Medical chief denies MMR vaccine link to autism

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The Independent Online
SIR KENNETH CALMAN, the Government's chief medical officer, moved to allay public alarm over the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine yesterday after hundreds of parents had requested the vaccinations separately.

Sir Kenneth said there was no scientific evidence that giving separate doses was any safer than the combined vaccine and could increase the risks to children.

Sir Kenneth was responding to a paper in The Lancet medical journal last month suggesting there may be a link between MMR vaccination and inflammatory bowel disease and autism in some children. He said: "Independent experts and I have seen the published research and we are not convinced that there is indeed any link. No evidence has been published that demonstrates that MMR plays a part in autism."

Letters were sent to all GPs yesterday confirming that the vaccine was safe.