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MMR queries please help ((groan!))

(29 Posts)
Eulalia Mon 16-Feb-04 09:57:06

Dd turned 22 months today and I need to make some decisions about her vaccinations as she hasn’t had her MMR yet. Sorry to drag this issue up again but can I need some help to make a decision.

I’ve done a bit of research into single vaccines and the nearest clinic is Glasgow some 3 hours drive from here. I’ve got some info from Jabs and done a bit of looking round the threads here. However got a few queries.

Is there just one jab each, ie one of Measles, Mumps and Rubella or is a course of each vaccination?

There appears to be some delay in getting vaccines which concerns me as it means leaving dd unprotected. Also the recommended time period between vaccines appears to be anywhere between 12 weeks to 12 months. I am not sure which is best or if it is a case of longer is better but this means a long time before dd would be fully vaccinated.

Finally I don’t even know if any of this will really benefit dd. We have no history of autoimmune problems and she is in good health. I am certain that ds didn’t get any worse after his MMR (at 21 months) but that is difficult to measure. I am certain he was autistic beforehand but the MMR could have exacerbated it. Is it the case that MMR damage has shown a definite link being it either does trigger autism or it doesn’t, or is there more unclear cases? And is there a risk with the MMR anyway for any child or is it the same level of risk with the single vaccines?

I would be extremely grateful if anyone knows the answer to these questions. Sorry there are so many! Many thanks. I’ve also asked similar questions to Jabs but thought I’d also check with the experiences of anyone here.

twiglett Mon 16-Feb-04 10:05:04

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Jimjams Mon 16-Feb-04 10:13:36


1) One jab of each - although a booster would still be needed (the single vaccines are the same as the ones in the MMR so course is the same)

2) No clear answers on the gap. Wakefiled recommends a year. There is an increased risk (although not significant) between getting wild measles and wild mumps in the same year and becoming autistic. There is a significant increase between mumps and chickenpox in the same year. So steer clear of chickenpox and any vax.

3)Nothing is definite either way as the research hasn't been done. it is true that some children who appear to have been damaged by MMR have vaccine strain measles in the spinal fluid as well as their gut. This doesn't prove causation though. The epidemiological studies are next to useles. They tell us the the MMR is safe for most children. We're not interested in that- we're interested (as parents) in whether its safe for our child. The studies don't tell you that.
About 10% of autism cases appear to be MMR related. So 90% aren't.

4) single measles vaccine has occasionally been linked to autism- and it certainly can cause brain damage (as can measles itself of course). Maternal rubella infection (wild) has also been linked to autism. The numbers of children affected do appear to be far lower though.

Mumps alters the permeability of the blood brain barrier apparently and measles is an immunosuppresant. Not sure its particularly wise giving them at the same time.

One way to look at it is this- would you be hapy if your child cuaght measles and mumps and rubella at the same time? Prob not. These are live viruses, so maybe its best to spread them out.

twiglett Mon 16-Feb-04 10:16:33

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jmb1964 Mon 16-Feb-04 12:01:10

Eulalia - how clever of you to ask all the same questions as I wanted answered! Our ds2 has just turned 22 months too, and his older brother has Aspergers. Again I don't 'blame' the MMR, but have still been dithering about it for ds2. I almost decided to go ahead and give it to him, and even phon3d the HV for an appt, but the one they gave me was.... Friday 13 Feb! I didn't think so. So I'm looking into separate jabs, but have to work out how to get them incognito...

Eulalia Mon 16-Feb-04 18:35:01

jmb1964 - so you have a 'daffodil baby' too..!

Thanks for the responses everyone. I think I'll see the GP to discuss this. I may be able to get hte singles through her anyway. This excerpt from Jabs explains things ....

"At the moment the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) has overturned the complete ban on single dose measles and mumps vaccines in the following situations:

a) where a child has already started on a course of single dose vaccines

b) where the child has a special need, such as an allergic reaction, that makes the licensed product unsuitable.

Parents should contact their GP who, if he/she agrees, can issue a prescription on a named patient basis and provide medical advice relevant to each individual child. If the GP or other health professional has trouble in sourcing a single dose vaccine please ask them to contact JABS. "

AND ds is due for his booster and I don;t know what to do about that. does the booster make a difference or the fact that he's already had the MMR mean that I can go ahead with this? ds HATES injections and the thought of pinning him down 3 times while he has a massive screaming fit doesn't appeal to me. Is the MMR injection as 'big' as the last one ifykwim ... or is it just boosting what is already there (hence the name of course)

will let you know if I hear back from Jabs again.

Some doctors are offering the single rubella vaccine first as it is licensed and available for any GP to give. This then opens one of the two loopholes mentioned. If the child has had the rubella injection he/she has technically started on a course of single dose vaccines so the doctor is then able, under the MCA's own rules, to order and administer the other two separately and with a time interval between.

Please note though that measles is considered the most serious of the three diseases measles, mumps and rubella. So perhaps should be considered first.

Eulalia Mon 16-Feb-04 18:36:29

Ooops sorry if the post doesn't make sense the last two paras should be up above next to the quoted text.

Jimjams Mon 16-Feb-04 18:50:38

The MMR booster is exactly the same as the first MMR jab. Not all children need it as the majority will have immunity from the first MMR. You can have a blood test to check immunity, althought that would involve pinning down. DS1 had to have a blood test to screen for fragile X and it took 2 people to hold him down and one to get the canula thing in. Not very nice, but he soon forgot about it.

Jimjams Mon 16-Feb-04 19:05:39

here's some bang up to date autism/MMR spats in the Lancet. You have to register to read it but registering is free.

Davros Tue 17-Feb-04 11:01:59

Jimjams, ditto the fragile X blood test! That's why I suggested to ? that they get any blood tests done while they are sedated for another test. You should have seen them trying to sedate him for an EEG

Jimjams Tue 17-Feb-04 11:07:07

doesnt bear thinking about davros. I dread any dental work needing to be done. No-one has managed to look in his mouth for about 2 years. If he ever needs to be sedated I think I'll wheel a doc in.

Whay did your son have an EEG? Did you have any epilepsy concerns (I sometimes wonder about ds1 tbh)

Davros Tue 17-Feb-04 11:17:05

Yes, we had epilepsy concerns. They struggled so much to sedate him that they only got 12 minutes sleep EEG which showed "some peaks but nothing into the abnormal level". We then discussed with Paed whether we would be prepared to give him the treatment/medication that would be indicated (he was only 5) and, as the answer was no, we decided to leave it there. The dentist has been fine as we see a special needs one who works at the Eastman. We managed to struggle through a couple of x-rays which showed some decay so he had a general anaesthetic and also had seals put on the back teeth. It was actually much better than we expected but they did let us go first!

Jimjams Tue 17-Feb-04 11:30:52

meant I think I'll wheel a dentist in. What made you think about epilepsy? I do wonder whether ds1 has absences at times, and he's had a couple of funny turns, but then I'm never sure whether he's just stimming or something.

Davros Tue 17-Feb-04 12:55:27

What made us think about possible epilepsy is not so much absences (how would we know?!!) but what I now see as sensory issues. Head shaking, eye rolling and especially the "shudder", i.e. tensing up and squeezing muscles.

RexandBen Tue 17-Feb-04 13:55:01

Eulalia - does that mean that because Ds1 has had the measles and Rubella privately, we can now ask the GP for the mumps on the NHS (depending on when its in stock, of course!)?

Jimjams Tue 17-Feb-04 14:53:19

yeah that's what I always think about the absences as well - are they an absence or is he just on planet autism? There have been 2 occasions when half awake (from a very deep sleep) that he has gone very convulsy (good word ) but it may just have been from beng half awake. He went very strange in the pool a few months ago, eyes rolled back, went completely floppy- and I went into a total panic! I kind of threw him on the edge and he sort of came round. I *think* he may have had water up his nose. I hope that's what it was!

Jimjams Tue 17-Feb-04 14:54:38

oh he does the muscle jerk things as well, but i know that's a sensory overload thing. First time he did it at nursery they sent him home as they thought he was having a seizure- so they do look similar.

Eulalia Wed 18-Feb-04 14:08:37

Thanks - have made an appointment with GP to discuss both children. ds had the Fragile X blood test last year and coped well with it, better than the menC booster he got previously. I think it helped that I wasn't one of the people to hold him down also his tantrums aren't so bad nowadays. so will check about him getting blood test.

RexandBen - yes I think it does mean you can get it on the NHS but just going by what Jabs sent me. If you check their website - and then send them an email they will give you the standard email back so you can take that to your GP.

mrsforgetful Wed 18-Feb-04 14:32:17

DAVROS....on my thread- "looking back on signs of autism" i mentioned ds2's 'fits' where he would flop down motionless - can you read it and give me your opinion? Thanksx

RexandBen Wed 18-Feb-04 20:28:53

thanks Eulalia

Davros Wed 18-Feb-04 20:43:12

Mrs F, will have a proper look at the other thread tomorrow morning. Have been meaning to post to it anyway as I think my son had clear signs from before 6 months.....

mrsforgetful Wed 18-Feb-04 22:21:47

Thanks just occurred to me that if fits do occur in autism then i'd be able to get dates etc from my sons g.p records and along with his bowel probs- maybe i'd have some medical evidence to back up my thoughts.

mrsforgetful Wed 18-Feb-04 22:25:26

JIMJAMS- you mentioned this 'test' to see if the child has 'enough' immunity from the 1st MMR jab....can u tell me more?
Also this thing where the gp can do the separate jabs on the NHS if the child has special needs....would that stretch to the issue of Autism in family etc...or will they still say there is no risk. ds3 is nearly 5 and i am petrified that a second jab will 'tip the balance'- i feel i'm playing god- as if like me he has measles or mumps like my brother- i will feel terrible- yet i cannot inflict possible side effects of the jab either.

Jimjams Wed 18-Feb-04 22:56:06

you just ask for an antibody titre Mrs F. i think it has to be done privately though.

GP will probably say there is no risk (but you could ask).

I had measles as a kid. Mumps isn't usually serious before puberty (and it isn't usually serious then), so don't feel you have to rush into a mumps decision,

Eulalia Mon 15-Mar-04 21:49:34

Made a decision and dd got the MMR today (((gulp)))

This was based on my own research, a visit to the doctor and some info she gave me. These were my thoughts ...

the MMR doesn't 'give' you each disease at the same time, they all kick at different times in over a period of several weeks and I feel that dd could handle this

dd is extremely healthy with no bowel problems, no autoimmune probs, no fits, not even minor illnesses (except colds of course)

I am still breastfeeding her

I am certain that ds's autism is not related to his MMR at 22 months - I saw no change after it and he also was, and is in very good physical health

The MMR has no thimersol

There are risks associated with single vaccines as well

and finally of course the cost, which is £380 plus 6 trips to Edinburgh (a 300 mile round trip) so we are looking at over £500. Of course I would pay it if I felt she really needed it.

I wanted to go ahead and get it out of the way and didn't want to put it off any longer (she is 23 months tomorrow). Also we go on holiday in 7 weeks and any effects should have passed by then and I can feel more at ease. We wouldn't be going on holiday if we'd gone down the singles route.

Still it wasn't an easy decision to make ...

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