At the age of 18 months children are routinely given a vaccination against the diseases Measles,
Mumps and Rubella (the MMR Vaccine). In 1998 an article was published in the prestigious Medical
Journal “The Lancet”, by a medical doctor and researcher Andrew Wakefield which linked the MMR
vaccine with the development of Autism in children (Wakefield et al, 1998).
This article claimed that children who had received the MMR vaccine developed gastrointestinal
problems which was the basis for developing Autism Spectrum Disorders.
As a result of this article, many people chose not to have their children vaccinated for fear of
Further investigation proved that the research was fraudulent, and the article was later retracted by
the Lancet. However, the impact of the article was already made, and to this day there is a
proportion of the population who believe that MMR vaccination is unsafe.
You have been asked to write an essay for the journal Public Health Promotion entitled:
“Why children should be vaccinated, finding the truth.”
This article will be 1,500 words, and fully referenced using the APA 6 style.
You will need to find a minimum of six articles from credible sources, such as peer reviewed journals.
In addition, you will locate, cite and analyse information which argues against vaccination.
You will use the information to:
• support the argument that there is no link between the MMR vaccination and the
development of Autism Spectrum Disorder,
• discuss how the anti-vaccination movement has used ‘mis-information’ to support the
argument that MMR causes Autism Spectrum Disorder
• examine the importance of valid research in informing public opinion.