Last updated at 5:05 PM on 21st November 2010
A ‘super vaccination’ intensive day for babies just after they turn one will involve three injections including the controversial MMR jab.
The chief medical officer has instructed GPs to inoculate children on a same day surgery visit with the practice set to begin by the end of the year as part of a national programme to boost immunity levels.
The jabs will be given in three different limbs and will immunise children from measles, mumps and rubella, two forms of meningitis and an infection that can cause pneumonia.
Primary care trusts in England and Wales last week received the advice with government advisers hoping multiple inoculations will improve the uptake of the MMR vaccine which was previously claimed – though now discredited – to a link to autism.
The decision to immunise all the diseases at once, including MMR will create concern with some parents about the risk of side effects with the added possibility that families will not allow their babies to be inoculated in this way.
The joint committee on vaccination and immunisation who advised the government to combine the jabs said research found no safety issues with families ‘expected to increase take-up’ of inoculations.
At present children receive a jab against two forms of meningitis at 12 months. A month later they receive the MMR vaccine and a jab for pneumococcal infections, including pneumonia and bronchitis.
The Sunday Times learned that In anticipation to resistance to the changes chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies has warned trusts they would have to be prepared to reassure parents.
‘Health professionals will need to be ready to reassure parents that combining vaccinations into one appointment and giving three at a time is safe. The fact that MMR is one of these makes no difference because MMR is safe.’
Records show that take-up of the MMR vaccine dropped after 1998 following the autism claims.
Jackie Fletcher who was awarded £90,000 by the Department of Health after her son suffered brain damage following an MMR jab and set up Jabs a support group for families of vaccine-damaged children has voiced concern over the multiple injections.
‘Parents need to remember that these vaccines are not compulsory and they must be given a full range of choice about when to have them. If you introduce six elements on one day how do you know which part of the vaccine a child may react to?’