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"The new figures estimate that, altogether, measles vaccinations have prevented 7.5 million deaths between 1999 and 2005, and 2.3 million of these were attributable to the intensified programme [the international Measles Initiative launched in 2000 by the World Health Organization and UNICEF]…. Ironically, measles deaths are climbing again in some rich countries, such as the UK, because of lingering but unfounded fears that a combined triple vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) causes childhood autism. Chan [Margaret Chan, WHO director-general] stressed that these autism-link fears are groundless, and repeated the WHO's support for the safety of MMR. Prior to the 1960s, before measles vaccines were available, the disease killed an estimated 6 million people each year, globally." New Scientist (19th January 2007) [Ref: The Lancet (vol.369, p.191)]