Letter: Vaccines still need testing

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R A FISKEN'S stern put-down of your article on vaccination problems shows how much emotion and how little logic are at work over this issue (Letters, 8 October). This April, a report in the Lancet showed strong evidence of a link between the measles vaccination and bowel disease. Researchers compared a vaccinated group with 11,000 unvaccinated individuals who developed measles naturally, and found the first group three times more likely to develop Crohn's disease.

That same week, the Department of Health announced 90 per cent coverage for its measles vaccination campaign. Perhaps Dr Fisken would care to explain how scientists can conduct future long-term studies if we eradicate unvaccinated control groups. Immediate adverse reactions to vaccines may only be the tip of an iceberg: the greater problem may be long-term chronic illness developing as late as adulthood. But current policies make it certain we will never know the truth simply because proper research cannot be conducted. I consider that disturbing, especially given that most infectious diseases have been wiped out, not by vaccination, but by improvements in public health.

Denis MacEoin

Newcastle upon Tyne