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Have you changed your mind about MMR?

(58 Posts)
coorong Thu 25-Apr-13 13:10:06

I'm interested. We're you worried about MMR 10 years ago but changed your mind? Like Sophie Hearwood on today's guardian who wishes she'd vaccinated her daughter 10 years ago.

[http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/24/wish-my-daughter-vaccinated]

amazingmumof6 Thu 25-Apr-13 14:25:59

we never worried about the autistic link and went for the MMR at the height of the hysteria - DS1 is almost 12.
we vaccinated all the others too, DD is just due forher first dose at 13 months.

I'm glad I didn't fall for scaremongering, but boy was I unpopular back then!
I'm guessing I'm going to be unpopular again as I'm sounding bloody smug, but I'm happy that making that decision turned out to be "right thing" - well at least for now, that is.
I'm actually waiting for the tide turn again in the next decade...grin

I do of course feel for the children affected by this epidemic and sympathize with the parents who thought they did the best thing for them at the time - they are not to blame for shying away from the single dose MMR, it is hard to know what to do when top experts disagree!

chocoluvva Thu 25-Apr-13 14:31:58

DS who is 14 is due to get his MMR tomorrow.
I'm a bit worried as he's had a sore throat for two days.

DD who is 16, had her first MMR seven weeks ago.

I had measles when I was little. I BF both DC's for over a year and hoped they would have my antibodies. The scare did scare me at the time.

omaoma Thu 25-Apr-13 14:47:50

The thing that has always confused me is: even if Wakefield had been right (which he most certainly isn't), surely the potential risk of being affected by autism through MMR is lower than the potential risk of complications through measles/mumps/rubella over a person's lifetime? 1% of children are diagosed with autism apparently, and Wakefield himself only suggested MMR might be linked to autism "in a small number of people" so presumably its much lower than a 1% risk in having MMR? (pardon my poor statistics application). Whereas 1 in 15 people will risk serious complications from measles such as deafness, meningitis or brain damage; and 1 in 5000 will die. It seems an odd approach to managing risk if you're that worried about your child's wellbeing. A bit like deciding to only ever walk in the road because of the risks of cars mounting the pavement in an accident.

Or of course, your child's 'safety' depends on everybody else be willing to take a risk you aren't, in order to protect your family from potential measles infection through community immunity.

The reason I didn't go for MMR has nothing to do with Wakefield and/or autism. Vaccine-induced encephalitis was of much more concern to me. I weighed the actual risk of disease against the risk of vaccination. If the risk of disease was higher, we vaccinated. If it wasn't, we didn't. DD has had single measles jabs as the risk of that disease is higher than the risk of the vaccine.

Weegiemum Thu 25-Apr-13 14:58:16

Our dc are now all 9,11,13 immunised at 18 months (was policy in our area then) apart from dd2 as we were travelling to Central America when she was 16 months so she was vaxed at 15 months. Alongside typhoid, menc, rabies and bcg..

I reckon they pick up more bugs up off the floor in a day than I could vax them with in a month.

But I have been called UR for this in the past. Dh is a GP and in the end I gave him the decision (he'd read the papers involved). All our dc are monsters fine!

omaoma Thu 25-Apr-13 15:11:37

Intrigued... World what's the risk of VIE then? can't find a reference.

bruffin Thu 25-Apr-13 15:45:30

omaoma it varies - just look up the manufacturer's information sheet for a particular jab and look up the risk of encephalitis on there. It won't be called "vaccine induced encephalitis" on their information sheet.

omaoma Thu 25-Apr-13 15:54:32

ta. I vaccinate for everything as a matter of course, but always good to know more. I have never even heard of vaccine induced encephalitis!

bruffin Thu 25-Apr-13 15:57:15

Its a 1 in a million reaction Omaoma thats why. There is a far greater risk of encephalitis from the natural disease.

In all the vaccines I've given it's been < 1 10 000. I'm not anti-vacc, just not keen on the current way that we do vaccines in this country. The "one size fits all" doesn't fit all, causes fear and mistrust. It is virtually impossible to have a sensible conversation about vaccines, and though there is fault on both sides, the Government/Whitehall aren't acting in a way that is conducive to changing the way many parents feel.

Meant to add - I also don't like the way that parents who question the vaccination are always thought to be of that mind because of Wakefield and autism. There are other reasons parents choose to think carefully about how/when/if they vaccinate their child.

amazingmumof6 Thu 25-Apr-13 16:03:43

and another reason to get vaxed IMO is to protect others from catching it!

Last year when I was 7months pg with DD I worked briefly with some children at DS4's school and one of the children was confirmed being ill with measles, another suspected.
the time line we worked out meant that I was borderline in danger of having caught it - my mum was adamant I was vaxed as a kid, but blood test showed otherwise!

perhaps it didn't take and she later remembered I may have missed out because I was very ill at the time I should have had it.
we checked it online and when I was 2yrs the policy changed, so it never got done, as it wasn't compulsory anymore! (this was mid-seventies in Hungary).
so yes, bad luck and less info at the time (my mum felt terrible guitly as well as worried).
if I had know, I would have gotten vaccinated before getting pg with eldest, but there are no routine tests for this!

measles in pg women can cause a late miscarriage or still birth, so I was terrified of loosing my DD and was furious at the thought that if that kid wasn't vaxed by choice I could potentially lose her due to something that could have been so easily avoided!
Thank God I didn't catch it, so all was fine, but those two weeks were just horrendous, I don't wish that on anyone!

omaoma Thu 25-Apr-13 16:20:07

yes exactly, Amazing. World i guess that is also how I feel - there may well be some risks to individuals in any vaccination but a big reason to vaccinate is because we all depend on the wider community to survive, and this is our investment back into the community. Surely a one size fits all approach is used because this is most effective way to deliver safety to the most people, given current resources. Can that really be labelled a malevolent thing? the levels of risk you're talking about are very small versus the risk of receive poor or even health-decreasing levels of care in old age, which must be something like 99% at the moment.

amazingmumof6 Thu 25-Apr-13 16:46:37

omaoma thanks, I agree with you as well on the risk v.benefit argument and we have to take calculated risks all the time (like getting in the car)

perhaps not the best analogy, but we all know that 1 in 3 pregnancies end in early MC.
That is "only" a 66% success rate, yet we still get pg don't we?!
we know we take a risk, some more than others and that it could end badly, yet we hope for the best, because the positive end result of having a healthy baby dwarfs any potential risks in comparison!

so if there's only a very small % of a vaccine causing harm (way smaller then the risk of loosing a baby!) and the likelyhood of a positive outcome is just under 99% (or so) , my instinct says to go for it and pray for the best.

Frontdoorstep Wed 08-May-13 20:18:14

I have a problem with vaccinating my chid to protect someone else. Nothing in life is 100%safe, vaccines included. If my child is damaged by the vaccine will the people who depend on herd immunity come along to help me provide 24 hour care to my child. I think not!

WearsMinkAllDayAndFoxAllNight Thu 09-May-13 08:58:05

What if your child is damaged by the disease? Which is far, far more likely if they get measles etc. Will those who compromised herd immunity be round to help these many, many more damaged children?

There is a vaccine damage scheme for those tiny numbers of children who suffer significant harm from vaccines. There's nothing for children left terribly damaged by disease.

Truth is of course that all but the weirdest vaccine refusers will be down the clinic with their DC for jabs licketty-spit if herd immunity fails and infectious disease threatens their child.

Frontdoorstep Thu 09-May-13 14:22:41

I'll take the chance with the disease, I couldn't cope with vaccine damage, especially when the vaccine was only being done to add to herd immunity, as in the case of mumps and rubella. If I could just have a measles vaccine on it own I might well do so but th vaccine contains two component parts that are only there to add to herd immunity so will give it a miss.

Ther is a vaccine damage scheme but it takes years of years of effort to get a paltry payout that goes no way to addressing the problems caused.

I don't think herd immunity will fall anyway since virtually all these diseases were on their way out anyway, without vaccines.

But in answer to the original question I haven't changed my mind and don't see how I can.

CatherinaJTV Thu 09-May-13 14:25:11

I don't think herd immunity will fall anyway since virtually all these diseases were on their way out anyway, without vaccines.

That is not correct - death from diseases was less likely due to improvements in medical care, for example the advent of antibiotics, but morbidity did not sink until vaccination. If you get measles today your risk of complications is just as high as that of a well cared for child in the 1960ies.

Frontdoorstep Thu 09-May-13 15:48:45

I don't agree with you, if you look at a chart of how these diseases declined since 1850 (yes 1850) you will see that most of the decline happened before there was any vaccination, of course improvements in medical care helped, but so did improvements in living conditions, sanitation, better nutrition and less overcrowding.

bigbuttons Thu 09-May-13 15:52:00

I have one child damaged by the mmr and 5 children not damaged by the measles the had last year. I am still very glad I decided not to vaccinate. As I said on another thread I am glad that they now have had a good dose of the measles and are properly immunised.

bruffin Thu 09-May-13 16:48:02

Frontdoorstep the graphs are for death rates not cases of measles. They are also on dodgy websites that miss out years on graphs etc which makes the figures look like measles in decline. In the uk in 1946 there were around a 160k cases of measles in 1961 there were are around 760k. Does that sound like a disease in decline hpa figures
You cannot trust websites that link to Whale.

LaVolcan Thu 09-May-13 18:18:52

You're being a bit selective yourself with the stats bruffin. From the same stats:

1946 notifications 160,402 deaths 204
1956 notifications 160,556 deaths 28
1960 notifications 159,364 deaths 31

This would show no major decline at all, but a significant reduction in deaths. Why? Possibly the availability of anti-biotics to treat secondary infections which were fatal earlier.

But if you look at the stats from 1940 onwards the overall trend has been downwards.

Frontdoorstep Thu 09-May-13 18:23:47

Bruffin, the only data that is missed out is on charts supplied by the nhs, they can only go back to when the vaccine was introduced and then they show a small decline up to the present day. They don't show you charts going back to 1800s because it would be evident that vaccination had little do with disease decline. Also I don't think quoting figures from two years, plucked out of thin air, does much to show decline or increase or otherwise. I'm not just talking about measles, it applies to all diseases, what happened to scarlet fever?

LaVolcan Thu 09-May-13 18:54:20

what happened to scarlet fever?

Or bubonic plague?

Although there are still instances of this around. However, medical historians question whether it's the same disease because the symptoms now don't match the decriptions given in the Middle Ages of the disease. Unless they find some way of extracting information about the disease from known plague pits I doubt whether we will ever know whether it is the same.

LeonieDelt Thu 09-May-13 18:56:42

nope, have not changed my mind about MMR. My children will not have it, full stop.

bruffin Thu 09-May-13 19:52:55

Frontdoorstep said there was a decline in measles not measles deaths. The hpa figures go back to 1940 not the introduction of vaccination which was 1968.
Measles problems are not just death but deafness pneumonia brain damage from encephilitis etc. The worst year for measles was 1961.

Scarlet fever still exists and can still be nasty, my bil had it and was very ill for weeks but thankfully antibiotics have helped to make it a less serious disease.
Bubonic plague still exists today and is treated by antibiotics but there isva vaccine for those going to risky areas.

LaVolcan Thu 09-May-13 20:08:09

Yes, Bruffin, bubonic plague does still exist, but as I said, there is doubt about whether it's the same disease or whether it was bubonic plague and not some other plague which killed vast numbers in the Middle Ages.

There have been outbreaks throughout history but by about the 18th Century it was regarded as having disappeared from Europe. That disappearance was neither vaccine, nor antibiotics. (From what I recall of my history lessons the Great Fire of London was supposed to have stopped the last UK outbreak.)

bruffin Thu 09-May-13 20:25:42

According to the programme i was watching yesterday on History Channel yesterday bubonic plague was caused by aliens coming down in bronze space ships and spraying everyone with some sort of gas grin
I have no idea why we havent had an epidemic but the sorces Frontdoorstep quotes are just as fanciful as the ufo theory above

bruffin Thu 09-May-13 20:32:32
LaVolcan Thu 09-May-13 20:39:54

Frontdoorstep doesn't actually quote any sources, so we don't know whether they are fanciful or not.

The history of the bubonic plague, or whether it was something else or how it was transmitted is fascinating and still the subject of much debate.

The worst year for measles since 1940 was 1961. The interesting question to me is why this happened then, and broke what was a downward trend.

LaVolcan Thu 09-May-13 20:45:39

by the way they have extracted dna from middle age plague victims and traced the epidemics path

They admit it's much more complicated than they thought. They mention how "One of these two types [of bacterium], which are thought to have contributed significantly to the catastrophic course of the plague in the 14th century, most probably no longer exists today." which begs the question why and how it/they disappeared.

WouldBeHarrietVane Thu 09-May-13 20:52:29

No.

And Amazingmum how ironic that you are blaming an unvaccinated child for being a potential risk to you when you yourself were an unvaccinated child. You could have checked your own immune status on childhood vax before you got pg - begore getting pg I asked my GP to check my immunity to rubella eg, which he did.

bruffin Thu 09-May-13 21:22:54

It wasnt a downward trend the lowest rate was in 1946 prior to vaccination. It goes in peaks and troughs.

amazingmumof6 Thu 09-May-13 23:17:52

wouldbeharriet - hindsight is 20/20, thanks

amazingmumof6 Thu 09-May-13 23:52:27

and precisely, that is the problem, that we sometimes don't know or even if vaxed we don't think we could be not immune!

ironic or not I thought I was vaxed as that is what my mum remembered originally! the blood test only checks for rubella, so it never occurred to anyone to check for measles - why would I have? I though I was immune!

so when I found about that problem I was furious at the whole situation, but I wasn't blaming the child!
so no need to be catty!

interesting how you picked upon the "ironic" thing rather than the fact that I could have lost a child, potentially, due to multiple oversights and how terrible it was to go through that. well done you (!)

I had the MMR last Friday, just to be safe, if there's a next time (pg) and anyway to protect others as well as myself and my immediate family!

Frontdoorstep Fri 10-May-13 08:32:12

Yes amazingmumof6, a case of the pot calling the kettle black I think! It still comes down, then, to me risking my child to protect you and I have a huge problem with this. You weren't at risk due to multiple oversights, just two oversights, that of your mum and that of yourself. Why should I be risking my child to deal with these oversights.

Rightly or wrongly I'm not worried about the diseases and call me irresponsible or selfish or both I'm not risking my child for someone else so I've not changed my mind bout mmr, I was never going to do it (nothing to do with Wakefield) and I'm still not.

LaVolcan Fri 10-May-13 08:49:14

I find it astonishing that one man, i.e. Wakefield, apparently turned a whole generation off vaccination. If it was so, then I think that the fear must have existed beforehand.

LeonieDelt Fri 10-May-13 09:49:02

The fear existed beforehand. It wasnt "just Wakefield."

also, he didnt publish just one (since retracted) paper - he has published a lot of science that still stands, bullshit politics aside.

LaVolcan Fri 10-May-13 09:53:44

Quite so Leonie. And nor has that fear gone away.

Tabitha8 Fri 10-May-13 19:03:24

Ah, but the press have been blamed for publishing Andrew Wakefield's concerns. (Obviously, parents aren't supposed to be told about such concerns..... hmm)

magdalen Thu 23-May-13 18:25:21

It's quite instructive to look at the HPA figures from here
www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1195733835814

1. In 1949-1958 measles cases rise (on figures for the previous decade), and then remain much the same for the next decade (1959-1968) at about 4 million cases. The deaths however fall, initially by 70% then again by 47% of this already much reduced number. What could have happened? Could the fact that the NHS and the Welfare State were created in 1948. Suddenly you have health care for all, free at the point of use. So deaths, unsurprisingly fall when free health care is available. Note, however that the number of deaths in the decade 1959-1968 were still 865 and cases were over 4 million. 

2. Then in 1969-1978 the cases fall dramatically from 4 million to just shy of 1.5 million and the deaths fall too, though the rate of deaths falls by a much smaller amount. What happened to cause this dramatic fall in measles cases? When was the measles vaccine introduced? That'd be 1968, wouldn't it? In the following decade 1979-1988 there was again a drop in measles cases, as the vaccination programme proved effective. 

3. In the decade 1989-1998 cases and deaths both fell again, from 837,424 to 106,210. What happenned in 1988? Well, the MMR vaccine was introduced. The deaths in fell from 140 to just 18, though it is worth noting that the death rate remained almost exactly the same (though admittedly, thanks to vaccination, the numbers are getting pretty small by now).

4. In the decade 1999-2008 cases fell again (good old vaccination) to "just" 29,694 cases and a mere eight deaths, which is actually a rise in the death rate but the figures are so low I'd hate to draw any conclusions.  

What the figures are going to look like for 2009-2018, I will be interested to see.

monkey36 Wed 29-May-13 20:25:42

Hi - I did not change my mind about the MMR vaccine as I was adamant that I would give my DS (now 13) the singles. I did the whole lot except for the last mumps, which I could not get as the company making MUMVAX had stopped production. So a year ago, I took the plunge and let my DS have the MMR so he would have the additional MUMPs element. He was and is absolutely fine. No side effects or anything, BUT I was annoyed that I was effectively forced down this route. I am pro vaccine just not pro MMR. However, I have stopped worrying about the risks of getting MUMPs for a boy. I don't plan to give him a second MMR booster as he has had singles x2 for measles and Rubellas and 1x single for the Mumps and 1x MMR. Does anyone out there think that I need to administer a second MMR...

WouldBeHarrietVane Wed 29-May-13 20:31:21

Monkey for about £75 you can check whether he is immune to mumps. As he's had both the other jabs twice - a single and mmr component of each, he should be immune to those. For £175 irrc you can check immunity to all three. Baby jabs offs the tests I think and probably other places do too.

WouldBeHarrietVane Wed 29-May-13 20:32:25

Just reread - if he's had everything twice I wouldn't give another mmr!

monkey36 Wed 29-May-13 20:38:49

Thanks WouldbeHarrietvane. I'll get a blood test,

Skygirls Wed 29-May-13 20:54:42

WouldbeHarriet, why wouldn't you give another MMR?

Just wondering.... My DS1 had singles of rubella and measles but no mumps because of no vaccine. Then at 3.5 years, gave him an MMR. So he's had 2x measles, 2x rubella but only 1x mumps.

The GP reckons I should give him another MMR to cover for the mumps. I still haven't done this but am reading this thread to give me clarity. I don't want him to catch mumps, but really feel another MMR is a bit ott.

WouldBeHarrietVane Wed 29-May-13 20:56:00

Sky in your case I would if there wasn't full mumps immunity, but I would check immunity first, then jab if it wasn't shown up on the test.

WouldBeHarrietVane Wed 29-May-13 20:58:12

We've only had single measles - DS is almost 2. I intend to do mmr just before school and then test for mumps immunity after that. If he isn't immune to mumps I will give him a second mmr before he starts secondary school.

Skygirls Wed 29-May-13 21:09:48

Thanks for that WouldbeHarriet. You don't think 3 doses of measles and rubella is too much, just to get the mumps booster up?

Will talk to GP about blood test to see if he's immune.

WouldBeHarrietVane Wed 29-May-13 21:23:07

I don't think your GP will definitely do the test, Sky. You can ask, but I think you usually have to go private.

I think the official NHS advice is that if you've had any singles you still need x 2 mmr. It's such a tough decision, isn't it?

Skygirls Wed 29-May-13 21:30:09

Oh what to do? I hate needles myself, and go all wobbly at having to subject my DCs to it.

Probably best in the end if I do give him another MMR. He should already be immune to the r and me, so probably won't get any side effects anyway.

Far better than actually getting the diseases.

Thanks for your input. smile

monkey36 Fri 31-May-13 13:01:02

@skygirls - Hi Sky, I think I would go for the MMR so that your DS1 has the full complement of mumps. My DS had singles 2xs for Measles and Rubella, and 1 single mumps then there was no more single mumps vaccine. So that he had 2 mumps I had to do the MMR - which means that he has had 3 doses of Measles and Rubella, and 2 doses of Mumps. Apparently this is fine - as the body does not react to the additional doses of Measles and Rubella if there is already immunity. Does anyone have further info on this ?

SimLondon Sun 16-Jun-13 00:20:42

Haven't changed my mind about the mmr at all and glad went for the single vaccine. How many millions of pounds have the British government paid out in vaccine damage compensation in the last few years = several.

stopgap Thu 18-Jul-13 20:54:38

My son is about to turn two, and we will do his first MMR in a couple of months. We did a very delayed schedule due to a severe reaction to rotavirus.

My doctor's office offers the MMR combined with chicken pox (ProQuad) but I will be splitting them up, as my family has a history of seizures, and combining the two apparently doubles the risk of febrile seizures.

specialsubject Wed 21-Aug-13 12:51:34

yes, vaccination against polio has nothing to do with its eradication in most of the world. Except in the countries where the influential tell everyone else that the vaccine is a conspiracy to kill kids. In those places kids suffocate or are paralysed due to polio.

smallpox also of course vanished by magic.

(head in hands)

bumbleymummy Wed 21-Aug-13 15:13:43

Actually special, neither were entirely due to vaccination...

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