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Starting to have MMR doubts and panicking

(180 Posts)
SneezingwakestheJesus Thu 28-Mar-13 19:20:42

I had finally decided to give my dd the MMR and she has her appointment next week. But now I'm having doubts again and panicking. Her uncle has autism and his mum is utterly convinced it happened after the MMR. I know that study was a fake/discredited etc but I'm finding it hard to see past her, and other parents online, strong belief that the signs of autism appeared overnight in their children. And those recent court cases where parents were given compensation on the basis that the vaccines their children had may be linked to their condition worry me too.

What if some autism is caused by the vaccine in some way? What if there is a genetic predisposition to having autism and all it needs is a trigger? What if my dd has a genetic predisposition from that side of the family?

I know I sound paranoid but I'm really struggling with this. On one hand I could give her a vaccination that will protect her from diseases but isn't guaranteed not to harm her. On the other, I don't give her the vaccination but she may catch one of these diseases and may be ever worse off than if the vaccine did harm her. I'm so torn and muddled about it.

I just don't know what to do and I don't know what I expect from posting here but I can't talk to my family about it.

aufaniae Mon 01-Apr-13 08:09:49

Yes it's rubbish that you have to choose between two possibilities, both of which seem to have risk attached. But that's the way life is unfortunately. no intervention is 100% safe.

However, the risk of catching measles mumps or rubella is much higher than the risk of any vaccine damage.

The link between measles and death is proven and real.
The link between mumps and deafness, for example, is proven and real.
The link between rubella and birth defects, for example, is proven and real.

The link with autism is at best unproven, and at worst irresponsible scaremongering perpetuated as it sells papers/advertising space.

Vaccinating your DCs is less risky course of action to taken than not vaccinating.

The MMR saves lives. It's a no-brainer.

sashh Mon 01-Apr-13 08:18:09


I stand corrected.

However that case was not autism. Also only one of the doctors on the panel agreed that the epilepsy was triggered by the MMR, the other expert didn't.

This link is a more balanced approach.


PeopleCallMeChunk Mon 01-Apr-13 09:19:43

I can see you are struggling with the decision so I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but I am in Swansea where there is a big measles outbreak at the moment (400+ cases, 50+ hospitalised). Measles is a horrible illness, very infectious and with serious risks. I know of someone who was brain damaged after having it as a child (around my age, so I assume pre-MMR).

There are confirmed cases in DD1's school, DH's nephew has had it (too young to be immunised, siblings have had the jab) though thankfully he seems okay so far. DD2 is too young for the normal jab but is going to have an additional one which will give some limited protection.

Immunisation isn't totally effective and relies on herd immunity - I am angry that people's failure to immunise is putting my children at risk. I think people feel less guilty about negative action i.e. my child wasn't immunised but got measles, could have happened anyway versus I immunised my child and they were subsequently diagnosed with autism. No proof of a link but feelings of guilt for the parents who are searching for a reason and meaning. As others have said, there is no proof of a link between immunisation and autism - and people have been looking for this for a good while - but there are obvious and serious consequences for your own and other children if you decide not to immunise.

SneezingwakestheJesus Mon 01-Apr-13 15:08:25

Thank you the replies everybody, I do appreciate it. Does anyone know where I can find statistics about vaccine damage or the effects of these diseases? The most I can find is the figures the NHS provides about side effects but I don't know how to find statistics about children who are permanently damaged either from the vaccines or the diseases themselves. I can find the death rates year by year and I can find the statistics like a 1 in 15000 chance of becoming deaf from mumps but I can't find a record of how many children have become deaf year by year like the death rates iyswim? Would that type of statistic exist?

DuttyWine Mon 01-Apr-13 15:13:08

Will statistics really help you though? Maybe look for case studies or personal accounts if you need more information. Although I don't think you are going to find a single piece of information that will change your mind and help you. People have said it all on here and it doesn't seem to be helping you. If your aunt didnt feel the way she does would you have the same fears?

MewlingQuim Mon 01-Apr-13 15:20:04

When the mmr scare happened my DM was adamant that it was responsible for my brothers autism, how he had been fine and then had the jab and his behaviour changed.

I pointed out to her that he was vaccinated years before the mmr vaccination existed. DM was blush

I will be giving DD the mmr vaccine.

SneezingwakestheJesus Mon 01-Apr-13 15:45:10

Its not my aunt. Its my dd's uncle (her dads brother) who is autistic and his mother who believes it triggered her sons autism. I wouldn't have fears about the MMR triggering autism if there was no autism on either side of the family. I read about a theory that some forms of autism are genetic and could be triggered by anything or never triggered at all. It worries me that dd could be triggered by the MMR the same way her uncles mum believed it was triggered that way for him.

I would like to read statistics so I can be more informed about how dangerous these diseases are. So, yes, if they provide me with more information then they will help me into deciding either way. I'm not trying to convince myself into giving the MMR or trying to convince myself not to, I'm just worried that I'm going to regret the choice either way so trying to find out as much as I can.

bruffin Mon 01-Apr-13 15:52:07

Sneezing info here

IOM looked at evidence for causality for lots of vaccines here

risk of disease against vaers reported vaccine side effects

This may help WHO approved websites

There is also studies done in Japan where the stopped MMR and the autism rate went up.

Also none of the Wakefield cases were fine one day and autistic the next. Their medical records are discussed in the gmc prosecution also info available on the Brian Deer website.

and finally there is something call Recall Bias where people are desperate to find a cause, so their memories make events closer and closer so it appears one event causes another.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 01-Apr-13 15:58:56

Op I feel your pain. My older DD seemed to change after her MMR and she's 8 now and "kind of" spectrumy but not enough for a diagnosis. We got DD2 done and saw a slight change which could of course be her age not the MMR...however...we've not had DD2s booster done and we won't be.

aufaniae Mon 01-Apr-13 17:03:10

Just to be sure on this, how old is your DD's uncle btw?

SneezingwakestheJesus Mon 01-Apr-13 17:12:29

Thank you for those links bruffin. Will have a nosy through them when my brain is in gear smile I hadn't heard of recall bias before and that would fit in the scenario of a parent desperately trying to find a reason for their child regressing. Lots to think about there thanks!

Neo, would you mind me asking how soon after the MMR you noticed changes?

Aufanaie, dd's uncle is nineteen.

SimLondon Tue 02-Apr-13 22:24:18

Eek, same thing keeps coming up on this board. If you are at all worried about the mmr then pay approx £100 a time to have the separate vaccines. Measles is the important one so start with that, mumps is very mild - most people don't even know they have it and the vaccine is at best 60-75% effective.

SimLondon Tue 02-Apr-13 22:31:34

Btw if you do need to claim compensation or care for vaccine damage from the government then you can do it on their website https://www.gov.uk/vaccine-damage-payment/overview

bruffin Wed 03-Apr-13 08:38:35

Yes Sim hmm
I suggest if any one wants to know the risk of Mumps they look at the links i gave. Why would you pay a £100 for an unliscenced vaccine that is no safer. The only people who recommend single vaccines profit from selling single vaccines. Even Andrew Wakefield had a patent for a single measles vaccine long before he declared that mmr was unsafe at the news conference.

Sooty7 Thu 04-Apr-13 06:38:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tabitha8 Thu 04-Apr-13 14:21:14

Presumably, Sooty that info isn't being collected. It certainly doesn't appear to be being reported anywhere.

CatherinaJTV Fri 05-Apr-13 08:21:47

Tabitha - if you are interested - call them. I called the HPA last summer and got all measles info I wanted. It will end up in Eurosurveillance with about half a year delay after the end of the outbreak anyway. No conspiracy ;)

NorthernLurker Fri 05-Apr-13 08:29:26

It never ceases to amaze me that people will find anecdote and suspicion SO persuasive but the known facts that measles kills children and MMR protects against measles carry so little weight hmm.

OP - if you're looking for 100% guarantees, sorry there are NONE in life at all for anything but you give your child the best chance of a long and healthy life with vaccinations. That's good enough for me.

coorong Sat 06-Apr-13 12:04:14

look, if you know one person who smoked and lived to their nineties would you say "it's safe" - no, you'd probably look at all the evidence and realise that they're lucky.

I had mumps as a 13 year old (before the vaccination) and it was horrible. I also met a paralympian who'd lost her leg and part of her arm from septicemia (sp?) following measles as a child. So you can sample individuals or you can sample overall evidence.
And a close friend lost her 6 month old to meningitis (prior to the vaccines).

Both my daughters were vaccinated without hesitation. The anti-vaccine lobby makes me furious, it feeds of people's fears by putting doubt in your mind. It's like pro-smoking lobby in the 70s funded by the tobacco industry.

And if you think it's big pharma against the common man think again. Who do you think owns and makes money from all these herbal remedies etc? they're not owned by mum/dad shops, they're often the same companies with a different name.

Tabitha8 Sat 06-Apr-13 17:16:18

The pro-vaccine lobby feeds on people's fears. Of disease.

AryaUnderfoot Sat 06-Apr-13 22:03:35

For very good reason, Tabitha.

Childhood diseases lead to all sorts of complications that can vary in severity from febrile convulsions and scarring to severe disability or death. In the last two years, three of my friends have spent the night in hospital with their DCs following febrile convulsions from relatively mild childhood diseases. I am not the most amazingly popular person in the universe - I don't have huge numbers of friends.

Have you ever sat with your child in an Intensive Care Unit? I have. It was a truly horrible experience, and one I never wish to repeat. If a vaccination can even halve the chance of me ever having to do that again (and I really don't believe there is any evidence to suggest vaccinations cause long-term harm) it is worth it.

Tabitha8 Sun 07-Apr-13 14:43:49

I'm not suggesting that we ought not to use vaccinations. However, the point is, we all have the choice as to how we wish to proceed. It is not for one group to try to scare witless the other group.

bruffin Sun 07-Apr-13 15:04:54

How is quoting rates of complications scaring someone witless. I only see scaremongering on abtivaccination websites

Tabitha8 Sun 07-Apr-13 15:11:11

Ha, ha, ha. You would say that. When someone comes on TV and talks about how dangerous something like Mumps is, I call that scaremongering. You'd probably call it perfectly reasonable, would you? This argument could run and run.

MrsHerculePoirot Sun 07-Apr-13 15:29:58

Tabitha - it is reasonable as there is clear medical evidence of the dangers of these diseases. There is no evidence of a link to autism, so yes there is a difference.

There is money to be made by some anti-mmr people/sites etc as parents will potentially pay for the single vaccines or other woo non-evidence based herbal solutions in an web worse case scenario.

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