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Patients lose funds to sue over MMR

More than 1,000 patients suing the manufacturers of the MMR vaccine have had their public funding withdrawn by the Legal Services Commission.

Manchester-based law firm Alexander Harris, which is acting for the claimants, said the majority of them had suffered serious disability following immunisation with MMR, including autism and other brain disorders.

Writs had been issued to a considerable number of GPs who failed to log the batch number of the MMR vaccine used to immunise these children. But a spokeswoman for the firm said the number of claims had 'dramatically reduced' to just a small number.

The claims are being brought under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the action is scheduled to go to court in April 2004.

The spokeswoman said: 'We are already in the process of appealing this decision. We will be making the strongest possible representations to the appeal committee that legal aid should be continued until the MMR vaccine trial.'

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