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To MMR or not to MMR? That is the question

(19 Posts)
koalabear Sat 09-Apr-05 16:37:15

Apologies if this topic has been done quite a lot, but I have scanned the archives and can not find an answer to my question.

Given that we have decided to vacinate, we need to choose between single vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella, or the one shot MMR.

Why is it that the MMR "may" be linked to autism but given three separate shots of the same thing are not?

bitscared Sat 09-Apr-05 16:47:21

I researched into this a little while ago as my ds is due to have his MMR later this year. There are concerns that the triple jab overloads a babies system but there is no real evidence to suggest that the MMR is linked to autism more so than the single jab. The recent research carried out in Japan shows that cases of autism have continued to rise despite the introduction of the single vaccine. My mum remembers that back in the seventies when I was vaccinated that there was concerns that the single measles jab was linked to brain damage (I guess in those days it was harder to diagnose autism etc.)

My gut feeling based on what I have read (I am by no means a medical expert) is that there is perhaps a link between the measles virus and autism which would mean that the MMR is no riskier than the single jab, babies who have contracted measles have also suffered brain damage as a result of contracting the illness.

It is such a difficult decision to make but I think that I will be giving my ds the MMR as there is no real alternative. Clinics that give the single jabs are not licensed to do so and after the Elstree fiasco I don't want to run the risk of sending him to a dodgy clinic.

koalabear Sat 09-Apr-05 17:07:04

thanks - this is really helpful, especially the Japanese studies - what was the Elstree fiasco?

bitscared Sat 09-Apr-05 17:51:08

Dr David Pugh (I think his name was) was running a clinic and charging parents the earth for providing single vaccines (my sister in law had her two children vaccinated by him)in order to process more vaccines quickly he was not following the correct procedures and was not storing the vaccines in accordance with the guidelines. This resulted in the measles jab not being effective in some of the vaccines that he administered, children were then sent back to have blood tests to check whether they were fully immunised and to make matters worse he then falsified some of the results. He was sent to prison a couple of months ago.

jabberwocky Sat 09-Apr-05 18:44:13

I guess no one can really say what is right. You just have to do all the research you can and then go with what you feel is best in your particular situation. We are going with singles.

Polina Sat 09-Apr-05 19:28:42

If I'm right (beat me round the head anyone who knows better as I was only 7 at the time!!) the old measles vaccine did occasionally cause brain damage but it was a different strain of bug and a different treatment to the one in MMR.

If anyone DOES know of a reputable clinic do let me know - consultant agreed that ds significantly more at risk than average with MMR, so at the moment in the absence of licenced singles have opted with much trepidation not to have him done at all, and hoping that the tiny amount of immunity he got from bf will help. if only a bit.

KatieinSpain Sat 09-Apr-05 20:23:57

Hi Polina1

I was in Suffolk where I had my DS1 vaccinated with the single jabs for measles and mumps; must get round to the rubella. We used a private practice: a Dr Debenham - he was on-line and although, I knew of people, who didn't like him per se, he certainly appeared bona fide. I can't imagine he is an isolated practice. Why don't you get in touch with the local BUPA hospital and ask for a list of doctors' providing single vaccines?

Marshmellow Sat 09-Apr-05 20:28:42

Both of my dd's had them separately. I know that there are many programmes on tv saying there is no link etc to autism but feeling rather 'un-informed' either way we decided to do them this way simply because we could afford it so we felt we had a choice. I would be happier if they confirmed what does cause autism. At the end of the day it is a personal choice and got to be one that you are happy about.

Jimjams Sat 09-Apr-05 20:53:27

Polina you are right. my aunt cares for someone who was brain damaged by the single measles vax (she isn't autistic though) back in the 1970's. The strains have all changed at various times. The single measles vax used in the uk is the same as the one in the mmr.

Davros Sat 09-Apr-05 21:23:50

Read the current issue of Private Eye to find out more about the Japanese study - results open to interpretation. As the mother of an autistic child, who I don't think was affected by MMR or any other "environmental" factor, I have opted to give DD separate vaccines. I just don't want to take any risk as we have a higher chance of ASD in our family, but I really don't think no protection is an option in our case (unlike those whose children with ASD have clear reactions and sensitivites to environmental factors such as allergies, eczema etc).

Davros Sat 09-Apr-05 21:26:20

Erm, what I mean is that I think that NO protection is not a good option other than for those who have clear issues.

jsmum Sat 09-Apr-05 21:34:53

Hope you don't mind me going back to the original question but if you have decided to vaccinate, then what is the advantage of giving single jabs over the MMR. Is it just the issue of overloading the immune system by giving three vaccines in one go?

koalabear Sun 10-Apr-05 08:47:23

thanks for everyone's input

it would be great to hear any more thoughts as to the difference between the single jab and the MMR

Is there something in the MMR other than the three vaccinations that is linked to autism? Otherwise, i can't see the increased risk in the MMR as opposed to the risk in the single jabs ..... any thoughts ....?

Gobbledigook Sun 10-Apr-05 08:49:20

I think what you are saying is right - there is no more risk with MMR as with the single measles vaccine.

FWIW, I vaccinated all mine with MMR.

stitch Sun 10-Apr-05 08:51:44

yes, because herd immunity is not enough.

koalabear Sun 10-Apr-05 08:55:49

sorry stitch - ????

Moomin Sun 10-Apr-05 09:41:57

Don't know if this is any use, but we had the single jabs for dd at over a year old, although they had run out of the mumps vaccines so she is still unprotected against that. Since then, we have digested all the new findings and have decided that when her MMR booster is offered (she is 3 so it will be soon) she will have it.

jofeb04 Sun 10-Apr-05 10:12:43

Hiya all,
My ds is meant to have his mmr jab on tuesday (not looking forward to it!!).
I was advised by health professionals that the evidence of any link was based on a very small number of children. All the evidence now proofs that there was no link at all. Any child can have side effects from any jab.
I had the mmr jab in school (am only 23), and so did many others, and no one was effected

Jimjams Sun 10-Apr-05 10:43:15

koalabear- they talk abut the potential problem with 3 rather than one here and there is more information here . It's confusing as giving thimerosal (iin dtp's) early on may have been the first problem in susceptible children, with a live virus being a second trigger (may have been what happened to ds1).

People working in the field reckon about 7% of autism is triggered directly by the MMR (possibly in combination with earlier heavy metal problems) so numbers are very small.

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