Principal Controversies in Vaccine Safety in the United States
Dr Jayne Donegan: "Independent, Objective and Unbiased"

Britain's Chief Doctor Exits Having Made Poor Case For MMR Safety

image from upload.wikimedia.orgby John Stone

In November we published an extract from a letter to myself from the British Government's chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, and the full text of her letter has now been published by the British Government under Freedom of Information. However, the timing is somewhat interesting. While the text was apparently released by her department on 21 Dec last year it was not actually published to the web till two days before she announced her retirement on 8 February. Clearly you would expect someone in her position to present the best evidence available.Here is the full text of her letter below with my original article underneath (with thank to Angus Files for pursuing this matter). I had asked Dame Sally to support her statement "It's a safe vaccine -we know that". This was her reply:

Vaccine safety is extremely important and taken seriously, and the safety of MMR vaccines has remained under continual review. As with any vaccine, MMR vaccines can have side effects in some people, and these are listed in the product literature. The potential for side effects has to be balanced against the benefits of protection against what can be very serious and potentially life threatening infections. When safety issues have been confirmed in the past these have been acted upon. Your e-mail refers to the action taken with Urabe mumps-containing vaccines, and another example includes the identification and precautions around the risk of immune thrombocytopenic purpura with MMR vaccines. Should emerging evidence confirm any new risks, I can assure you that appropriate action would be taken.

Specifically in relation to whether MMR vaccines may be a cause of autism, a substantial body of population-based research has found no evidence to suggest a causal association. This ev-idence (not just for MMR, but other types of vaccine) is available for review in the published medical literature, and was summarised in a meta-analysis in 2014 which is free to download (

In relation to vaccine safety monitoring more generally, I can assure you that systems are in place to keep safety under review. This includes continual review of suspected adverse reac-tion reports (such as those submitted through the Yellow Card Scheme), evaluation of GP and hospital-based health records linked to immunisations, review of worldwide data and close collaboration with international health authorities. 

We know that confidence in the UK vaccine programme is at very high levels and the vast ma-jority of parents choose to have their children protected by vaccination. Vaccines are one of the best public health interventions we have - saving lives and preventing millions of people from getting life-threatening diseases.


image from


The Junk Safety Science Which Underpins UK Government MMR Vaccine Policy

By John Stone

I recently wrote to Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer of England and to the British government, asking her for the basis of her statement to the BBC regarding MMR: "It's a safe vaccination - we know that", and was a lucky enough to receive a reply (letter of 12 November, from which I extract):

Specifically in relation to whether MMR vaccines may be a cause of autism, a substantial body of population-based research has found no evidence to suggest a causal association. This evidence (not just for MMR, but other types of vaccine) is available for review in the published medical literature, and was summarised in a meta-analysis in 2014 which is free to download ( 

In relation to vaccine safety monitoring more generally, I can assure you that systems are in place to keep safety under review. This includes continual review of suspected adverse reaction reports (such as those submitted through the Yellow Card Scheme), evaluation of GP and hospital-based health records linked to immunisations, review of worldwide data and close collaboration with international health authorities.

It is noteworthy that the "meta-analysis" by Luke E Taylor is identical to the one cited by Thomas Insel to a US Congressional committee in 2014, but it constitutes no more than a bureaucratic fig-leaf. Dame Sally - who is the UK's leading government adviser on medical matters - ought to be able to do a lot better than this if every child is to be subjected to these products. It is, if anything, a rather naive response citing a shallow collection of studies which were published under political pressure decades after the policy was introduced. I have since attempted a conscientious and detailed reply:

21 November 2018

Dear Dame Sally,

Thank you for your letter of 12 November. I would point out that though you are quite right I am concerned about the rise in autism I specifically asked about the evidence base for MMR safety. That said it is reasonable to point out autism for a whole host of reasons is a much more serious problem in modern Britain (and elsewhere) than measles. When the DHSC last surveyed this problem in 2004-5 the overall ASD rate among school children was ~1% which was 5 times higher than the rate for those young people born between 1984-8 mostly before MMR was introduced, as reported in the equivalent 1999 survey. Since then your department has neglected to look at the issue (apart from a couple of failed adult autism surveys) as everything manifestly got worse, year on year [1,2].

As it is, a recent survey carried out by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland showed that the rate had risen from 1.2% in 2009 to 2.9%, while in Belfast it was as high as 4.7%. Moreover, 60% are educational Stage 5 [3], ie the most severe level of disability, so these are not cases that could previously have been missed because somehow subliminal. Educational data from across the nation and reports of collapse in educational services in the media testify that Northern Ireland is not an isolated case, but just better documented [4].

Regarding the meta-review by Taylor 'Vaccines are not associated with autism' [5] which you cited I note that there are just six MMR related studies included all of which have major problems. Three of the studies show apparent protective effect of MMR vaccines against autism (Madsen 8% [6], Smeeth 14% or 22% [7] and Mrozek-Budzyn 83%!!! [8]) which suggests bias. Of the Madsen paper Cochrane 2005 warned [9]:

"The follow up of diagnostic records ends one year (31 Dec 1999) after the last day of admission to the cohort. Because of the length of time from birth to diagnosis, it becomes increasingly unlikely that those born later in the cohort could have a diagnosis"

It remains troubling that as with a number of studies from this Danish group the co-ordinator on behalf of US Centers for Diseases Control, Poul Thorsen, is wanted for financial fraud from the CDC, though not extradited to the US now after nearly 8 years [10].

Of the De Stefano paper Cochrane commented [9]:

“The conclusion, however, implied bias in the enrollment of cases which may not be representative of the rest of the autistic population of the city of Atlanta, USA where the study was set.”

And indeed in 2014 the paper was repudiated by one of the leading authors, William Thompson [11]:

“I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”

The study by Smeeth [7] is compromised by its patchy data source, the General Practice Research Database where the autism rate represented is perhaps only one tenth of cases diagnosed [12]. Cochrane commented [9]:

“In the GPRD - based studies (Black 2003; Smeeth 2004) the precise nature of controlled unexposed to MMR and their generalisability was impossible to determine…”

It remains problematic whether the unvaccinated in this study were genuinely unvaccinated.

Of the Uchiyama study [13] Cochrane commented [14]:

“The cohort study of Uchiyama 2007 was potentially affected by a different type of bias, considering that the participants were from a private clinic and that definitions of applied Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis and of methods used for ASD regression ascertainment were not clearly reported.”

And the Uno study [15] will suffer from similar issues since the cases came from the same clinic. Moreover, in both instances the studies were far too small (904 persons and 413) to necessarily provide any clear result even if they had been better controlled.

Nor can the Taylor meta-analysis [5] cover up the entire absence of pre-marketing studies. In 1988-9 when the British government was persuaded to introduce Pluserix, MMR2 and Imravax there were no safety studies at all, and successive governments have been forced into the defence of a policy which they had embarked on without safety evidence.

As to the robustness of the yellow card reporting system I note the recent correspondence in the columns of BMJ On-Line regarding monitoring of Pandemrix vaccine from Wendy E Stephen and Clifford G Miller [16], which has serious implications for how the MHRA monitor all products. The MHRA has, of course, the ultimate conflict of being entirely funded by the manufacturers. It may be mentioned that in 1992 the Pluserix and Imravax vaccines were withdrawn not apparently by the British Government concerned about patient safety but by the manufacturers catching the government on the hop [17].

We are confronting a catastrophic situation among our young people with chronic illness replacing infectious illness as the main issue and cost to the state, and laying the emphasis on infectious diseases (with endless hate campaigns in the media against critics labelled “anti-vaxxers”) is a distraction, and a distortion of policy. It would be unfortunate if ministers were being advised about the safety of the programme on such a threadbare and inadequate basis. Re-examining the policy is both essential and urgent.

[1] John Stone,  ‘Response to David Oliver I (The Indisputable Rise in Autism)’, BMJ Rapid Responses 28 August 2018,

[2] John Stone, ‘What about autism?’ BMJ Rapid Responses, 21 August 2018,

[3] Information Analysis Directorate 'The Prevalence of Autism (including Asperger Syndrome) in School Age Children in Northern Ireland 2018', published 10 May 2018,

[4] Responses to Viner RM, 'NHS must prioritise health of children and young people',

[5] Luke E Taylor et al, ‘Vaccines are not associated with autism: An evidence-based meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies’, Vaccine 2014,

[6] Madsen et al, ‘A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism’, NEMJ 2002,

[7] Smeeth et al, ‘MMR vaccination and pervasive developmental disorders: a case-control study.’ Lance 2004,

[8] Mrozek-Budzyn et al, ‘Lack of association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccination and autism in children: a case-control study.’ Pediatric Infectious Diseases Journal 2010,

[9] Demicheli et al, ‘Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children.’, Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Oct 19;(4):CD004407.

[10]  Office of Inspector General, US Department of Health and Human Services, Fugitive Profiles,


[12] John Stone, ‘An old story: the GPRD does not provide credible autism data’ 11 February 2014

[13] Uchiyama et al, ‘MMR-vaccine and regression in autism spectrum disorders: negative results presented from Japan.’ J Autism Dev Disord. 2007 Feb;37(2):210-7.

[14] Demicheli et al, ‘Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children.’, Cochrane Systematic Review - Intervention Version published: 15 February 2012,

[15] Uno et al, ‘The combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines and the total number of vaccines are not associated with development of autism spectrum disorder: the first case-control study in Asia’, Vaccine. 2012 Jun 13;30(28):4292-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.01.093. Epub 2012 Apr 20.

[16] Responses to Godlee, ‘A tale of two vaccines’ BMJ 2018,

[17] Report, BMJ 26 September 1992,

When your government, the BBC or the mainstream media tell you that MMR is safe,  this the best that the British government can do. After three decades of pure bluster they need to go back to the drawing board.


We published my response to a second letter from Dam Sally last month 'Institutional Confirmation Bias and the United Kingdom Department of Health: Letter to Dame Sally Davies' and we hope to be able to publish the full correspondence at some future date.

John Stone is Age of Autism's UK editor


Angus Files

Exactly Carol a hero for us and many.Our own sons head swelled vaccine induced.When we seen this video it was a shocker as its what happened after the vaccine.After MMR all his pictures after that show his large head and swollen stomach as most of these kids did.

And Dr Wakefield has no skin in the game, like many of the great people supporting us in this is not his fight, only in so much for the truth.

Pharma For Prison



This link below is to my favorite Andrew Wakefield talk, given at the Boulder Public Library in 2010. (As I watched it I feared that a further public relations assault on him would soon be mounted and, gosh, was I ever right!)

Starting at 36:00, Dr. Wakefield talks about the Japanese experience as discussed in the 2005 Honda et al. paper. Withdrawal of MMR was followed by a notable decrease in ASD as evidenced in a graph provided in that paper. The authors argue, however, that a subsequent drastic rise in ASD means that MMR was not the culprit in the earlier increase. That's fine as far as it goes, but the paper's authors fail to mention that after MMR withdrawal, it became public policy to give monovalent M and R on the same day with mumps vaccine given 4 weeks later, which Dr. Wakefield says is the biological equivalent of giving MMR.

Check it out:

Russell Bowen

I am afraid that the BBC is biased and I am yet to find any item in their articles on Vaccines that gives any mention to why people are against vaccinations. It is as if they want to bury their heads in the sand and only listen to the propaganda put our by government, the WHO (which is a business) and the distributors of drugs on behalf of big pharma, the doctors, who have been brainwashed in universities sponsored by big pharma.

It is shameful that the BBC is so biased.
It is shameful that the BBC does not rise up in arms and destroy anybody that aims to prevent free speech.
It is shameful that kids are being harmed and killed and nobody acknowledges the fact that vaccines may be the cause - it's all a myth.


Thanks John ,great work .The machinery remains consistant in it's failed ability, to want to try to speak out of both sides of the one mouth at the same time " With more faces than "Big Ben "itself apparent?
Ach well! If it feels like a David and Goliath "Stand Off " then the bigger and uglier the oppressive machinery is ,then the further and harder it's got to fall!
Your consientious presentation of clear evidence, has walloped it with a laughter suppository of risk assessment negligence ,right between it's own eyebrows and highbrows !
See Malcolm Gladwell
The unheard story of David and Goliath /TED Talk 26 August 2014
If they think that teenagers and adults are going to accept the same "ASS-ESSMENT" of risk versus benifit" FAILURE. AS THE DEAR CHILDREN ARE FAILED" They can go and take a high hoof and a hike with it .in whichever direction they choose . That's their choices, that's their options, so they can like it or lump it and that's the end of respect for their professional standards of risk assessment !
The official position looks like, and reads like , very shoogly scaffolding supporting crumbling architecture !
Billy Connolly, My Grannie, funny song Youtube

Jeannette Bishop

Ditto what Benedetta said. Thank you!

Hans Litten

The latest Exley publication from Professor Excelyent ..... superb

John Stone


Thank you!


John Stone; Thank you for this tedious work with very aggravating, stubborn people, that it makes your head and heart pound with fury. It is so unbelievable that they are so stubborn and it is just for power, position, and money (not ignorance cause they know) that they would destroy the up coming generations and are not afraid of what is to come.

I admire you own stubbornness, and being tireless and not for power, or position, or money but for love of your fellow human beings, and those that will be arriving in the midst of this crazy society that wants to do them in.

John Stone


She should have known - I do think I embarrassed her in some way.

John Stone


I guess her retirement was expected this year as she turns 70, but when you get to the backdating of the release of the letter it gets a little odd.


Grace and Pete, was John's influence the decisive factor to her retirement, or possibly just another culminating reason that pushed her over the edge? I discussed numerous times the public/private aspect of the vaccination battle. Publicly there are a lot of high-profile provaxxers posturing that they're firmly on board, but privately I think many of them are severely rattled. Again, vaccine injuries are widespread and they don't discriminate between provaxxers and antivaxxers. Peddling your BS is one thing, observing the carnage around you and considering that you or someone dear to you might be next is quite another.


Looks like she has now looked closer at MMR research following John’s guidance, and realized she doesn’t want to be held accountable for all of the serious and unnecessary harm the vaccine has been causing, hence her timely decision to step down.

Grace Green

You pushed her into retiring! That speaks for itself to anyone still in any doubt about the dangers of vaccines.
I wrote to my local dental hospital on 21 December with detailed evidence of how they had REpoisoned me with mercury without my knowledge or consent, and then refused me a remedy, advising me to "go private". I got a reply that my letter had been forwarded to "the management team" who had replied that they had no further comment. That letter was written to me on 4 January - a total of 6 working days over the festive season! They can reply fast enough when they want to let you know your complaint has gone straight in the bin!

Hans Litten

Sally Davies (I do not believe your honorary title is either deserved or required)

You have knowingly presided over one of the most heinous crimes in all history and no doubt have propagated and even helped accelerate the magnitude of this massacre.

I do not understand how those of us who know & understand the full extent of the pure evilness of this crime are so complacent & accepting. We should be demanding retribution in the most determined ways possible. You have quite knowingly allowed the mass poisoning of an entire generation of babies through your lies and omissions.

I may be entirely alone on this point, but this is torches and pitchforks time.
Somehow on our side, so few us speak out to this extent. How is that possible ?

Angus Files

Under FOIR rules they were very late in replying and as John states above just before leaving she releases it despite the date showing an earlier time of writing.If released on the date it would have kept them legal.No doubt they have an answer but if there is a way to screw anyone who asks a simplistic request concerning vaccine in anyway they are left out on a limb until the last possible second to be screwed about or avoid sending the answer -never mind what the law states it dont apply to Pharma and all who labour for them.

Pharma For Prison


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