Until the MMR jab came along, every child in the UK was given a single measles vaccine as infants, and girls were given rubella vaccine between the age of 10 and 13.
Following the introduction of MMR, the government decided to withdraw the single measles
vaccine arguing that MMR offered better protection and reduced the risk of infection by
being delivered in a single jab. It was also the first time that children in the UK had
ever been routinely given a vaccine for mumps.
All was well for a while, Until Dr. Andrew Wakefield reported his hypothesis that there
could be a 'possible association' between the MMR vaccine and autism. Despite his report
concluding that he had not proved an association between the two, the connection had
been made in the minds of the public.
Naturally, many parents were of the opinion that if there was any remote chance of
their children developing autism as a result of taking the MMR jab, then their children
should be offered the original single vaccine instead.
The government, of course, holds the opinion that there is no proven link, that MMR is
safer than three separate vaccines, and that MMR is much safer than no vaccine at all.
So, parents are 'somewhat cautious' about accepting safety assurances from a government which
told them that beef was safe to eat, and the government refuses to decide public
health policy based on uninformed public opinion.
This situation is slowly leading the UK towards a measles epidemic with only 88% of
children in the UK currently receiving any sort of measles vaccine.
stupot mentioned that it's noteworthy that the Prime Minister won't declare whether or not he gave his child the single MMR.
The consequences of him choosing not to go for the MMR are clear, but if he did chose the combined MMR vaccine I'm sure he's equally keen to keep it quiet after the whole John Gummer incident. He was the agriculture minister in the early 1990s and publicly fed his daughter a beefburger to prove that beef was safe. Just before it emerged that it actually wasn't all that safe.