Vaccine reluctance

I was going to post something else today, but on the day I started writing and researching for that post on autism the name of former Prime Minister Tony Blair was trending on Twitter.

The usual crowd were saying the usual thing, axes were being ground, one political commentator wrongly said, “We kicked his a**e out of Downing Street”. No we didn’t, we elected him Prime Minister three times and during the third term he stood down on his own terms and handed over to Gordon Brown as had been previously agreed.

Former Brexit Party MEP turned political journalist Martin Daubney tweeted this on the morning of April 21st 2021. His Twitter profile on that day said he was, “Now Chief Presenter/Editorial Director with @Unlocked_UK_ A new common sense media channel that speaks Britain’s language.” Saying that Blair had his a**e kicked out of Downing Street does not look like common sense to me, more like a big fib.

There is no link between any vaccine and autism.

But my issue is not with Daubney, it is with Blair.

Blair was Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007. In 2001 Blair refused to say whether his son Leo had received the MMR vaccine.

Before I go any further let me stress one thing, there is no link between any vaccine and autism.

It was not until seven years later, that Blair’s wife Cherie, in her autobiography, admitted that Leo had received the MMR vaccine. If the Blairs had spoken out in 2001 and admitted that Leo had been vaccinated things could be better now not only for the take up of the Covid vaccines but also for autistic people. The so called evidence by Andrew Wakefield in 1998 has already been shown to be false, Dr Wakefield resigned that year and was struck off by the General Medical Council in 2010.

According to Chief Medical Officer at that time Sir Liam Donaldson people started to lose faith in the medical evidence because Blair would not be open on this subject[1]. Being autistic myself gives me an interest in its history, this may not be the start of the anti vaccine movement, but it gave it its momentum.

Last week Tony Blair comes along and says that vaccine hesitancy is completely wrong and unjustified and that clearer data on the benefits of vaccine should be provided[2]. I agree with the sentiments that Blair has said, but I can’t help thinking that one of the big contributors to vaccine hesitancy was Tony Blair himself being unclear to the public when he was the Prime Minister.

Tony, we need an apology first before you say any more on the subject.

I finish by repeating: There is no link between any vaccine and autism.

[1] The Guardian Sun 2nd June 2013

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