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BRITAIN is facing a health crisis after one of the world's biggest drugs firms revealed it has stopped making single vaccines of the MMR jab.

Some clinics feared last night that their supply of single jabs will run out in a fortnight.

Thousands of worried parents have relied on the availability of the single jab to separately immunise their children against measles, mumps and rubella.

Now parents who suspect a link between the MMR triple vaccine and autism could be forced to travel to mainland Europe to get the protection they want for their children.

The crisis was sparked when Glaxo SmithKline, which supplies the majority of single rubella vaccines in Britain, revealed it has stopped producing them at its factory in Belgium.

A company spokesman said there was "no longer a market" for the single vaccine as 90 countries now gave the triple MMR jab.The disclosure shocked medics who claim Health Secretary Alan Milburn has a hidden agenda to stop the supply of the single jabs. It leaves the Government facing accusations that it is blocking supplies of the single jabs.

Jackie Fletcher, of the pressure group JABS, which represents vaccine-damaged children, said: "The Department of Health and the manufacturers are doing everything they can to stop single vaccinations."

The furore over MMR vaccinations blew up earlier this year when Tony and Cherie Blair refused to reveal whether their baby, Leo, was given single jabs. Since then, thousands of parents have been prepared to pay clinics up to pounds 500 to have single jabs for their children. The clinics have been able to buy the single jabs from the Department of Health's surplus stock from its annual order of 50,000 doses.

A spokeswoman for Mr Milburn last night insisted the jabs would be available "from other sources".
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 7, 2002
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