Letter: Vaccine risk

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THE closed meeting of the Medical Research Council which reported on the MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella ("Children's vaccine is safe, say experts", 25 March) has not laid to rest the anxiety of parents.

Sir Kenneth Calman is reported to have ruled out making the three vaccines available separately for those parents who would prefer that method of treatment. Yet separate-dose vaccination would in time provide a control group against which the present opinion of the MRC could be tested. The refusal to allow the separate dose method even if paid for privately appears to show a "no choice" attitude which is not acceptable in a democratic society.

It is essential that this problem should not be dealt with in the way BSE was dealt with in the 1980s, when data was withheld, research stifled and experts who did not support the official line were silenced. Our children are too important for us to take such risks.



St Albans, Hertfordshire