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The MMR Vaccine: Fear and Debate

            The MMR vaccine was first combined in 1971 because before that they had separate shots. Since the invention and distribution of this vaccine has saved many lives. MMR is a safe and effective combined vaccine that protects against three separate illnesses – measles, mumps and rubella, also known as the German measles, administered in a single injection. The full course of MMR vaccination requires two doses. Measles, mumps and rubella are common, highly infectious conditions that can have serious, potentially fatal, complications, including meningitis, swelling of the brain, encephalitis, and deafness. They can also lead to complications in pregnancy that affect the unborn baby and can lead to miscarriage. Then one doctor made one accusation and the MMR vaccine was thought to cause Autism. This vaccine saves lives and one doctor made a false accusation and caused mass panic with parents.
             The MMR vaccine was first alleged to be a cause of autism in 1998, when Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a British researcher, published a study in The Lancet claiming that the 12 children with neurodevelopment delays, only eight of whom had autism, he examined had the measles virus in their guts.  Andrew Wakefield, a now-discredited physician took a small group of individuals and made a wild accusation that then had parents scared that their child would become or develop autism (Knopf). Roald Dahl's who lost his daughter, at the age of 7, because there wasn't a vaccine available. He wrote a letter urging parents to vaccinate their children, noting that 1–2 out of every 1,000 children who gets measles will die, and the doctors can't stop measles but getting vaccinated can prevent this deadly infection (Volume 31, Sec 4).
             Andrew Wakefield also didn't mention being paid, by lawyers who represented parents in lawsuits against vaccine-producing companies, to find a connection between vaccines and disabilities in children.

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