Why Japan banned MMR vaccine | Daily Mail Online

by JENNY HOPE, Daily Mail

Japan stopped using the MMR vaccine seven years ago – virtually the only developed nation to turn its back on the jab.

Government health chiefs claim a four-year experiment with it has had serious financial and human costs.

Of the 3,969 medical compensation claims relating to vaccines in the last 30 years, a quarter had been made by those badly affected by the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, they say.

The triple jab was banned in Japan in 1993 after 1.8 million children had been given two types of MMR and a record number developed non-viral meningitis and other adverse reactions.

Official figures show there were three deaths while eight children were left with permanent handicaps ranging from damaged hearing and blindness to loss of control of limbs.

The government reconsidered using MMR in 1999 but decided it was safer to keep the ban and continue using individual vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella.

The British Department of Health said Japan had used a type of MMR which included a strain of mumps vaccine that had particular problems and was discontinued in the UK because of safety concerns.

The Japanese government realised there was a problem with MMR soon after its introduction in April 1989 when vaccination was compulsory. Parents who refused had to pay a small fine.

An analysis of vaccinations over a three-month period showed one in every 900 children was experiencing problems. This was over 2,000 times higher than the expected rate of one child in every 100,000 to 200,000.

via Why Japan banned MMR vaccine | Daily Mail Online

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