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Extra MMR at 11.5 months due to visit to France...

(14 Posts)
MtnBikeChick Wed 01-Jun-11 22:16:46

Hi there. I originally posted in the health section and have now moved to vaccinations...sorry for bad posting etiquette! I am just trying to get a common sense view and understand I can't get a definitive medical answer posting here...so...my baby is 10 months old. We are traveling to France literally the day before he turns 1 year old - so a day before he would have been due his first shot of MMR. I have been told by the 'vaccination co-ordinator' in our area that he needs to be protected due to the epidemic in France, and should therefore have an extra MMR shot 3 weeks before we go - i.e, 3 weeks before he is 1 year old, only 3 weeks before he would have had his first MMR shot.

I am slightly concerned about him having three shots of MMR In my area, the second MMR shot is done at 15 months. I am being told that the 'extra' shot at 11.5 months would be ignored, and he would then have to have the two normal MMR shots once we return from France.

I do not want to travel with him un-vaccinated. However, I am struggling to see how 2-3 weeks makes such a difference. Can the 11.5 month shot not be treated as the first (12 month) MMR shot? I think my other option is to simply get a single measles shot given at 11.5 months...but that carries its own risks, I understand they aren't licensed in the UK, etc, etc.

I am so confused, and worried....does anyone have any thoughts? Thanks so much

Gooseberrybushes Thu 02-Jun-11 13:26:02

Yes, well I wouldn't do it. If you give it to him early, I wouldn't give him another one three weeks later. Yes, the 11.5 shot can be treated as the first. These vaccination times are all so random anyway. How ludicrous that you are being effectively blackmailed into travelling unvaccinated or having three.

Get it recorded as the first. Make a doctors appointment and deal with it through the doctor if the vaccine coordinator can't get their brain around it. Serve them right for being so pedantic. Just make a doctors appointment.

I mean, do they want you to get vaccinated or not? It would be so bad to have another one three weeks later. Three weeks is within the reaction time for the first - I think it's the mumps element which waits that long to come out in reaction. For cripes sake don't do that. So the body's still struggling with the first and wham, along come another three.

Good luck.

worldgonecrazy Thu 02-Jun-11 13:43:30

There is no 'have to have' in vaccinations. You don't have to follow the exact timing set out in the NHS vaccinations schedule (which changes frequently anyway). Many GPs will kick up a stink because it is easier for them if all parents to exactly the same thing at the same time and they don't like any parent rocking the boat or questioning their authority.

There is a difference between a vaccine being unlicensed by the UK Government (still licensed in other countries) and a vaccine being unsafe. The Government has not been renewing licenses for single jabs to keep the pressure up for the triple jab.

I doubt your practice nurse is aware, but you should be, that the immune system doesn't start creating 'memory cells' until after one year old, so the immunity from vaccinations given pre one year old does not last very long. To avoid having to give lots of vaccines, in your situation, I would probably go for the single vaccine.

Gooseberrybushes Thu 02-Jun-11 13:51:53

actually I think when mmr was introduced it was "unlicensed" in Canada ie had been withdrawn for safety issues

so it's a bit strange for the govt to come over all unnecessary about licensing about this

MtnBikeChick Thu 02-Jun-11 13:55:25

Thanks for the advice everyone. I spoke with a medic friend this morning, and she agreed with my instinct which is to have the MMR at 11.5 months, then have a second one soon after he is 1 year old (so approx 13 months) and don't have the third, 15 month shot. My understanding is that the 15 month 'booster' is fairly new anyway - usually this would not be given until pre school, but it is being rolled out due to high number of measles cases.

Gooseberrybushes Thu 02-Jun-11 15:29:26

two shots by 15 months and a pre-school?

just how crap is this vaccine if you need that many shots?

bubbleymummy Thu 02-Jun-11 16:12:11

Mtnbike, are you saying that there are now 3 mmr vaccines being given before preschool? 13 months, 15 months and 3 years? That seems a bit excessive! I thought it was just 13 months and 3 years so I would have thought give this one as an 'early' 13 month jab and then just get the booster at 3 as normal. I really don't think it would be a good idea to get two close together like that. I think you should speak to a few more people about that schedule and have it confirmed. It really does seem a bit much to have 2 mmr vaccines within 2 months of each other!

bubbleymummy Thu 02-Jun-11 16:14:18

Sorry, I think the preschool one is given at 4 not 3.

exoticfruits Thu 02-Jun-11 16:43:16

I would stick with your instinct.

silverfrog Thu 02-Jun-11 16:52:18

I thought that the minimum recommneded time between doses was 3 months.

but I understand that this advice may have changed recently.

MtnBikeChick Thu 02-Jun-11 18:31:55

Yes in my area they seem to now be giving it at 12/13 months and then 15 months. They brought it in recently apparently...due to lots more measles cases as MMR uptake had gone down. So I think it depends on where you live. My understanding is that the 15 month replaces the pre-school. My GP told me on the phone today that when there was bad measles outbreaks they gave the two injections one month apart.

silverfrog Thu 02-Jun-11 18:42:25

I owuld be wary of giving them so close together, tbh.

the second dose is not a booster, as such. it is a second dose of the same vaccine, given to try to catch those who do not become immune following the first jab.

<this next bit is not a criticism of you. I understand your thoughts, as my dd2 is not vaccinated>

I am puzzled as to why, eg we are not seeing an urging of parents of 2 and 3 year olds to rush and get the second jab. I certainly have had no reminder about dd2's booster, which should be given around now. and those children are in the same position as your ds will be following his first jab - ie probably immune (failure rate of first dose up to 10% I understand), but may be in the small group not covered.

and so I don't understand why your ds woudl need the doses so close together, as it is not being urged for other parents of children in the "had one dose but not a booster yet" category, as far as I am aware.

MtnBikeChick Thu 02-Jun-11 18:52:40

A friend of mine (also in London) received a letter from her nursery this week urging them to get the second booster jab asap due to a measles case in the nursery, so it appears to be on the radar.

silverfrog Thu 02-Jun-11 18:56:23

yes, i could understand a letter re: close contact with an infectious child, as in at nursery etc.

but to blanket recommend it? I'm not so sure.

I think it was said earlier - I wouldnt go for a month apart purely due to the fact that the 3 bits of the mmr react at different times. by week 4 you are only just clearing (and possibly not at all if a slightly worse than average reaction) the third reaction time. and that doesn't make sense to me at all.

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