links for 2009-02-06
Measles cases in England and Wales rose by 36% in 2008, figures show.
Confirmed cases increased from 990 in 2007 to 1,348 last year – the highest figure since the monitoring scheme was introduced in 1995.
Health Protection Agency experts said most of the cases had been in children not fully vaccinated with combined MMR and so could have been prevented.
How many times does it need saying? There is no evidence that the MMR vaccine causes autism. And yet, with MMR vaccination rates down to 50% in London (it needs to be 95% to ensure ‘herd’ immunity), it’s hardly surprising that figures show a jump in measles cases with about half of all cases in our fair city.
Dr Ben Goldacre, who writes the Guardian’s “Bad Science” column, blogged about a UK radio DJ’s irresponsible reporting on vaccination, including the 44 minute radio show in audio form (he could have edited down, but he didn’t want to be accused of selective editing). In response, the radio station, LBC 97.3, sent lawyers after him, threatening to sue him for copyright infringement.
It may well be that Stephen Carter is pleased with the generally negative response to the Digital Britain report he has assembled over the last few months, with help from people like psychologist Tanya Byron, Spectator editor Matthew d’Ancona and Channel 4’s deputy chairman Barry Cox.
After all, this interim report is intended to outline the policy challenges to be addressed in a final set of recommendations and proposals published later in the year, and so its primary purpose might simply be to stir things up and let all of the interested parties know that the issues that matter to them are in the frame.