Is the Daily Mail killing children?


No. Obviously not. Saying such a thing would constitute sensationalist reporting of the crudest kind, and I’m not going to resort to that.

But remember this:

Mail MMR

And this:

MMR autism

And this:

MMR autism2

And this:

Mail scaremongering

The “evidence” reported by the Daily Mail in the above instances turned out of course to be nothing of the sort, and was completely discredited years ago.

The “stories” came after the Lancet had published a study in 1998, led by Dr Andrew Wakefield, which linked the MMR jab with autism and bowel disease.

The Lancet, which originally published the research linking autism and MMR, issued a full retraction of the paper in 2010, describing it as “false”. Dr Wakefield was later struck off from the medical register for “offences relating to dishonesty and failing to act in the best interests of vulnerable child patients”.

Three years on, however, and the consequences of the scaremongering about MMR and autism are still being felt.

This week it was reported that a measles outbreak in Swansea has reached 588 cases, with the number of those contracting measles increasing by 116 in a single week with 51 people hospitalised. Measles is a disease which can cause brain damage and death in children.

Dr Roland Salmon, a consultant epidemiologist from Public Health Wales, told the BBC that local GPs were seeing a lot of children aged between 10 and 15. He added that they would have been the babies who missed out on the vaccine following the now-discredited 1998 report linking the MMR jab and autism.

The graphs below show the rough correlation between immunisation levels and rates of measles.

Immunisation levels

Measles cases

And this one shows that the UK has the fifth highest proportion of measles cases in Europe.

Top 10 measles countries
And to think, it was expected by the World Health Organisation as recently as 2008 that measles would have been eradicated by now. If some of our newspapers had behaved a bit more responsibly, it might have been.
But of course it goes on. Here’s what I find via a quick search today. Date: 15 January 2013.
Mail new
I think it’s best simply to leave you with the words of Public Health Wales in this instance: it said that it was “just a matter of time” before a child was left with serious and permanent complications, such as eye disorders, deafness or brain damage, or even dies.
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  • JonathanBagley

    In this case I think the Lancet was more to blame than the press. It launched Wakefield’s paper with a torrent of publicity and parents didn’t need to be told by the Daily Mail that the MMR vaccine might be harmful – some of their GPs weren’t that confident several years later. Note how long before the paper was retracted by the Lancet.

  • http://sadbutmadlad.com/ SadButMadLad

    So everything is the fault of the Daily Mail is it?

    It has its faults, and it is a crap newspaper which panders to the lowest common denominator (all the better for readership numbers which feeds into advertising which means more money for the DM), and it makes many mistakes. But saying that the Daily Mail is the reason why children are dying from measles pushes it. I thought the left didn’t use dead children for political purposes to prove a point.

    As Jonathan says, this is more a fault of the BMA, Lancet, and government who didn’t disprove the original false premise quickly and adequately enough. It was the fault of the authorities. Not the fault of a trashy newspaper which spouts rubbish all the time.

  • Jill Buck

    Too bad the Single Measles vaccine was pulled from the Market right after the Lancet Paper came out- giving parents no choice. The government is the ones who should be blamed and ashamed. If they really cared about Measles and not MMR program…($) they would allow the single measles vaccine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alun.parsons Alun Parsons

    But the post clearly states that the Daily Mail is not responsible for children dying of measels. Firstly the post says that no one has actually died of measels yet. Secondly, read the very first sentence of the post.

    “Is the Daily Mail killing children.

    “No. Obviously not.”

    So the very first sentence says obviously the Mail isn’t.

    This is about irresponsible journalism. The Mail exaggerates and sensationalises all the time. The title of this post is an example of just such an exaggeration. But the post at öeast has the decency to admit that the title is not true in the first sentence. When does the Mail ever do that?

    I wonder if you actually read this post at all? It looks like you have merely responded to the title, and not read the blog post.

    That undermines your credibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alun.parsons Alun Parsons

    But the post clearly states that the Daily Mail is not responsible for children dying of measels. Firstly the post says that no one has actually died of measels yet. Secondly, read the very first sentence of the post.

    “Is the Daily Mail killing children.

    “No. Obviously not.”

    So the very first sentence says obviously the Mail isn’t.

    This is about irresponsible journalism. The Mail exaggerates and sensationalises all the time. The title of this post is an example of just such an exaggeration. But the post at öeast has the decency to admit that the title is not true in the first sentence. When does the Mail ever do that?

    I wonder if you actually read this post at all? It looks like you have merely responded to the title, and not read the blog post.

    That undermines your credibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alun.parsons Alun Parsons

    But the post clearly states that the Daily Mail is not responsible for children dying of measels. Firstly the post says that no one has actually died of measels yet. Secondly, read the very first sentence of the post.

    “Is the Daily Mail killing children.

    “No. Obviously not.”

    So the very first sentence says obviously the Mail isn’t.

    This is about irresponsible journalism. The Mail exaggerates and sensationalises all the time. The title of this post is an example of just such an exaggeration. But the post at öeast has the decency to admit that the title is not true in the first sentence. When does the Mail ever do that?

    I wonder if you actually read this post at all? It looks like you have merely responded to the title, and not read the blog post.

    That undermines your credibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alun.parsons Alun Parsons

    But the post clearly states that the Daily Mail is not responsible for children dying of measels. Firstly the post says that no one has actually died of measels yet. Secondly, read the very first sentence of the post.

    “Is the Daily Mail killing children.

    “No. Obviously not.”

    So the very first sentence says obviously the Mail isn’t.

    This is about irresponsible journalism. The Mail exaggerates and sensationalises all the time. The title of this post is an example of just such an exaggeration. But the post at öeast has the decency to admit that the title is not true in the first sentence. When does the Mail ever do that?

    I wonder if you actually read this post at all? It looks like you have merely responded to the title, and not read the blog post.

    That undermines your credibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alun.parsons Alun Parsons

    But the post clearly states that the Daily Mail is not responsible for children dying of measels. Firstly the post says that no one has actually died of measels yet. Secondly, read the very first sentence of the post.

    “Is the Daily Mail killing children.

    “No. Obviously not.”

    So the very first sentence says obviously the Mail isn’t.

    This is about irresponsible journalism. The Mail exaggerates and sensationalises all the time. The title of this post is an example of just such an exaggeration. But the post at öeast has the decency to admit that the title is not true in the first sentence. When does the Mail ever do that?

    I wonder if you actually read this post at all? It looks like you have merely responded to the title, and not read the blog post.

    That undermines your credibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alun.parsons Alun Parsons

    The lancet is not responsible for the Mail continuing to report on the non-existent link between MMR and autism a whole three years after the Lancet retraction!

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    I think it is more pertinent to look at how ALL of these: Daily Mail, Government, BMA have played a part, whether from over-reaction or lack of action. Either way these variables have all contributed to the panic of parents about the health of their children, resulting in thousands not immunising their children and the continued rise in the deaths of children.
    We need to stop trying to blame one individual organisation and learn that by scare mongering, not giving parents the correct information, withholding information, and not offer scared parents the right to choose, have ALL culminated in this situation. Now we find the solution and move on.

  • Samantha

    *Sorry I mean rise in cases of measles not deaths.

  • Mr King

    I know one thing The Daily Fail uses votes bots and also freezes comments section to promote a skewed view on a subject topic, Pro Government, Politicians Bankers Royal Family Negative benefit claimants living in poverty,

  • DippingIn

    For a fully rounded view of the Mail’s position you also have to include this headline from 2011…

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2011310/Why-measles-rise-Just-blame-French.html

  • Lynne Haywood

    Back when the measles vaccine was separate to mumps and rubella, my toddler son was vaccinated with the single measles vaccine.

    At the time, my daughter was recovering from mumps.

    I asked the nurse if she considered it the correct thing to do at a time when my son could be carrying the mumps virus. The nurse thought it best to vaccinate.

    After the measles vaccine my son’s brain became swollen and he staggered and fell each time he tried to walk.

    I took him to hospital.
    Fortunately he recovered from this incident but it proved to me that when the measles and mumps virus are in the body at the same time, it can be very dangerous, especially for toddlers.

  • http://twitter.com/kerry_kriel Kerry Kriel

    The paper was however retracted and The Lancet editor made an apology…The Daily Mail just carries on regardless

  • synergise

    Erm,

    I’m sorry to hear about your son, and I’m glad he made a full recovery.

    However, your son’s case does not prove that “when the measles and mumps virus are in the body at the same time, it can be very dangerous”.

    Encephalitic and meningitic reactions to vaccinations are extremely rare, but do happen. However, as doctors we compare the risk of these reactions with the risk of your son contracting the diseases they protect against. In actual fact, these reactions occur at a similar- and extremely low- rate in both the combined and single vaccines.

    Taking isolated incidents and extrapolating them to a countrywide or worldwide populations is exactly the method the Mail uses to create its regular scare stories, which are at best misleading or at worst- as in the case of the MMR vaccine- actually dangerous.

    Again, I am glad your son made a full recovery. The experience must have been terrible for both of you.

  • Jon

    Maybe the government thinks it should be spending finite healthcare funding on vaccinations and treatments that are actually needed, not on providing a sop to parents who are concerned enough about their child’s well-being to refuse MMR based on tabloid reports, but not concerned enough to research the issue properly, or to care that they’re exposing their child to an actually credible risk of contracting Measles.

    The Government providing a separate Measles vaccine would be the equivalent of them paying to replace every paving stone in the country with tarmac, because people think its bad luck to step on the cracks. Their job is to manage limited resources according to evidence and reality, not pander to misinformed paranoia and press scaremongering.

  • http://twitter.com/morgancox_uk Morgan Cox

    Kill children? That’s odd, the Daily Mail normally fantasizes sexually about children – i.e writing about 8 year old ‘leggy beauties’ – http://www.themediablog.co.uk/the-media-blog/2013/01/daily-mail-turns-the-creepiness-up-a-notch.html . The paper is so sick it goes after the peado pound.

    Maybe they fantasize about dead children also ?

  • http://twitter.com/thelittlepakeha Chris Miller

    I’m fully vaccinated and nothing bad happened to me as a result. This PROVES that vaccination is perfectly safe and there are no possible bad reactions.

    (Obviously not – my sister’s actually quite allergic to the tetanus vaccine, for example, suffering from a reaction that resulted in poor function and pain that spread into both arms for multiple years after getting it. But if I stood on a rusty nail I’d still want the damn injection, because I understand the difference between anecdote and scientific data.)

  • http://twitter.com/stephensenn Stephen John Senn

    For goodness sake, the Daily Mail publishes horoscopes So two possibilities: either the editorial staff believe this garbage, in which case check them in to fruit central, or they are prepared to publish stuff they don’t believe is true. Personally, I think the paper is a load of old Taurus.

  • http://twitter.com/ohazan88 Oliver Hazan

    Don’t forget Melanie Phillips’ Bat s**t crazy “investigation” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-171316/MMR–The-Truth.html

    That said, I remember being hearing about it at the time as a child/teenager and we definitely didn’t get the mail.

  • not on bennies

    benefits claimants live like kings. i could only imagine being able to rent a house with a spare bedroom!

  • Anthony Cox

    The Lancet retracted the paper 10 years after publication, despite knowing there were problems with it long before. If you haven’t read this article by Brian Deer before you should. http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c7001

  • Dad

    I always thought & believeed that the MMr jab was an improvement on the p[roblems i saw while a child (when jabs were notg available) despite being a Mail ‘browser’

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