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I'm now crapping myself about MMR again - help!

(54 Posts)
mrshippy Thu 04-Jun-09 23:01:47

Have just been reading and contributing to the compulsory MMR jab. I gave it to my son at 2.5 years, after much thought. He was fine. My daughter is 20 months old and hasn't had it yet. I am particulary sensitive about her health because she had imperforate ans and has had three major operations, a tempory stoma and many unpleasant procedures performed on her. I think I have developed a bit of a phoboa about 'loosing her', and I am terrified by the idea of regressive autism.

How many of you out there are quite certain that your children have been damaged by MMR? Can anyone give me some clearer information so I can decide what to do?

Penthesileia Thu 04-Jun-09 23:09:44

I'm not one of the parents your message is aimed at (DD is 1yr, so due the MMR soon), but you seem stressed, so didn't want your message to go unanswered (though I'm sure more people will be along soon).

First off, I'm sorry that your DD has had such a tough time with her health. Sounds like she and you have been through a lot. I really hope she's doing ok now.

If you are really terribly anxious about the MMR, why don't you investigate the possibility of a single measles jab? It's really measles that poses the most threat to a child your daughter's age (mumps is most serious, I believe, for boys, and rubella for girls/women of child-bearing age). Maybe that would be the best option?

mrshippy Thu 04-Jun-09 23:16:11

Thanks Penthesileia, I did start looking into that with DS. I

Longtalljosie Fri 05-Jun-09 06:14:28

Mrschippy - I'll get comprehensively flamed for saying this - but this website is not the place to get unbiased information about MMR. Those of us who are convinced the original scare was totally discredited are comprehensively shouted down, and generally the more hysterical websites are treated with a reverence they don't deserve. People who believe MMR is safe are routinely called naive and stupid. Frankly, reading an MMR thread on Mumsnet reminds me of Alice Through The Looking Glass.

I would google "Cochrane reviews" to look at medical studies on the subject. I would also read the chapter on MMR in Ben Goldacre's Bad Science. I'll get flamed for saying that as well, last time I recommended it I was told "he's only a junior doctor" and "he's a journalist". Well, so am I (a journalist, that is). And the media's handling of the MMR scare is one of the few things which makes me ashamed of my profession.

One of my friends is an autism specialist. There is a form of autism which causes you to suddenly lose already-acquired skills at around 18 months (which is of course when MMR happens). It's horrendously distressing for parents to have to watch their children retreat in that manner. And since they have the jab at around the same time, you can see why some people are so convinced there must be a link.

warthog Fri 05-Jun-09 06:29:34

i asked this question and asked for proper research papers and unfortunately got none. a few links to newspaper articles. any criticism was very badly received so i have also realized that this is not the place for unbiased views and reasonable discussion. i would happily accept contrary research papers but newspaper articles are hardly set in stone. will probably get flamed for this post too!

IcantbelieveImForty Fri 05-Jun-09 10:56:04

I think the key thing here is, have you had measles/mumps/rubella ? if not, are you going to get yourself jabbed, because surely you are at risk of catching it as the next person.

I wouldn't have it & therefore wouldn't give the jab to my children.

If you have a 'feeling'of unease whether backed up by science of not, they don't do it. Whatever way you go, you'll read claims to support the dangers AND the safety of the MMR.

Perhaps the single measles is the way to go ?

Littlepurpleprincess Fri 05-Jun-09 16:44:32

There was never a link proven between MMR jabs and autism, however measles can kill a child.

I understand that you want to protect your child and I really beleive that the MMR jab is the way to do that.

Don't let one foolish (unresponsable) scientist scare you into putting your child at risk. If your child's got autism, he/she has got autism. End of. Tough to deal with but I really beleive the MMR jab was just something to blame for a thing we find hard to deal with.

Like Warthog says, proper research papers? there are none. Your not gonna beleive the Sun for medical facts are you?

Have the MMR and protect both your and other children.

WinkyWinkola Fri 05-Jun-09 16:47:53

It's hard to get unbiased evidence on vaccinations anywhere tbh.

When I was looking into it, I also found a lot of what I'd consider scare mongering about mumps and rubella.

Research carefully and make up your own mind, mrshippy. They're your children so look into it and put your mind at rest with your decision after what you've found out.

Castiel Fri 05-Jun-09 16:50:09

The original research was not discredited, just to qualify.

I haven't the energy to get into this argument again.

It is not possible for anybody to state that the MMR jab is safe for everybody. No vaccine or medicine can be safe for all.

OP, with your child's medical history I think you are right to think very carefully about this. Have you read Richard Halvorsen's book? He's a GP.

Castiel Fri 05-Jun-09 16:52:03

"If your child's got autism, he/she has got autism. End of. Tough to deal with but I really beleive the MMR jab was just something to blame for a thing we find hard to deal with"

Oh dear.

Littlepurpleprincess Fri 05-Jun-09 16:55:21

Your right, we can't know 100% that anything is safe, ever, you have to look at the odds. The chances of your child getting Mumps, measles or rubella and the harm that could do (also to the rest of the community, outbreaks and all) against the chance of your child developing autism.

My child developing autism, and the small posabilty that it was caused by the MMR, I could live with but my child dying of measles, I could not live with.

edam Fri 05-Jun-09 17:00:51

When I was deciding what to do about ds, I was lucky enough to work with a team of very highly qualified, independent experts who review medical evidence.

What really worried me was that, at the time, the best anyone, including Cochrane, could say was 'as far as we can tell from the studies that exist MMR is safe - but the safety studies are not sufficient'. That means not enough large studies that are designed to answer the question Wakefield raised.

I went for singles.

Haven't done enough digging to check whether things have moved on since then. But haven't come across anything that suggests it has.

Personally I'd avoid listening to two groups. First, anyone who either slags off Wakefield. The campaign to discredit him really is shameful - his opponents should debate the evidence, not attack the person. Tactics are horribly similar to those used to cover up deaths from Seroxat. Not that that makes MMR unsafe, but those tactics stink.

Second, anyone who makes sweeping statements about all vaccines being evil, or vaccination being a plot to damage children, or thinks that 'chemicals' are a bad thing (completely failing to understand that things like Vitamin C are chemicals, too). Because while they may be lovely people, I wouldn't personally take medical advice from them.

edam Fri 05-Jun-09 17:01:46

(ignore that stray 'either'...)

LynetteScavo Fri 05-Jun-09 17:15:33

Just a thought, mrs hippy, but have you considered using homeopathy along side vaccinations?

Even if you go for single vaccinations.(which, tbh, I would probably go for just measles initially if I were you)

DS1 was "off colour" after his initial MMR, and his booster, for a bout a month both times. With my others I've given them homeopath remedies to counter the side effects (at least I think that's what they were supposed to do) and they were fine.

frogwatcher Fri 05-Jun-09 17:52:03

MrsHippy - I am in the position you are in. All three of my dds have had the single measles injection but I am debating the MMR booster. What amazes me about the MMR debate on mumsnet is how it always focuses on wakefield and autism. There is another debate to live vaccines and that is other reactions to them. My concern was that out of my extended families (cousing, sisters) only two dc had MMR and both ended up in hospital with serious reaction to it resulting in one of them being very poorly for some time (they were not brothers but cousins). All other children within my extended family are not vaccinated as our families are so scared. The other had to suffer severe allergic reactions to things he hadnt been allergic to pre vaccine, for a year or so. Nothing was recorded anywhere about their reactions to the vaccine and it makes me scared that there are no proper records of reactions to it - however severe. My GP (and one dds consultant at the hospital)both suggested independently having the vaccine in hospital so if my dd did react 'doctors would be available immediately'!!! To be honest their taking it seriously scared me further (as if they recognised the reactions) and I opted for the hundreds of pounds I spent on singles. Now I dont know how to progress it. I have since heard of a number of children having reactions to MMR. I am so stressed deciding. I have raised this so many times on mumsnet in MMR debates and it seems that discussions on the safety of it other than autism related are ignored. I still think the government is mad to ignore parents concerns and not offer singles so parents can space out the time between injections so there is less entering the body. I would be happy with that.

crokky Fri 05-Jun-09 17:58:23

mrshippy - I know a girl (she's in her twenties) and her mother is 100% convinced that she was damaged by MMR (administered when she was about 10, I can't remember the age because I was a child as well). She has had loads of bowel surgeries following MMR. If you are worried, why don't you just do singles? Personally, I don't see the downside to singles (other than the cost obviously). Both my children had/are having single jabs due to the above and the fact that 2 of my siblings have aspergers syndrome.

lou031205 Fri 05-Jun-09 18:11:40

Can I wade in here and just ask that posters post sensitively regarding the MMR/autism link, BEFORE this thread gets more heated?

I can think of at least one poster who has cattegorical evidence of her child's regression directly following MMR.

Incidently, I have always been quite staunchly pro-MMR, and my DD1 (who has SN) had her pre-school booster yesterday. I have to say, though, that given her recent diagnosis, I did wobble a bit given the news reports.

frogwatcher Fri 05-Jun-09 18:19:24

The problem is crokky that I believe the mumps singles are unavailable now so you cant get the full lot. Also, am I right in thinking you would need to get the booster in a single too in the same way MMR is boostered! That makes it doubly expensive.

lou031205 Fri 05-Jun-09 18:19:41


crokky Fri 05-Jun-09 18:27:23

frog - yes you are right, mumps singles are not currently available, my DD is waiting for one.

You would need the boosters as well, yes and that is doubly expensive.

Knowing all this, we still went for singles.

The main risk for the OP's DD is measles and a single jab would solve this. Rubella will only be a risk for her when she is old enough to get pg so that expense can wait. Mumps - well I think it would be OK for her to wait for it - mumps is less of an issue for a girl.

edam Fri 05-Jun-09 18:30:28

mumps vaccine would not be my major concern, tbh. Main danger is to the fertility of boys (quite a rare complication anyway). But there are suggestions giving it to toddlers makes this worse, as the protective effects wear off just when they are at the most vulnerable ages.

Dh had mumps four times and still managed to produce ds... Not that that is evidence of anything.

IcantbelieveImForty Fri 05-Jun-09 19:15:23

Just a thought about catching DD caught it recently & thankfully she was fine. Had a sore throat the day before & a square jaw the next. DD2 didn't catch it, neither did DH.

They have both had chicken pox & were thankfully fine with that too.

Mumps is the vaccination that is most likely to fail, from what I've read.

laumiere Fri 05-Jun-09 21:17:33

I can understand your concerns OP. DS1 was 9w prem and diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We discussed it and went for the MMR and booster because we live in one of the major outbreak areas. He's been fine with it. Ironically he's just been diagnosed with autism which we realised in retrospect he's had since birth, it was just 'masked' by the CP.

DS2 will be having the jabs too.

To give a perspective from the other side:
I DIDN'T have the MMR as a child as my older bro had febrile convulsions. I caught the mumps (yes that 'mild' childhood illness) at 7, was hospitalised as it destroyed about 50% of my immune system and left it permanently weakened. As a result I'm susceptible to auto-immune disorders and depression, get floored for 3 months of the year by RSV (an illness that most adults shrug off) and had to have lengthy tests to make sure I had measles and rubella immunity when pregnant. My mum says now she really wishes she'd made them give it to me.

Kutner Fri 05-Jun-09 21:26:48

Laumiere - I'm sorry to hear that you've had such terrible complications from Mumps.

Can I just clarify - was it the medical profession that did not want you to have MMR due to your brothers FCs?

pagwatch Fri 05-Jun-09 21:27:19

I am one of the mums who is certain that the MMR was a major contributor to her sons very severe autism.

I would still personally say that my son had a number of circumstances that do not apply to the bulk of children and that most children have this jab with no issue. But for the children who are unfortuante enough to react the response seems often to be at the severe end of the spectrum and with associated gut problems - as is the case with my son.
I have therefore chosen to be very cautious and , in spite of the low numerical risk to the whole population, I have avoided this jab with my children.
I don't think that is hysterical or unreasonable.
You may want to delay or look at single jabs if you are extra anxious because of your childs history.

as for
".. If your child's got autism, he/she has got autism. End of. Tough to deal with but I really beleive the MMR jab was just something to blame for a thing we find hard to deal with."

I have little by waty of response. Except possibly, insensitive, unbelievably crass, fuckwit.
I think that covers it.

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