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Clinic wrong to advertise a 100% safety record during measles outbreak

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has recently ruled that a chain of private clinics that offer single measles vaccines instead of the MMR triple jab, was wrong to claim it had a 100% safety record.

The Children’s Immunisation Centre (CIC), which has clinics in Manchester, London, Birmingham, Southampton, Liverpool and Swansea, advertised their services on their website at the height of the measles outbreak in south Wales.

ASA said that the CIC was irresponsible to perpetuate claims that the MMR triple jab is linked to autism in order to promote the use of single vaccines.

ASA ruled: “We acknowledged that it was responsible for consumers to be advised to take up government-recommended vaccination especially during a disease outbreak. However, because the Children’s Immunisation Centre promoted non-government recommended vaccination and because the overall context of the website focused on their claim that a single MMR vaccination was linked with autism, we considered the language used could have caused fear and distress without justifiable reason and we concluded the website was irresponsible.”

 According to Vivienne Parry, broadcaster and journalist, a 100% safety record “is as statistically unlikely as a hen’s teeth”.

In actual fact the CIC’s log listed complications ranging from rashes to hospital admissions.

“A company that claims 100% safety record while at the same time logging details of emergency hospitalisations is beneath contempt. They have betrayed the trust that anxious parents placed in them,” she said.

In response, Fiona Dickson, managing director of the CIC, has confirmed that the website has been amended to take into account the ASA ruling.
However, she still maintains that CIC had “a brilliant record.”

She commented, “I think we do a very good job. People make a choice to come to us and we give them very good service.”

 

Sources

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/aug/21/clinic-irresponsible-measles-outbreak-asa

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