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Nursing
Community Practitioners & Health Visitors Association
Faculty of Public Health Medicine

Our specialists in immunisation have studied the recent paper by Drs Wakefield and Montgomery with great care. They are in
` agreement with the statement of the Chairmen of the Joint Committee on Immunisation and Vaccination and the Committee on Safety of Medicine, namely that the paper adds little to current knowledge.

Our professional confidence in the MMR vaccine, its safety and effectiveness remains fully justified. Contrary to what is suggested by the authors there is a large body of evidence showing that the combined vaccine is highly effective and serious side effects are uncommon. The specific suggestions that MMR causes either inflammatory bowel disease or autism have been well researched in recent years by independent scientists. No association has been found and we remain convinced of the safety and effectiveness of MMR vaccine.

In contrast, the suggested alternative of giving single vaccines instead of MMR is untried and of unproven safety and effectiveness.
No research has been conducted to ensure that this regimen does not give rise to side effects such as bowel disorders or autism. It would subject a toddler to extra injections, without good reason and experience has shown that the more complicated and prolonged a course of treatment is, the less likely it is to be completed. At best using single antigens would leave many more children unprotected for extended periods and would raise the likelihood of epidemics of measles, mumps and rubella (german measles). This would inevitably result in unnecessary suffering for children, the birth of babies damaged by rubella and some deaths.

As professionals intimately involved in the long term care of children, as well as in the immunisation programme, we wholeheartedly
endorse the current policy of using the combined MMR vaccine. We will ensure that parents receive all the facts so that they can make an informed decision and act in the best interests of their children.



Shaun Noble Communications Officer ( (020) 7939 7043

mobile ( 07768 69 39 40

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA website: amicus-cphva.org

The CPHVA - the UKs third largest nursing union - represents health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses, district nurses and nursery nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The CPHVA is a professional section of the Amicus trade union