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Has anyone had blood tests to prove immunity?

(20 Posts)
Pushpinia Mon 22-Sep-08 17:50:48

Please can anyone give me an idea whether this is possible on the NHS?

Ds2 is due his MMR this week (not sure why it's so late as he is 16mo) and I have cancelled the appt as 1) I believe he already had measles and 2) he has one or two red flags for autism.

I've been given an appt with the nurse practitioner, not sure what that means - but i have a feeling they will just dismiss my concerns and try to persuade me to give it him anyway, which I don;t want to do.

When he had measles (or whatever it was) he had swabs done for the HPA and one of them came back positive, (not sure how many tests they do) but they said it was inconclusive as it could have been maternal antibodies. (he was 10mo and I was bfing)

I definitely don;t want him to have the MMR if he already had measles as a friend's daiughter reacted badly to it after having had measles...not sure if this was certain but don;t want to risk it iyswim.
I have no idea about the autism links and whether they exist or not but again a risk, and if we can avoid it then so much the better.

I am happy for him to have the mumps one on its own but I don;t know if they will give him this and also I'd like him to have the measles one if he isn't immune. So I was thinking about trying to get his immunity tested - but is this worth it as he is still bfed and it might again show up as maternal antibodies.

Thanks for any thoughts as my ehad is spinning a bit! smile

Marina Mon 22-Sep-08 17:52:07

Whereabouts are you Pushpinia?

Pushpinia Mon 22-Sep-08 17:54:40

Am in the South East Marina.

tiggerlovestobounce Mon 22-Sep-08 18:06:22

I dont think the NHS would offer you this. Private clinics would I think.
The NHS wouldnt be able to offer you single vacs even if he did have immunity to a componant of the MMR, so there wouldnt be any reason for them to test.
There isnt any reason why having the MMR would be worse if you have already had measels. If anything it should reduce the risk of reacting badly to that componant, as your immune system would already be primed to destroy that part of it.

crokky Mon 22-Sep-08 18:11:49

The NHS will not give single jabs as they are not licenced in this country. I don't know if they would give blood tests to check measles immunity. I wouldn't think so, but you could ask.

We had singles privately (the jabs are imported from France, Switzerland, America etc).

If you go to a private clinic, they would probably offer you a blood test and based on that may give you the measles as a single jab.

Then have rubella and mumps separately as well.

crokky Mon 22-Sep-08 18:13:15

Is this anywhere near you?

Marina Mon 22-Sep-08 18:41:29

Well, if you are willing to pay, IME Direct Health 2000 in Eltham gave us good advice about the pros and cons of bloods to confirm immunity etc (this was back in 1999!).
Cons being mainly that it can be distressing for the child to have them done, so theirs was a last resort perspective. We were asking for far less valid reasons than you though.
They also do single jabs etc and will write up your Red Book so the HV at your own GP will get off your case.

Pushpinia Mon 22-Sep-08 19:12:45

Thankyou Crokky - not too far but gosh, the costs involved...! I will need to think this through.

Marina - thankyou, I appreciate the advice. I didn't know that the vaccines weren't licensed over here - what is that about? I suspect (perhaps wrongly) that it might be something to do with one drug company having the monopoly or something? So the NHS is contracted to give the MMR and just the MMR iyswim?

Anyway it is a shame. I've decided to just postpone it for the time being until I am no longer bfing and then we might get a decent reliable result I suppose.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

Pushpinia Mon 22-Sep-08 19:14:01

Tigger - thanks, I am not sure how they work, only going on what my friend suspected and she is a pharmacist so must know something about it...perhaps...hmm

It is such a confusing subject. I wish I knew more.

whomovedmychocolate Mon 22-Sep-08 19:28:41

Pushpinia - you need to find a clinic which offers the single jabs near you and enquire about a private antibody assay test - it'll probably cost about £120.

Pushpinia Mon 22-Sep-08 19:37:05

Oh thanks WMMC that sounds a bit easier actually. I will do that asap.

whomovedmychocolate Mon 22-Sep-08 21:14:05

Alternatively if your GP is willing to do a blood draw - you can get to do the actual test. I've used them for a couple of private tests and they are bloody excellent. Email them for a quote and sampling pack.

Pushpinia Tue 23-Sep-08 06:38:21

Really? That's excellent! I'll bookmark them for when we need it - thanks so much smile

snickersnack Tue 23-Sep-08 06:59:38

Hi - in a similar position to you Pushpinia, except I know ds had measles at around 10 months...but apparently immunity isn't guaranteed at that age. Likely, but the doctors who treated him said they couldn't promise he'd have immunity and so would still recommend vaccinating.

I did look into this quite carefully - GP refused point blank to I tried a couple of single vaccine clinics, both of whom said they'd be reluctant to do a blood test on such a young child without really good cause. And none of them seemed to think there'd be a problem with vaccinating if he'd already had measles, so on that basis we opted for the MMR. I've got no inherent problem with it - dd had it - it was really just not wanting to give him something he doesn't need. But as we can't establish if he needs it, we're going ahead. Today, in fully expecting a nasty reaction but only because he always reacts badly to jabs.

Pushpinia Tue 23-Sep-08 07:52:06

That's really interesting Snickers - I hope it goes well today, (and for the next week or so!) and thanks for posting.

It looks like I might be being a bit over fussy really. But I think I'll still hold off till he's a bit bigger and once we are over the whole autism question mark - one way or another!

Thanks again. Good luck!

Pushpinia Tue 23-Sep-08 07:54:11

I wonder why immunity isn't guaranteed?

I heard that they don't give the MMR below the age of about 1 because the child will still have maternal antibodies which means he is likely to reject the immunity offered by the vaccine - or something - but I didn't realise that having the actual illness at that age wouldn't confer immunity in itself.

I need to do some research

snickersnack Tue 23-Sep-08 09:45:18

I don't know, to be honest. I haven't managed to find anyone who can give me an unbiased and comprehensible account of how the immune system works. But I think it might be linked to the fact that if you give the vaccine below about 13 months, there's no guarantee of immunity - and presumably having the illness works the same way. Certainly my cousin, who had measles at 7 months, went on to get it again at 11 months.

One of the doctors I spoke to at the single vaccine clinic said he was fairly sure that having measles at 10 months would confer protection, and in my situation he'd probably not bother with immunisation, but having seen how very unwell ds was, it's not a risk I want to take.

I'm sorry about your ds - I hope your worries are unfounded. I confess that despite not believing there is a link between the MMR and autism, I did have a small wobble this morning when I kissed ds goodbye before dh took him to the GP for the jab. I can understand in your position that you'd want to be doubly sure.

whomovedmychocolate Tue 23-Sep-08 09:55:59

It may be that the strain of measles is different. There is evidence that vaccines can get less effective over time as the viruses morph into other strains. Measles can't be different surely. The virus strain given in the vaccine is attenuated (and apparently weakened) though so it doesn't (allegedly) cause the full infection.

BTW my daughter has just had the MMR at 23 months - I held back for many reasons but she's still breastfed and obviously is still getting my antibodies (and incidentally there's evidence that more antibodies are passed in the second year than the first) and yet she still got a measles rash, several days of pain which she demonstrated by screaming and red eyes hmm.

You can get anaesthetic cream to put on a half hour before the blood test btw to stop it hurting.

mamuka Wed 08-Oct-08 22:41:22

Vopros Marine:

vi slychaino ne rysskaya?
ya tak ponyala jivete v South East?
ya toje, y menya dvoe detei, znau mnogo chego pro mmr i voobshe pri privivki, mogy podelitsya opitom.

beeper Thu 09-Oct-08 15:13:24

The controversy around jabs is because no body really knows for sure how the immune systems works, they have a fairly good idea but they often dont take into account other factors when studying the effects of Jabs, like hereditry and envrionmnetal factors. Its like this, lets just jab them and see if anything goes wrong, its a one size fits all. You would not even wear a pair of size 16 jeans if you were a 12, would you. So how can on jab suit all people.

But the thinking what if the odd kid ends up brain damaged or dead or with a cocked up immnue system, because we all need to be protected yeah.....well tell me that when its your child.

General Rant not at any particular person.

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