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Whether we like it or not “the media” are the most powerful influence on public opinion. There have been times when unbalanced reporting has done harm but recently (December 2000–January 2001) there has been evidence of a well-considered approach, at least to the subject of immunisation. The apparent success of group C meningococcal vaccination has been well publicised and MMR vaccination defended. Commenting on a recent fall in MMR acceptance rates, theTimes concluded (January 5, 2001) that parents who refuse the vaccine for their children “shirk, for selfish reasons and on the basis of wholly inconclusive scientific research, a manifest social responsibility”. Strong …
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