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GP cleared of all blame in polio vaccination case

Appeal court judges have exonerated a Devon GP of all blame in the case of a boy who was severely disabled by polio following a routine immunisation.

Dr Hugh Bradford, a GP in Braunton, vaccinated Hamish Thompson against polio in December 1997 when he was eight weeks old.

Lawyers acting for Hamish, now aged eight, said the virus entered his bloodstream via an open wound after a boil on his buttock was lanced three days after being given the vaccine.

They claimed Dr Bradford was to blame for going

ahead with the vaccination knowing the extra risk posed by the boil.

Overturning a High Court ruling last year that Dr Bradford had been 'at fault', Appeal Court judge Lord Justice Waller said 'no doctor could have foreseen' that the boil ­ and the possibility it had to be lanced ­ meant a greater risk of con-tracting the vaccine strain of

polio.

Dr Bradford's barrister had told the court the chances of the polio vaccine 'reverting to virulence' were 'less than one in two million'.

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