March 5, 2011
Some 76 per cent of the 1,001 people surveyed believe the facts about the controversial MMR jab, which has been blamed for a rise in autism and bowel disease in children, should be made public.
The ICM poll for the News of the World found that the number of parents who believe the jab is safe has fallen since the same question was asked last year.
Asked if they believed MMR was safe, 55 per cent said they did – down 11 per cent since August 2001 – 28 per cent said they were unsure while 17 per cent believed it was dangerous.
Parents’ groups advocating the use of single, separate vaccines welcomed the results.
Debbie Ryding, of Desumo Information & Healthcare Ltd, said: “I think most of the parents that come to us would be behind that.
“I certainly think it needs looking at. We have been asking as parents for long enough about these issues.”
Mother-of-six Mrs Ryding, from Ledbury, Herefordshire, set up the organisation with Natalie Bowden, who has three children and lives in Swansea, to raise awareness about choices available in vaccination.
They operate a clinic in Worcester using the services of a Lincolnshire GP, Dr Peter Mansfield, and are setting up centres in Bournemouth and Swansea.
Mrs Ryding said the numbers of parents with concerns about MMR and other childhood vaccinations were growing.
She added: “It seems that the more the Government tries to impose the MMR on parents with things like talk of it being compulsory, parents dig in their heels more.
“Just going by our figures, it really has grown so big so fast. You just can’t keep up with the amount of parents who want information and single vaccines for their children.”
MMR is given to children at aged 13 months and before they start school.
It was first introduced in the UK in 1988 and has since seen the number of children catching the diseases it protects against drop to an all-time low, according to Government figures.