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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.

MrsHerculePoirot Sun 07-Apr-13 15:30:50

Sry iPhone 'helping' me write!

isitsnowingyet Sun 07-Apr-13 15:35:41

Could you have each one administered separately? This was possible 4 years ago in Manchester as a friend of mine had concerns re: the combined vaccine. It might be an option worth looking into if you're very worried.

aufaniae Sun 07-Apr-13 15:44:19

It's not scaremongering if you are reporting fact.
If something is genuinely dangerous, being scared of it is a reasonable response I'd say!

I've found that the anti-vac people I know are woefully short of info on the potential harm from the actual diseases. One mum I know refused to get her son vaccinated, she could reel off all sorts of info about what she though the dangers of vaccines were, but she didn't think that measles could be a killer. She was basing her info on measles on her memory of friends getting it when little and it not being a problem.

I have another anti-vac friend who said she was going to skip getting a tetanus jab as it made her eczema flare up. She then told me she'd rather get tetanus than eczema shock That's just ridiculous! Eczema is a horrible thing to get.

I wouldn't consider myself to be in a "pro-vaccine lobby". I consider myself to be in a "pro-science" or "pro-rational thought" lobby! When people started talking about MMR being dangerous I was open minded as to whether it was true. I did my own research, the info is easily available now, and came to the conclusion (along with anyone rational IMO!) that the MMR is much safer than not vaccinating. I also found out along the way about some risks associated with vaccinating that I didn't know about before, they were news to me. However I fail to see how anyone who has genuinely looked at the figures, the facts on the dangers of the diseases the MMR prevents, and articles in reputable scientific journals about vaccinating could fail to come to anything but the conclusion that vaccinating is the saftest course of action for the vast majority of DCs.

I think many people have a problem with critical thinking, they're simply not used to having to construct or pull apart proper logical arguments. It's how the politicians get away with so much spin! It's a shame, as the wool is being pulled over people's eyes, but it's not by the government here!

Tabitha8 Sun 07-Apr-13 16:18:50

I told you the argument could run and run.

As to the "dangers of the diseases that MMR prevents" - that is scaremongering. How dangerous would it be for my child to get German measles? Or mumps?
I could quote you dozens of people who had measles when little but are fine. Of course it's a nasty disease, I'm not saying it isn't. It has the potential to kill. It very rarely does so.

As for autism, I never mentioned that in the same sentence as MMR.

Single jabs are available, but not for mumps, if anyone is interested.

AryaUnderfoot Sun 07-Apr-13 16:48:51

I, personally, know one person who was left blind following childhood measles - although I don't know if it was rubella or measles.

My sister worked with someone who was blind and partially deaf as a result of their mother catching rubella when pregnant.

I also know one person who had a very severe bacterial secondary infection as a result of chicken pox. She was in intensive care for several days, and it was touch-and-go whether or not she would live.

The scars on her chest and back are the size of two-pence coins.

Childhood diseases can be very serious.

aufaniae Sun 07-Apr-13 20:02:41

Here's a great blog post on vaccines.

Tabitha I'd be particularly interested to hear your views on it.

An open letter to my dad on the occasion of his recent anti-vax Facebook postings

zirca Mon 08-Apr-13 13:31:19

We have aspergers tendencies in our family, along with a history of bowel problems and allergies (crohns, coeliac, eczema etc). I also reacted very badly to MMR, even though I had it much later. I did some reading after having DC and it appears that the original study simply said that they examined SOME children with regressive autism, and some without. Those with regressive autism all had measles virus in the lymph nodes etc in their gut. Those without did not. The question then was, how did it get there (MMR), why did those children not manage to fight off the attenuated measles strain, rather just keeping it at bay. That was never investigated.

As someone with a biology degree, I'd say that if the findings of that study were to be true for all children with regressive autism, they'd likely be the children that would die if they caught measles - after all, if their bodies cannot fully fight off the attenuated strain in the vaccine, they would stand no chance with the full blown disease. The risk factors would be the same as found in the initial study - impaired immune function at the time of the vaccine e.g. already being ill, family history of abnormal immune system (autoimmune problems, allergies etc). The reasoning then behind single vaccines would be that you are hitting the immune system with less at once, and giving the body more of a chance to succeed in fighting off that strain fully. I'm not sure yet what we will do, but one possibility would be having the measles and rubella vaccs singly, blood test to see how well it has taken, then the booster MMR just before school age. DC would have had a chance to build some immunity to the single vaccines, so should not then be in the category of children who might have problems with the MMR. But who knows to be honest. It it something we will discuss with our doctor and take from there.

bruffin Mon 08-Apr-13 13:54:25

they did not find measles virus in the lymph nodes

Tabitha8 Mon 08-Apr-13 17:30:49

aufaniae I'm sure I'd like Tara's father.

As for Brian Deer, I saw a Youtube video with him in it and thought at first that he was a doctor. Silly me.

NewMumOnline Thu 11-Apr-13 11:50:12

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

CatherinaJTV Thu 11-Apr-13 12:13:49

NewMum - Natural News as a source? Really hmm

It is completely disingenuous to link to a German text from 1980. In Germany, the MMR (usually Priorix) is recommended at 11-14 months (first MMR) and 15 to 24 months (second MMR) and vaccination rates are a) high and b) still increasing. What was stopped in about 1977 was the use of single measles vaccine (and from that time, the MMR was used). These days, measles in Germany break out in pockets of non-vaccination, usually in Steiner schools or daycares and when they do, those "corn-fed" children get as ill with as many complications, including encephalitis and death, as the average omnivorous, non-supplemented German child.

NewMumOnline Fri 12-Apr-13 00:14:36

Thank you for your reply and your comment on my blog. I'd love to hear from one of those "corn-fed" parents to hear whether they agree with you :-(

CatherinaJTV Fri 12-Apr-13 09:41:58

I talked to some of the children and I do follow outbreak reports which identify the index case and pattern of spread, as well as complications. You will still find parents who think that it was just great that their kids got measles, but that doesn't change the fact of very high complication rates (otitis and/or pneumonia in as many as 10% alone).

JennyEx Wed 17-Apr-13 14:44:14

"Its hard knowing that either way if anything bad happens, its my fault."

Things, both good and bad, happen by accident. That simple fact may be harder to accept - and more frightening - than the notion that you're in control of all outcomes, and bear fault for them. We are creatures who draw connections and see patterns in all sorts of things - but as the man said, just because you kill a goat in the field every year doesn't make the crops grow!

We make decisions, deal with the consequences and life goes on. It may well be that there's an increased chance (through genetic predisposition) that your child will register somewhere on the autism spectrum; all indications are that any such inherited factors are pretty minimal. And as was said above, diagnostic sensitivity is increasing these days.

On the flip side, there is an increasingly dangerous environment for children where measles, mumps and rubella are concerned due to an increased fraction of parents who were frightened away from vaccinating their children.

If you are uncertain then seek the advice of an expert - but only if you're actually going to listen to their advice; otherwise you are needlessly creating more angst for yourself.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 17-Apr-13 15:06:32

I find it interesting that approximately 10% of those reported to have measles in Wales have been hospitalised. A figure that does bear out the quoted rates of complication.

Tabitha8 Wed 17-Apr-13 17:56:08

10% is quite staggering, isn't it? If we had 100,000 infections over two or three years, we'd be sending 10,000 to hospital. Is it because we've just forgotten how to deal with measles or did we just never learn?

Why do so many get complications, is really my point.

CatherinaJTV Wed 17-Apr-13 18:29:31

Measles virus infection suppresses the immune system, leading to a lot of opportunistic infections (otitis and pneumonia most frequently) in addition to the very high fevers, and diarrhea that many get.

Tabitha8 Thu 18-Apr-13 19:01:24

So, why doesn't everyone get complications? Or do they, but most don't end up in hospital?

bumbleymummy Thu 18-Apr-13 19:53:52

There's a big difference between an ear infection and pneumonia - why are these being out together?

bumbleymummy Thu 18-Apr-13 19:54:29


bumbleymummy Thu 18-Apr-13 19:56:07

Perhaps high rate of hospitalisation are due to people being overly cautious - particularly if it's in a young child.

Tabitha8 Thu 18-Apr-13 20:07:20

So, do we know the ages of those sent to hospital? I've obviously Googled and obviously got nowhere.

QueenOfCats Thu 18-Apr-13 20:11:44

I too dismissed the MMR/autism link, until I witnessed the overnight (and it was literally overnight) change in my friend's ds.

CPtart Thu 18-Apr-13 20:21:52

There are no higher rates of autism in children that have had the MMR than those that haven't.

Tabitha8 Thu 18-Apr-13 20:23:41

Which does not prove that the MMR was not responsible for a case of autism, does it?

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