chapter  8
23 Pages

Prevention of infectious diseases

ByDavid Hall, Jonathan Williams, David Elliman

In 1998, concerns were raised in a Lancet paper about a possible link between the vaccine, autism and inflammatory bowel disease. It was suggested by one of the researchers that any such risk could be reduced by giving the mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) antigens separately and many worried parents requested these for their children. In 2004, 10 of the 13 authors of the Lancet paper made it clear that they did not believe there was a link between the MMR vaccine and autism or bowel disease: We wish to make it clear that in this paper no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient. Children who are immuno-compromised, whether due to disease or treatment, or are HIV-positive, should be referred to their consultant for advice. Depending on the circumstances, live vaccines may be contraindicated, due to the risk of adverse effects, whereas killed/inactive vaccines should be given, but may be less effective.