(link is acting weird - you might have to cut and past it into your address bar)
The above was a very interesting read on measles, vaccines and the UK.
There was a drop in MMR vaccines in the UK . There are two graphs that are interesting - one shows rates of 2 year old getting the MMR and one shows rates among 5 year olds - those who have had one and two shots.
The rate among 2 year olds did fall (up to 10% at its peak) from the early 1990's, but the rate among 5 year olds did not fall so much (perhaps people were delaying?)
Here is a quote from the article:
"Initially, the findings were largely ignored by the media; however, by 2002 controversy about the safety of MMR had escalated to the point where it was the most heavily discussed science story in the opinion, editorial and letters pages of the UK national press.
Source: Factiva full article searches of ‘MMR’ in UK national papers for each year specified
As media coverage intensified, public perceptions of the MMR vaccine shifted. Opinion polls over the period showed increasing levels of public distrust and confusion over the safety of MMR. The change in attitudes may be reflective of the tone of the news stories during this period, which commonly echoed and elaborated upon the Wakefield link: between January and September 2002, less than a third of news stories about MMR pointed to scientific evidence that it was safe"
It is no real surprise that parents were hesitant about MMR if it was the most common news story and most of the news people heard was that it was not safe.
I do agree it is the body of evidence that matters in making decisions.
I also think it is acceptable to pause in a preventative treatment (which is what vaccines are) to sort out how a story/study/issue relates to the body of evidence.