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another point of view on the MMR.........

(11 Posts)
anniebear Sat 05-Feb-05 07:33:57

Obviously the MMR is a very personal choice.

My twins Grace and Ellie had their MMR, but I was concerned about it.

As some of you know, Ellie had Bacterial Meningitis at the age of 8 months. Was critically ill, survived but with brain damage, epilepsy and Hydrocephalus.

A few weeks before this she had caught measles off somebody. She was only 8months old so to young to have had the MMR.

When we asked why she got Meningitis we were told that her immune system was probably very low after having caught measles.

So really she had caught measles from somebody that hadn't been immunised and could well be the reason why she has special needs today.

I am just coming in on a different angle. Would never be against anybody not giving the MMR when their child has special needs, it was very hard giving it to the girls at 14months as I already had one child with brain damage that I was so worried that something would happen to the other.

Just thought I would tell you from my point of view.

Haven't wanted to offend anybody. It is such a horrible decision to have to make and one we shouldnt have to go through, especially when many of us have enough to deal with

anniebear Sat 05-Feb-05 07:40:30

sorry, can I just add, obviously what happened to us doesn't happen to many!

Don't want to worry anyone, it's just I am sure people don't always realise what can happen.

In an indoor play area a while ago a lady was talking about the MMR and saying, in a loud voice, how she didn't let her little one have it and that she had took him 6 times to the Dr's but could never go through with it. She said in in a kind of obnoxious (not sure if correct word, but I know what I mean!!!) "well I had measles as a baby and I didn't die"

I turned round and said (nicely!!!) "well see her (Ellie) she had measles and she nearly died as she had Meningitis straight after"

Couldn't stop myself, this lady was annoying!!!

Don't think people realise sometimes how serious these illnesses can sometimes be

pixiefish Sat 05-Feb-05 08:13:25

thanks for sharing that annie- about the measels i mean. it's important that we consider all angles. my dd has hers coming up soon- well she was one last monday so we'll get the letter any day. I KNOW in my heart that I have to have her immunised but i'm still petrified

aloha Sat 05-Feb-05 08:42:06

I have had my son immunised against measles, rubella, and as of next month, mumps via single jabs. Sadly though MMR is not foolproof. The only child I know who has had measles had the MMR. Also I know an immunised child who had whooping cough not so long ago.
Very sorry about your poor daughter though.

Jimjams Sat 05-Feb-05 08:42:59

Can i just add though- that ds1 caught rubella- from a vaccinated child- in the outbreaks reported on the news many of the children affected had been vaccinated against measles, and measles outbreaks have occured in 100% vaccinated children.

It's a minefield tbh One of my main concerns about the MMR is that different age groups get measles now. Before measles vaccination you couldn't get to adulthood basically without coming into contact with measles so ever adult could be assumed to have antibodies- these were passed onto babies in the womb and would give protection for up too a year (although could "run out" earlier) but generally measles was very rare in babies. The % have changed now- so higher %'s of babies and adults are getting measles that in the old days. I don't know how the numbers compare though- it may be that fewer babies overall are affected these days- just % have changed. I;ve never found out. Measles is horrible in a baby in particular- if anyone finds a reliable source that gives absolute figures (rather than %s) of children under a year contractiing measles pre and post vaccine introduction I would love to see it. In 1992 the centres for disease control in the states commented on the fact that 20% of measles cases were now in infants under a year old and said that this was because they were no longer getting antibodies from their mothers- but I'm not sure whether 20% of current cases is fewer overall than the small % of a much larger number of cases before iyswim.

I hope that doesn't offend you anniebear- what happened to your dd must have been awful but i think personal stories just go to show how many "what ifs" there are when it comes to vaccination. I know I think pretty much on a daily basis "what if I hadn''t given ds1 the dtp- would we still (and I know this will offend lots of people but its how I feel after last night) have him?" And I'm sure you would feel the same, but with the other slant "what if she hadn't got measles/that child hadn't had measles etc".

TBH this is why I don't really watch vaccination programmes on TV anymore. They tend to be very lightweight and use personal stories to back up a particular opinion. There are tragedies on "both sides" (awful way to put it but ykwim) and so I don't really think it helps. Especially as whe nit comes down to it the vast majority of children will be fine whatever decision is made.

lockets Sat 05-Feb-05 09:33:21

Message withdrawn

lockets Sat 05-Feb-05 09:38:04

Message withdrawn

charleypops Sat 05-Feb-05 10:26:33

Anniebear - what an awful story, thanks for posting this. There's so much to consider when trying to make these kind of important decision.

Jimjams - that is an interesting point, but just to clarify; as an immunised adult (therefore I assume, with anitbodies), you'd not pass the immunity on to your unborn child in the same way as if your immunity had come from actually contracting measles? I would have thought anitbodies were antibodies, whether or not originating in response to a synthesised vaccine or the actual virus?

Merlot Sat 05-Feb-05 10:47:58

anniebear - thanks for posting this thread. As you say, it gives another angle.

I truly dont know what we are going to do about ds2, have very mixed feelings now. Need to sort it out in my own head, because, as you (and everyone else) have said - its a personal decision.

Can completely understand your reaction to the lady in the indoor play. I'm sure that most people agonize over the MMR decision, and it is all very controversial, but some people (have to say no-one on here falls into this category) are very outspoken in a judgmental/lifestyle type of way over the whole issue - almost like the to breastfeed or not issue, which, of course is just as personal, but without the lifethreatening implications.

Thank you for sharing your story

Jimjams Sat 05-Feb-05 11:07:54

charleypops- if you have them you will pass them on- the problem is antibodies form vaccines don't last as long (and the vaccine doesn't always work) so from a personal pov you don't know whether you have antibodies (I know I do as I had measles so I know ds3 is ok atm). Also you are less likely to have antibodies (antibodies form natural infection can sometimes wear off as well but that's rare). In the past everyone had measles and everyone had frequent "boosters" from exposure too people with measles.

In the States a teenage booster for MMR has been introduced and because of the risk to babies and adults from measles I'm sure they will have to introduce that here as well.

Incidentally the biology of all this means that if you have vacinated your child the best thing you can do is expose them to someone with measles as it will give them a booster!

charleypops Sat 05-Feb-05 12:37:03

Thanks for that Jimjams - Of course, that's the whole point of boosters isn't it? I hadn't considered that. I'm only 21 weeks pg with my first and haven't fully investigated all this MMR stuff yet. Knowing me, I'll be researching it full time from the moment he's born until the day of the possible appointment. I know that Mumsnet is going to be an invaluable reference when I start ploughing through the archives!

Just want to say while I'm here that I, as I'm sure many MNers also, really appreciate people like Anniebear and yourself taking the time to share your experiences with us x

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