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2 September 2010, 05:30
Doctors at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney are urging mums-to-be to get the MMR jab. It's after a surge in the number of women becoming pregnant, without ever having had the vaccination themselves.
Parents who are unsure they have had the jab, or unsure their children have been immunised against measles, mumps or rubella are being reminded to go to their GP to check their records and have the injection.
Doctors are now seeing women, who have never had the jab, becoming pregnant and putting their baby’s health at risk.
Dr Alistair Lipp, Director of Public Health at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney said: "Many children were not given the opportunity to be protected from mumps, measles or rubella (MMR) because their parents were made anxious by a suggestion that the MMR vaccine was linked to autism. The scientific study and its author, Dr Wakefield, have now been thoroughly discredited. The safety of the MMR vaccine has been confirmed.
If a pregnant woman caught mumps, measles or rubella the infection would be caught by the baby while in the womb. Any one of the infectious diseases could cause serious lifelong birth defects in the baby. However, it could be avoided if women make sure they have had two doses of the MMR vaccine before they become pregnant"
He added: "The anxiety caused by the discredited research study linking autism with MMR has been a tragedy for many children who have missed out on the immunisation."
Across the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney area there are around 2,400 pregnant mothers a year, of which doctors are seeing 60 women who are susceptible to rubella.
Dr Lipp added: "We have quite a few mothers who are going to their GP practice, or into hospital, who never had the jabs as a child and now putting their baby at risk as they are unable to have the jab when they are pregnant. I urge women to check their medical records before you become pregnant and make sure you have had two doses of MMR."