our children-the MMR vaccine problem
The problem: The overwhelming weight of scientific and medical evidence indicates that the three-in-one mumps, measles and rubella vaccine is far safer than administering individual doses. Scientists have briefed the government on this, but the skeptical public have not bought into the argument. The government now finds itself in a potentially tragic dilemma. Allowing GPs to administer the vaccine as three separate doses increase the length of time that children are exposed to infection and poses the risk that some parents will fail to bring their children to the surgery for the second and third jabs. On the other hand, if the government maintains its hard line and insists that it must be the three-in-one vaccine or nothing, many parents will opt for nothing. Either way, its innocent children who will be at risk and at the same time, the credibility of scientists is on the decline.
A low scientific arrogance solution: GPs should be allowed to administer the vaccine as three separate jabs, but to discourage parents taking this option on trivial grounds, they should be charged a significant administration fee of say £100 - £150. This will provide the funding, to cover the costs of a patient reminder service, to encourage prompt returns for the second and third jabs. Parents of children who return promptly for the follow jabs would receive a rebate of say £50. In extreme cases, where parents failed to respond to reminders, a nurse could be sent to administer the jab in the patients home. Within a couple of years, the heat and conflict will taken out of this issue. As a consequence, most parents will lose their fear. In the mean time, the number of vaccinated children would increase and as a bonus the hostility to science experts would diminish.