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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

What are the implications of giving single vaccinations instead of the MMR?

(41 Posts)
MarlaSinger Mon 22-Sep-08 19:40:30

Just curious really, have no reason not to give DS MMR but am interested to know more before it comes to it (he is 11 months)

So what makes single jabs a bad thing?

nickytwotimes Mon 22-Sep-08 19:46:09

Increases the amount of time they are not immune.
I think that's it really? Though I'd happily be corrected.
Btw, I had no worries about MMR - you may get better info from those who were concerned.

Sawyer64 Mon 22-Sep-08 19:53:23

Cost quite a bit too,and you have to find a "private Clinic" to do it as NHS won't support Single vacs.You'd need to research where to go as there are many "Rip off" clinics,and what they give isn't always enough to immunise child sufficiently.

Imagine a Single Measles,a single Mumps and a single Rubella,then in 2 years or so you have to do it all again.

I'm sure someone will be along shortly to discuss the advantages of singles,but I don't agree with them,so just pointing out "practical" things.

onager Mon 22-Sep-08 19:59:28

Surely such places would be illegal on health ground and fraud too if they charge you for something you don't get.

If only the NHS supported them you wouldn't have to pay extra and you'd know they were not a rip off.

Pity the government has such a single minded, fanatical hatred of single jabs.

stuffitllama Mon 22-Sep-08 20:03:54

I think you'd find some interesting sites if you just google your question, with info from both sides: eg jabs site is not anti vax or even anti mmr but just votes for choice really.

Sawyer64 Mon 22-Sep-08 20:10:03

These places have been "Named and shamed" in the Press,but theres bound to be more out there,making money out of the anxious parents.

Who's to know if they share the Ampoules of Vaccine with other children,and only give a small dose???

Best to check and ask these questions first,but lots of people don't know what to ask etc.

TheBlonde Mon 22-Sep-08 20:11:34

never heard any naming and shaming, do you have any links?

QOD Mon 22-Sep-08 20:19:56

apparently with single does you dont need boosters.

AtheneNoctua Mon 22-Sep-08 20:58:57

The disadvantage is the cost and time/logistics of organising three separate trips to get the vax. A disadvantage (for the government/NHS) is that you may decided you don't want all three. The government/NHS doesn't like you to have that kind of control becaue they think they are better qualified to make the decisions and should shouldn't worry your pretty little head with things like your children's health.

Oh, I'm sorry, have I revealed which side of the debate I sit on?

luckylady74 Mon 22-Sep-08 21:03:29

You will find very very knowledgeable people on the special needs board here, but not much point if your wondering hasn't got a point iyswim.

MintChocAddict Mon 22-Sep-08 21:07:26

Gave DS singles. Boosters are recommended.

LittleMyDancing Mon 22-Sep-08 21:09:02

I'm fairly neutral about the issue.

- Afaik the single jabs have not been subjected to the same testing as the MMR, so if you have doubts about the MMR that's one thing, but the single jabs have not been proven to be safe/effective either.

- The expense

- The practicalities of making sure the boosters are given on time

Sawyer64 Mon 22-Sep-08 21:22:47


TheBlonde Mon 22-Sep-08 21:59:13

Thanks for the link Sawyer64, I see it was 5 years ago

I thought they did single jabs prior to the intro of MMR, certainly for measles and rubella

Sawyer64 Mon 22-Sep-08 22:29:30

No to my knowledge only Rubella. The single Measles Jab was around when I was 1 yr old in 1965.I was given it and caught Measles within the year.

edam Mon 22-Sep-08 22:40:58

According to my mother, I had the single measles jab as a child (would have been in the '70s). And I remember having rubella at school. (Thought at the time it was a bit daft only lining up us girls and leaving the boys as a potential pool of infection.)

The 'single vaccines aren't tested' line is a bit disingenuous. The government pulled single vax from the NHS when MMR came in. That decision didn't transform vaccines that had been perfectly safe the day before the decision was signed off into lethal weapons the day after.

I got ds's single jabs at the Brakespear clinic in Hemel Hempstead - do a search on MN and you'll find lots of people who have used it. They gave us the batch number and packaging so we knew exactly what had been used. And if there ever was a recall - as can happen to any medicine - we've got all the information we would need to sort out any follow-up that would be necessary.

edam Mon 22-Sep-08 22:42:40

Not sure how long the single mumps vaccine has been around, certainly not when I was at school. Poor old dh had mumps five times!

MarlaSinger Tue 23-Sep-08 09:11:29

Thank you to everyone who has replied. I don't know if I have any concerns about DS really, he is my first, and I don't have much experience with babies, I also avoid the HV like the plague.

He doesn't point yet, though I'm not worried about that, and sometimes when feeding he seems in a world of his own and won't make eye contact - that bothers me a bit but that's probably more hurt feelings than concern IYSWIM.

I am annoyed with myself actually for questioning the MMR when all I have read (which isn't much, and mostly on MN) says there is no real concern about it - hence asking about the single jabs rather than the MMR itself.

How do you know the single jabs are safe if they come from different countries - I mean I am sure those countries have regulations etc! But how do you know what you are getting - that would be my big concern actually, more than any niggles in the back of my mind about the MMR.

edam Tue 23-Sep-08 09:17:02

Call up some places offering single jabs (the Brakespear was recommended by my HV, strangely enough!) and ask them to explain exactly what vaccine they would be using. And then come back on here. I can look it up if you like on PubMed and in MIMS - just can't remember what ds had (we do have the packaging but no idea where).

pagwatch Tue 23-Sep-08 09:18:13

well my DS was fine and absoloutely nt until he had his MMR at 18 months and is now very severely autistic so I personally couldn't vote with the 'there is no real concern about it'POV.

But as you have concerns about the singles I am sure the MMR will be the best choice in your case.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Tue 23-Sep-08 09:19:44

Mumps seems to be more effective when given singly.

Other than that not much difference in terms of effectiveness. MMR is slightly more effective given at 15 rather than 13 months.

You never know exactly what you're getting with any vaccination really. There are always 'hot batches' for any jab, although rare of course. One brand of MMR was withdrawn (after it led to too many cases of aseptic meningitis- not a problem in itself particularly although not particularly pleasant, it also happens to be the brand that appears to be associated with the worst cases of autistic enterocolitis).

If you go for MMR there are 2 brands currently used. one has been around a lot longer than the other (which was introduced last year). I'd recommend going for the one that has been around the longest. Although I can't remember the name of it!

If you go for singles. Avoid the big companies and go for somewhere like the Breakspeare or Richard Halvorsen (he'd be my first choice) where an actual doctor will be overseeing what you're given and making the choices. Richard Halvorsen I think gives you a consultation first. He gives his NHS patients single jabs on the NHS if they request it, so is motvated by what he believes is best for the child rather than money iyswim.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Tue 23-Sep-08 09:21:17

oh pagwatch, we were meant to be emailing each other about that brand effect weren't we?

I can't CAT, but email me on nezumi35 at googlemail dot com if you want and I can dig out a talk on it.

crokky Tue 23-Sep-08 09:22:47


I had singles for my DS. The hopsital I got them at has been giving them for around 20 years, ever since MMR was introduced. They import them from USA, France etc and they show you the labels etc. Many mumsnetters have been there and people DH knows in RL have also taken their children there.

The "disadvantages" of singles are

-have to go 3x to the hospital rather than once
-have to pay (!)

However, well worth it IMO. Have autism in my family and also knew a girl at school who had severe bowel issues etc from MMR. Not a risk I am willing to take.

I personally believe that MMR is safe for the vast majority of children. There are a small number of children for whom it is not safe. Therefore the population overall is safer if everyone gets MMR and this is why the government promotes it. However, whilst I will have regard for the safety of the population, I will not take the risk that my DS is one of the children who may have a problem with MMR. So I got singles and will be doing the same for my DD. is where we went. It is not near me at all, but it is trustworthy and worth the journey.

MarlaSinger Tue 23-Sep-08 09:23:58

I feel it is a huge decision to make and what if I get it wrong? I suppose that's what I can't shake with the MMR, is experiences like yours pagwatch. And I have read threads on here (oh those lonely nights breastfeeding for hours!) where the rebuttal to your post would be about autism not showing signs until X age and so on but it was easy to take all that in with a newborn who did nothing, but now my DS is himself - do you know what I mean? He has a personality that I know I would spot a change in, he is funny and cheeky and loving and what if I made a decision that changed him?

I must point out here that I intend no offence, it is not about 'preserving' him as 'perfect' or ANYTHING like that because you just never know what is around the corner, and I am sure children who don't have the MMR can go on to develop autism, it is about the actual decision resting with me.

Does that make sense?

Just when I think I should read less and just have the MMR for him, a big cloud of doubt comes over me.

I don't know about autism. Is it hereditary? What I am asking is, are there reasons to be concerned without knowing anything about the child themselves?

edam Tue 23-Sep-08 09:24:06

And yes, there's no evidence to say the MMR isn't fine for 99.8 per cent of children. My worry was there was no way of telling whether ds was in the 0.2 per cent of children where there may, just possibly, be a risk.

I was working with independent, respected drug reviewers at the time so looked at all the research and overall analysis by Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin and the Cochrane Collaboration. They all say the research that has been done suggests MMR is fine BUT called for more safety studies. And unfortunately no-one is doing the research that would prove or disprove Wakefield's theory - it's too dangerous for your career, you wouldn't get funding, etc. etc. etc.

They just do epidemiological studies which show MMR is safe for almost all children but aren't designed, aren't capable of answering the questions Wakefield's research raised.

Since ds was little, there's a suggestion that children with a family history of auto-immune disease might be particularly at risk of side effects. So if I had that in my family, I'd personally go for singles. Or if there was autism, particularly autism with gut problems.

I gave him the MMR booster because by the time he was four, I was confident he was OK.

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