A website offering advice to parents regarding vaccinations has been ordered to remove information claiming the MMR jab is linked to a rise of autism in children.
Babyjabs.co.uk had published a claim that the measles, mumps and rubella three-in-one vaccination may be the cause of "up to 10%" of autism in children, forcing the UK Advertising Standards Authority to demand its removal.
The website also posted other allegations relating to the vaccine, including that the vaccine-strain of the measles virus had been found in the brain of some autistic children, supporting claims made by some parents that the MMR vaccine caused the development of autism in their children.
Babyjabs defended its claims, citing a 2002 study that concluded it could not be ruled out that there were some children who, if vaccinated, could have an increased risk of autism.
The website also refers to a book, written by the website’s own medical director Dr Richard Halvorsen, which makes similar claims while promoting single vaccines.
The Advertising Standards Authority noted that, although the website made clear that the original claims made by Andrew Wakefield were strongly rejected by medical officials, consumers were likely to infer that the vaccine was responsible for an increase of autistic children from the website’s claims.
The MMR vaccine is sold by Merck as M-M-R II; GlaxoSmithKline as Priorix; Sanofi Pasteur as Trimovax and Serum Institute of India as Tresivac.