GPs fear MMR case will cut uptake rates

MMR uptake could fall because of publicity around the GMC investigation into research by Dr Andrew Wakefield, GPs fear.

GPs should prepare information to counter any concerns that patients might have.

The investigation will consider allegations that Dr Wakefield carried out investigations on children including colposcopies that were not clinically indicated.

He stands accused of paying children at a birthday party to give blood for research.

His theories linking MMR and autism have been widely discredited, but GPs are concerned the new publicity will hit uptake.

Berkshire GP and RCGP immunisation spokesman Dr George Kassianos said if anti-MMR views were reported in the media, public fears could resurface.

Hackney GP Dr Mike Fitzpatrick, the author of a book on MMR, said: 'There's a school of thought that there's no such thing as good publicity on MMR.'

Dr Kassianos said that in Japan single jabs had not prevented the rise in autism seen elsewhere.

He recommended GPs point patients to www.mmrthefacts.nhs.uk for information.

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