Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

2 do or not 2 do?

(43 Posts)
desprodad Sat 05-Jan-13 00:06:32

i have struggled with the decision to vaccinate or not for months/years. then when i have made up my mind to vaccinate, i read something and i'm back 2 square 1. my 3 yo girl has autistic traits and i'm worried about the single measles jab because i know i'm not giving her the mmr but i have spoken to a very well known vaccine doctor who has stated that there could be a small risk that it could make the traits worse. my wife believes she should have it done and doesn't c what i see. this has put a huge strain on our relationship, so much so that if we make another year together it would be a miracle. our girl tip-toes, lines things up, hates loud noises, repeats words said to her and punches herself when upset. she recently started nursery and caught a nasty bug and alas had to have antibiotics (1st time). after she completed the course she started to babble occasionally and not talk properly but after a month or so the babbling had stopped. so now i'm worried about any type of medical intervention. i'm aware of the government's stance on the mmr/autistic debate but i have researched autism extensively and quiet frankly not convinced on their part but more so on the views of the families that have been affected by vaccine damage. please help me!

ILikeOwls Sat 05-Jan-13 20:52:06

You'll find a lot of people here will tell you it is your 'duty' to vaccinate and whilst I'm sure they have their reasons you might not get the support and debate you are hoping for.

That said there are others who for various reasons have partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all who will happily chat this thru with you!

My gut reaction would be don't do it. The damage the vaccine could cause is irreversible. I know measles carries risks, and serious ones at that but providing you and your partner are vigilant for symptoms and swift action, and you educate DD to be when she is old enough to understand you should catch it early enough if she is unlucky enough to get it.

There are various opinions on homeopathy but I believe there is homeopathic support available as protection against measles but that is for you to decide where you sit in that particular fence!

Your DD is the most precious thing in the world (at least I know my DS) is to me) and as her parent you are absolutely doing the right thing to question this rather than just going ahead.

The questions my DH and I ask ourselves are these: is the risk of the vaccine worth it (we have had a problem with one in particular), does the benefit outweigh the risk or does the risk cancel out any benefit. Once we have those simple answers we can weigh it up. We diarise a catch up regularly to review our feelings, the risk/benefit because even though we have paused a certain vac for now, we might not always feel the same way - dies that make sense?

I wish you all the best, there is nothing harder than having the health of your child in your hands and being stumped as to what to do for them for the best.

Sweetiesmum Sat 05-Jan-13 22:00:12

Understand your concern, I agree its it's best to weigh up the risks, especially with an autistic child who is often way more sensitive to tiny amounts of toxins than the average child.

If interested, we found websites such as helpful for improving our son's behaviours (he has mild Aspbergers) The website is for all parents who wish to minimise additives and nasty side-effects from common foods. It does touch on autism and avoiding additives from food which exacerbate autistic behaviours

Prior to vaccination day, why are all parents not given (in clear, readable print) the complete list of all the vaccination's ingredients (such as toxic preservatives formaldehyde, even previously mercury)?

With every surgical procedure/medical intervention we are educated of risks/benefits by medical professionals. Why is this not so with vaccination? Understand the push for 'public good' but this should not overide the right to be fully informed to weigh up risks/benefits.
Best wishes

sashh Sun 06-Jan-13 11:30:17

MMR does not cause Autism.

Your child already has autistic traits, if you believe she is autistic there is as much logic in thinking the vaccine will 'cure' her as there is to make it worse.

And, as far as I am aware, the single has never been linked by anyone to autism.

She has already had one nasty bug so why do you want to leave her vulnerable to many other nasty bugs.

Sweetiesmum Sun 06-Jan-13 12:10:00

With further research we shall know more about what triggers autism, but Drs actually do not know the cause, so the OP is understandably concerned regarding what exacerbates it. Anyone more up on the latest research who can comment please...

Willowisp Sun 06-Jan-13 12:18:26

Neither if my DD's have had the MMR. Dd1 had mumps a few years ago & was fine, she was more wiped out from a virus recently. Dd2 didn't get it.

Unfortunately my decision is based on a gut feeling, rather than scientific & every now & then I have the debate with myself.

I feel that keeping your child strong & healthy by eating nutritious food, getting fresh air & except use & (don't laugh) keeping warm, goes a long way to good health. So far the DC's have had excellent health.

If you're not happy with something, there is a reason, so trust yourself.

Tabitha8 Sun 06-Jan-13 15:58:13

I turned this around a little bit and looked at the risks of the various diseases rather than the risks of the vaccines.

Sweetiesmum makes a very good point. What information are parents given when their take their child for a vaccine?

desprodad Sun 06-Jan-13 22:55:10

thanks everyone. has any1 gone down the 'homeopathy' route instead of the vaccine route? i would love to hear about your experiences.

CatherinaJTV Sun 06-Jan-13 23:37:41

Homeopathy as an alternative to vaccination is utter hogwash - save your money.

LeBFG Mon 07-Jan-13 08:08:50

I think I can guess who the well-known doctor is and all I can say is, if OP has fairly represented what the GP has said (I find it hard to believe tbf), then the GP is acting completely irresponsibly. However, this pales into insignificance compared to ILikeOwls's post. shock shock.

To suggest that homeopathy could possibly be a realistic alternative to a vaccination is just utterly unbelievable.

To suggest simply that he should not vaccinate and cause (possibly) the end of OP's marriage is just shock. I have no words to describe this. Why doesn't she just say leave the bastard? A marriage split, a possibly autistic child to care for....all that really better than vaccinating?

ILikeOwls Mon 07-Jan-13 20:27:19

I didn't comment on the marriage at all.

CatherinaJTV Mon 07-Jan-13 20:34:50

However, you did mention homeopathy as an alternative to vaccination and that is dangerous nonsense.

balia Mon 07-Jan-13 20:41:11

Full lists of ingredients are available - I looked at LOADS when trying to find (more) acceptable vegetarian vacc's (long story). Mercury isn't listed because there isn't any in any UK childhood vacs.

Roseformeplease Mon 07-Jan-13 20:46:08

Please tell me you live a long way from Scotland and my children will not be compromised by your decision not to vaccinate? And homeopathy is total bollocks. Read Ben Goldacre if you want a basic understanding of why it is rubbish. The MMR Autism link was disproved years ago and your child is already showing traits. Better to vaccinate and concentrate your energy and research in finding ways of dealing with an autistic child and helping them to have a happy and fulfilled life.

ILikeOwls Mon 07-Jan-13 21:11:07

Catherine's - reread my post. I did not say homeopathy was an alternative to vaccination but that 'homeopathic support' is available. If OP has an interest in homeopathy he can look into it. Perhaps using it to minimize the impact of the vaccine as one option. Please don't be so quick to judge me or others until you have walked in our shoes.

If, as some believe, homeopathy is hogwash/placebo, where is the harm if used alongside conventional medicine. A little faith in the unexplained never goes amiss and when you reach the end of the road with conventional medicine (something I hope you never do) you will be surprised at where you find yourself looking for answers and solutions.

CatherinaJTV Mon 07-Jan-13 21:54:42

Homeopathic support for what? Measles encephalitis? Homeopathy is a placebo to calm mummy and daddy so that they don't freak out the child. You might as well pray or kill a cat on a cemetery at midnight (<- don't do that). Nothing is a substitute for the MMR.

Sweetiesmum Mon 07-Jan-13 22:55:46

Vaccines are not foolproof and they are changing constantly
The current lot of vaccines will also change
Yes, they ceased mercury as a preservative, and current vaccs will be reviewed also as they develop safer/more effective vaccine.

OK for each family to have some balanced weighing up of safety/effectiveness of current immunising (spelling??) schedule for their children.

We have vaccinated all but one child who has not had 4 y. o. vacc. Having a child with asp/autism can raise awareness of effects of addtitves/toxins worsening their behaviours. An additive free diet/no chemical cleaners/no perfumes worked wonders with improving my childs behaviours. Maybe tiny amounts of toxic preservtives have little impact on most kids, but maybe they do impact vulnerable kids?

Whatever the OP and his wife decide, I wish them health and happiness with their son. Hope can work things out happily for you both

LeBFG Tue 08-Jan-13 06:50:53

You should look at the advice you post a little more carefully ILikeOwls. OP's marraige is a littel shaky - there is great disagreement over whether or not to vaccinate...and you get your oar in suggesting basically not to vaccinate.

If, as some believe, homeopathy is hogwash/placebo, where is the harm if used alongside conventional medicine. None at all.....IF the conventional medicine is used. OP is deciding whether to vaccinate or not i.e. to use coventional medicine or not.

OP - wouldn't want to be in your situation. Hope it all works out well whatever decisions are made.

hmm hmm <gets off thread before really losing temper>

CatherinaJTV Tue 08-Jan-13 07:58:07

Sweetiesmum - measles vaccine comes pretty close to perfect and has not been changed in a very very long time. There was NEVER any thimerosal/mercury in the measles or MMR vaccines.

Sweetiesmum Tue 08-Jan-13 10:23:36

But tiny traces of other additives unfortunately may be in MMR/measles from what I've read
Double blind crossover placebo study with sufficient numbers of children has never been done for the MMR, as its very expensive, no-one seems to want to fork out the dough..
ILikeOwls is doing what the OP asked- stating views/opinions just like you.
I think she has been vilified for merely giving her opinion.
I can see how heated a marriage may get with this topic under fire on a daily basis!! Ultimately I'm sure OP's daughter has lovely parents who both care deeply and that is why both are trying so hard to ensure the best for their child. Would be great if they can put that loving protective energy into working out a compromise? Actually, Ilike owls suggested one- to vaccinate, then homeopathy for any reaction.. I dont know what the ideal answer is its a shame to break up when really both are fighting for the same thing, to protect their child.

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Tue 08-Jan-13 12:54:01

Is this really honestly worth breaking up your family over?

I appreciate that other people's children (and other people) are unlikely to mean anything to you - which I'm assuming because that's the standard response when herd immunity is brought up (ie. my child means everything to me and your child means nothing to me) - but I would say vaccinate. I clearly have a vested interest as I have an immuno-compromised child, but seriously there is NO LINK between these vaccinations and autism.

Tabitha8 Tue 08-Jan-13 14:01:38

If not vaccinating could break up the family, vaccinating might also break it up?

JoTheHot Tue 08-Jan-13 17:41:49

Double blind crossover placebo study with sufficient numbers of children has never been done for the MMR, as its very expensive, no-one seems to want to fork out the dough.

Such a study hasn't been done because it would be profoundly unethical to deliberately leave large numbers of children unprotected. This is especially true when the study would be largely pointless, as the link between vaccinations and asd has already been disproven beyond all reasonable doubt. It has nothing to do with money.

balia Tue 08-Jan-13 17:49:50

Tiny traces of what? I have the ingredients list, I can check for you. Or are you talking about the 'tiny traces' that don't show up on any accepted test? (I've read some real nonsense on the internet, apols if this isn't the thing you are referring to, sweetiesmum)

DorsetLass Tue 08-Jan-13 21:07:43

Those who have suffered measles etc and your children have been fine are lucky to put it mildly. Please read the full list of the consequences and side effects of measles, mumps, meningitis etc and decide if you are prepared to explain these to your children if they suffer them. I sadly have seen the devastation that these can cause to a childs life and family - permanant limb amputation from meningitits, sterility in boys following mumps, death from measles to name a few. The fact these are now rare is because the majority vaccinate, but infections rates are now rising as parents are becoming complacent and thinking the risks of vaccines is higher.

If you attend any vaccination clinic in a developing country (as I have) families will walk and que for days as they know full well the consequences of the diseases we are so so fortunate in this country to prevent. Please make an educated choice by all means, but that means balancing the very very real risks of contracting the diseases (with all that that could possibly entail) you are vaccinating against

SimLondon Thu 10-Jan-13 00:14:18

hhmm bit of scaremongering by DorsetLass, the only child to have died in the UK in recent years from measles was a traveller child who had underlying health issues (CF?) - might be different in developing countries but we're talking about the UK.

Mumps is a very mild illness, most kids won't notice any effects and the vaccine is at best 60% effective - the last biggest outbreak was in Scotland and every single confirmed case had had the vaccine.

There are several kinds of meningitits and the worst - B we don't currently have an approved vaccine for in the UK.

Personally I went for the single measles vaccine.

Desprodad - if your DD already shows autistic traits then google 'floortime' which is a commonly used therapy in America as soon as autism is suspected.

SimLondon Thu 10-Jan-13 00:21:05

Oh and a couple of questions for those who are convinced there is no link between Austism and MMR. How many parents of autistic children who are convinced that the MMR triggered autism in their child have been asked to take part in a research study to find out if it was the trigger?

How many millions of pounds have the government paid out in the last five years to parents of vaccine damaged children? the answer to the latter is on the website.

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Thu 10-Jan-13 06:19:40

But Sim it's clearly not the trigger here, is it. The OP's daughter already has autistic traits. She hasn't had the MMR and isn't going to have it.

And if only 1 child has died of measles, that's ok then, isn't it <sarcastic emoticon.>. What has that particular child's race got to do with it? Nothing.

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Thu 10-Jan-13 06:25:33

And why would the government waste money on a research study? BECAUSE THERE IS NO LINK. That's a ridiculous question.

Re: vaccine damage, no one has said vaccines are 100% safe but they are still a heck of a lot safer than the actual diseases.

I very much wish that my DS was going for his pre-school booster now, but he can't. I wonder what would happen if your unvaccinated child gave mine measles etc and you were expected to compensate the NHS for the time DS would have to spend in hospital, plus for any complications he may suffer, plus for his and my inconvenience...

balia Thu 10-Jan-13 18:05:11

It's quite clear from Dorsetlass's post that her experience is not limited to the UK, Sim.

Mumps may well be a 'mild illness' to you, but it can cause deafness, aseptic meningitis, pancreatitis, arthritis, mastitis, thyroiditis, myocarditis and encephilitis (incidence about one in 6000). A study by Gupta et al in the BMJ highlights that before the introduction of the MMR, mumps was one of the leading causes of hearing loss in younger children in the UK.

But smile at someone talking about autism triggered by MMR accusing anyone else of scaremongering.

sashh Sat 12-Jan-13 11:06:48


Measles used to wipe out huge numbers of humans. Outbreaks killed 1/3 or 1/2 of the population. It was known as a plague.

There is no cure.

I will say that again THERE IS NO CURE.

Without the vaccine, if your dd comes into contact with measles she is on her own.

If she develops complications there are medical treatments available and you are in a first world country where deaths are about 1/1000.

so she has a 999/1000 of living, but that doesn't mean she won't be deaf.

Please vaccinate.

Tabitha8 Sat 12-Jan-13 16:39:18

Sashh Where exactly were these deaths? On an island? Are you referring to Hawaii and Fiji in the century before last?
Perhaps it would be helpful if we stuck to the UK during the last five years or so?

balia Sat 12-Jan-13 17:03:21

The thing is, Tabitha8, that because of vaccination, very few people catch measles anymore. So in order to illustrate what a serious disease it is, we have to use examples from - you guessed it - before vaccination. It isn't 'helpful' to minimise the very real threat of a killer disease in a discussion about whether to immunise when mass immunisation is the only way to stop the disease.

If we widen the field even slightly, there is still plenty of evidence, in this century, that measles is a dangerous disease - Dublin 2000. 350 people attended the children's University Hospital with a measles diagnosis, 111 were admitted with dehydration (79%), pneumonia (47%) and tracheitis (32%). 13 children (12% of those admitted) had to be treated in intensive care; 3 of them died.

CPtart Sat 12-Jan-13 17:20:58

There is no greater incidence of autism in children that have had the mmr than those that haven't, and I say that as a health professional that vaccinates children.

CatherinaJTV Sat 12-Jan-13 22:10:58

Tabitha - France had measles deaths last year, as had Switzerland.

Sweetiesmum Sun 13-Jan-13 01:45:28

Believe it or not, fear of these diseases (measles, mumps, rubella, polio, whooping cough,etc) is very real for all parents, even those who choose not to vaccinate. Its the fear of immediate negative impacts of immunisation that concerns many parents, such as autistic behaviours regressing as the OP states he saw after antibiotics. Through research we can learn if this is/is not a concern for parents of autistic children.

Encouraging research to ensure immunisation's safety for autistic/other ill/vulnerable kids is still important for parents of autistic kids. Not a one-size-fits-all approach/herd immunisation approach. It is possible that all children are not the same /do not react the same to immunistaion.
We have no proof of the impact of violent video games impacting our children yet. However, many parents choose to limit violent video games exposure to our children until we learn more through research.
If OP chooses to vaccinate out of fear of these diseases, all the best! This is what I chose too, except for one of my children who had a reaction. But please try to understand his very real fears linked to insufficient research for the impact of each vaccination on children with aspbergers and autism.

piprabbit Sun 13-Jan-13 01:57:39

Everyone worries about doing the right thing by their child's health, but maybe now would be a good time to take a moment and think about your own reactions.

Your concerns about vaccinations are on the verge of destroying your marriage. Your DD is exhibiting lots of traits that many, many 3yos share - they are not exclusively autistic traits.
You are still worrying about the bug and ABs your DD caught/used a month ago.

Is it possible that you are suffering from some form of health anxiety which you could maybe get help to cope with? I don't mean to belittle your concerns about your DD, but it does sound like you may have lost a little perspective in the years you've been worrying about vaccinations.

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Sun 13-Jan-13 09:05:15

Indeed. My 3yo tiptoes, hates loud noises, repeats words said to him, he used to get very very angry and frustrated and, as there were various other issues at the time, his childminder suggested we get him checked out as she was concerned he may be on the spectrum.

We were told that he is just a normal, run-of-the-mill 3 year old. OP, I'm not saying that your daughter doesn't have autism, but perhaps she may not do, also.

pixi2 Sun 13-Jan-13 09:17:59

Having had two out of the three plus meningitis I'd say vaccinate. And IMO you've done pretty well if your dc had only 1 course of antibiotics so far. My dc were almost two before they were allowed the MMR for health reasons. Yes, I did consider not doing it but felt the risks, should they catch a disease far outweighs the risks of the vaccine. In fact, dd only had her MMR last week and is absolutely fine. She's only been off antibiotics for a week and a half so I was expecting a temperature. I would like to add a disclaimer that neither dc has autistic traits though. Furthermore, despite attempts, the MMR has no proven link with autism.

sashh Mon 14-Jan-13 03:16:44


What is relevant is that this disease is a killer.

Yes fewer people die who catch it when you have access to good health care, but that doesn't make the disease less serious.

If you have a heart attack in the UK and are taken to hospital by ambulance, given clot busters / angio plasty / stents etc youo have a much better chance of recovery than 30 years ago, or in the third world.

That does not make a heart attack less serious in the UK. It can still kill.

Tabitha8 Mon 14-Jan-13 21:24:47
Check the figures in the years prior to the jab being introduced. It did not kill one third of those in the UK who were infected.

sashh Tue 15-Jan-13 04:44:31


That corrolates exactly with what I said, your chance of death in the first world is about 1:1000.

specialsubject Fri 25-Jan-13 17:22:42

I just read Rosemary Leonard's book 'Doctor Doctor'. One chapter is about the MMR 'dilemma'. Child on leafy London was normal, mum believed the MMR-autism link and did not want to vaccinate, dad did. Child was not vaccinated and got measles aged 5. Child did not die but lost hearing almost totally. Father blamed mother (and doctor), mother blamed herself.

end of marriage, child permanently damaged.

Think about it.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now