GPs should take the time to listen to patients' concerns about the triple vaccine and offer reassurance, says Dr Kausar Jafri
I was interested to read your news story •New study finds no evidence to link MMR vaccine and autismê (Guidelines in Practice, March 2002,). As a GP I feel it is important that we listen to our patients and take their concerns seriously.
I, like GP Dr Matthew Lockyer, always tell parents that I have looked at the evidence and would have my children vaccinated.
I explain that measles is not a harmless condition and that I know of children who have become deaf through measles. I also take the opportunity to talk about herd immunity.
I remind parents that individual vaccines are not as reliable, nor risk-free, and require children to have several unpleasant jabs instead of only one.
I encourage patients to come back when they have considered all the issues.
Our practice is in the process of producing an information leaflet on MMR for parents.
In the end, it boils down to knowing our patients and making use of that knowledge. Some will want hard facts; others will only be interested in your professional opinion.
Dr Kausar Jafri GP, Stoke on Trent
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