Controversy over the safety of a combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccination for children has led to a measles epidemic in Britain as parents shun the three-in-one jab.
Health Reporter Emma Brady spoke to Rosemary Fox who knows all too well what can happen when vaccines do more harm than good...
Rosemary Fox was confused when she had to decide whether to vaccinate her seven-month-old daughter Helen against polio in 1962.
Her grandmother was adamantly against the idea, while the family's health visitor was pressing her to go ahead.
It would be a decision that would change their lives forever.
Two days after the routine vaccination, Helen became violently sick but when Mrs Fox telephoned their GP she was told not to worry - even as the symptoms persisted, doctors told her keep a watchful eye for any developments.
Five months later, she began having convulsions which doctors thought this was due to teething, then worms. As Helen's symptoms worsened over the following year Mrs Fox began to have more concerns they were linked to the polio vaccine.
"When she was two she had some tests. We had a long discussion with the doctor. He said she was brain damaged. I asked if it could be the polio vaccination, it had all started there, but he said 'no' emphatically," she said.
"When we moved to Leicester I took her to another paediatrician. I said this must have been the polio vaccination. Yet again I was told that wasn't possible."
And so began the political to-ing and fro-ing between health authorities in Leicester and Birmingham, and a war of attrition with the Government who failed, at the time, to see any fault in their heavily-promoted vaccination programme.
Since then Mrs Fox, now aged 78 and living in Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, has fought to prove a connection between her daughter's condition - and that of her friend Joanne Lennon - and the infants' injections.
Along with Joanne's mother Renee, she set up a lobby group, the Association of Parents of Vaccine Damaged Children.
She has now written a book, Helen's Story, detailing her long-running campaign for answers and justice, which ended in June 2000 when the Government agreed to top-up awards made in 1973 to the equivalent of #100,000 per child.
Mrs Fox, who also has two other daughters - Suzanne, aged 46, who was also vaccinated, and Rosanna , aged 43, who did not receive the jab.
As a result of the severe side-effects caused by the polio vaccine, Helen has learning difficulties, is mentally handicapped and now requires constant care.
Helen, who has a vocabulary of 12 words to communicate her basic needs, now lives in a specialist housing complex in Stratford-upon-Avon.
"I was adamant that the vaccination had caused all Helen's problems. There was never anything else wrong with my Helen, her reaction was immediate rather than something that happened six months after the injection," said Mrs Fox.
"She now needs care and protection for the rest of her life. After the Birmingham Post article was published in 1973, we got letters from lots of other parents saying they had experienced the same problems.
"Just to get the Government to acknowledge they had a responsibility for them would have been a start. We really wanted them to say there was a danger in some vaccines, take responsibility and do something for these children.
"If the Government took this issue of vaccination seriously we wouldn't have been here, we wouldn't have been in this situation.
"Bottom line was they didn't know if this was safe. They didn't know if the three childhood vaccinations - measles, rubella and polio - were safe to use at that time."
MP Jack Astley brought the debate to Parliament in January 1974, and for the next three years it continued to rage before finally, in 1978, the Government agreed to pay all affected children #10,000.
The following year, legislation was passed which set out the criteria under which compensation could be claimed.
But when the Conservatives came to power, they claimed there was no evidence of damage by vaccines, adding any ill effects were more likely to be caused by subsequent refusal of vaccines.
"That was a very arrogant thing to say, that's when I realised we had a fight on our hands," said Mrs Fox.
The Association's campaign continued for the next 20 years until New Labour entered Number 10, as the introduction of a combined MMR (mumps measles and rubella) jab resurrected fears over the safety of vaccinations.
Following the publication of a report into vaccine safety in 1998, top-up payments - worth the equivalent of #90,000 based on 1973 awards - were announced for those families still supporting children damaged by vaccines.
Mrs Fox said: "That for me was a victory, otherwise it could have gone on and on forever. It was only as I re-read some of this correspondence that I thought I should put it into a book to show people how we've had to fight every step of the way over what was essentially a black and white issue.
"I also thought it would be useful for others to set out where to go for information, how to claim for payments if your child is damaged by a routine vaccination and other helpful resources."
"Helen has as normal a life as she will ever have. She is very smiley, very happy, she loves being driven about and the other treats she gets at Brooklands. This is all she's known in her life, so really that's all she needs.
"I look at other people I know who are disabled who are much worse off, and I think it could have been so much worse. I was angry at first, especially as the Government has never said sorry. That would be something, but I don't think that will ever happen."
* Helen's Story is on sale at WH Smith, Waterstones and internet store Amazon.co.uk