The mother of a boy who nearly died because he had not had the MMR vaccine has urged parents to get their children inoculated.

The mother made the desperate plea following the news of Brighton and Hove’s measles outbreak this week.

She said confusion over the research by Dr Andrew Wakefield in the 1990s, which suggested the jabs could cause autism and bowel cancer, had convinced her not to allow her child to be inoculated.

However the 15-year-old was left in intensive care after being struck down with mumps.

His mother, who asked not to be named, said : "The doctor said to me it that if he didn’t have the MMR he would probably be okay because there would never be an epidemic.

"But this spread of measles shows that too many parents didn’t get the vaccines and children are going to get sick.

“Last year there was a mumps outbreak and my son was in intensive care. This year it’s measles.

"Because I didn’t let him have the MMR he was at risk of diseases that can be fatal. I would say to any parent, ‘Don’t take that risk’.”

Last year Dr Wakefield was found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council (GMC) and struck off the general medical register.

The GMC ruled that he acted in a “dishonest”, “misleading” and “irresponsible” way during his research into a possible link between the MMR vaccine, bowel disease and autism.

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