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The downside of MMR vs. singles

(25 Posts)
PigletJohn Tue 23-Apr-13 13:42:47

A question that occurred to me today (I have asked one person already but will throw it open)

if you are already immune to one or more of the diseases (as you may well be, especially if having boosters or having been exposed to it in the wild) what is the downside in receiving another vaccination against it?

If you are not immune to one or more of the diseases (as you may well not be, be since 100% immunity has never been guaranteed), what is the downside in receiving another vaccination against it?

LadyGranulomaFortesque Tue 23-Apr-13 13:53:13

In answer to your first question, the downside is that you are taking an extra risk. Every vaccine carries risk. It seems daft to expose yourself to increased risk if you already have immunity, no?

LadyGranulomaFortesque Tue 23-Apr-13 13:53:58

Ps to question one, why would anyone want to receive another vaccination if it was unnecessary?

PigletJohn Tue 23-Apr-13 13:57:25

Thank you lady. What is the risk that you mention, to Q1, in receiving another vaccination?

LadyGranulomaFortesque Tue 23-Apr-13 14:06:02

1/ The risk of having an adverse reaction, including allergic reactions, encephalitis/febrile convulsions/brain seizures, aseptic meningitis, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura etc.
2/ The risk of long-term complications not yet known about (if they exist but there is a risk that they do).

LadyGranulomaFortesque Tue 23-Apr-13 14:06:14

ps, you are very welcome.

PigletJohn Tue 23-Apr-13 14:16:52

Thanks again.

So in your view (remembering the title of this thread) one injection for MMR (which includes one disease to which you are already immune) carries greater risk of those events than two separate injections, for the two diseases to which you are not immune.

Is that correct?


LadyGranulomaFortesque Tue 23-Apr-13 14:24:30

Ah so question one was loaded? I hadn't realised. I was answering the actual question, not the implied one doh!

In actual fact, it depends upon which of the singles you are going to receive. So assuming you are immune to both Mumps and Rubella, but not Measles, then the risks involved in taking the single measles vaccine should theoretically be lower that taking the MMR, since you would then not be exposed to any of the risks associated with the other components, such as mumps meningitis.

So actually yes. In my view, that is correct.

PigletJohn Tue 23-Apr-13 14:33:33

No, the question is not loaded. The question is what it says.

The question does, for simplicity, say immunity to "one disease"

It does not say immunity to two diseases.

I see your revised answer is not to my question.

So, if you have immunity to one of the three diseases, and not to the other two, what is you considered answer?

PigletJohn Tue 23-Apr-13 14:36:14


on reflection, I see I did not word the question precisely enough.

So is your reply different depending on whether it is one disease or two?

LadyGranulomaFortesque Tue 23-Apr-13 14:40:43

My first response was to the question you posted.

My second response was to your clarified question.

The answer obviously applies whether you are immune to one or two of the diseases. If you are immune to just one of the three, then by taking two singles you are reducing your exposure to the risks that the element you are immune to carry. So if you are immune to mumps only, and take the MMR instead of the monovalent equivalents, then you are unnecessarily exposed to the risk of mumps meningitis and other effects of the mumps component.

In essence, the answer is the same but I have used examples of being immune to just one, instead of two, for your benefit.

PigletJohn Tue 23-Apr-13 14:44:49


sorry for my lack of clarity.

Are mumps meningitis and the other mumps effects a risk to people who are immune to mumps?

LadyGranulomaFortesque Tue 23-Apr-13 15:00:26

There is no research at all to show whether existing immunity precludes you from side effects relating to the mumps component (or any other for that matter), the only research available points to a slight risk with some MMR types and a higher risk for others, with existing immunity status not isolated as a factor.

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 16:57:32

lady granula

you say that if you have already had a vaccinnation against something and then have a booster, you are more at risk?

How would that be so?

Surely if you already had a vaccine and it made you immune, then having it again would have no affect because you were already immune.

Thats how I've been told it works.

How do you know having something you are already protected against makes you ill???

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 16:59:50

Lady Granula

something else - you said that you people could be at risk from meningitis from the mumps bit of the MMR.

But wasn't that the old MMR that isn't used anymore?

LadyGranulomaFortesque Tue 23-Apr-13 17:00:13

HugoBear - this is the second thread on which you have accused me of saying things I haven't said. Please read the thread.

Willowisp Tue 23-Apr-13 17:09:59

This is dd1 has had mumps, she hasn't had thr mmr jab.

Dd2 didn't catch mumps (also no MMR). Is it likely that she developed enough immunity from NOT catching mumps ?

Would it be unwise to immunize on this basis ?

LadyGranulomaFortesque Tue 23-Apr-13 17:22:46

It is true that mumps can be asymptomatic so your 2nd child could be immune, however, there is no evidence to support that and only a test for immunity could tell you either way.

It isn't unwise to immunise on that basis at all if you wish to vaccinate.

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 17:43:06

But Ladygranuloma - at the top of the thread (post number 2) you said "In answer to your first question, the downside is that you are taking an extra risk."

So i am asking what risk it is if you already have immunity to that bit of the vaccine?? confused

Tabitha8 Tue 23-Apr-13 18:19:17

Surely we'd need to examine the individual vaccinations to answer this question? Look at the ingredients and the risks, if any, associated with each?

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 19:38:23

Why would a booster have different ingrdients to the first jab?

Tabitha8 Wed 24-Apr-13 17:53:23

I have no idea if the MMR has the same ingredients as a single vaccination.
So, if I am immune to mumps and German Measles, would I be better off with a single measles jab or, looking at the ingredients, would the MMR be the same?

HugoBear Wed 24-Apr-13 19:25:32

From what I heard Tabitha, the MMR is just three separate things put together in the same vial.

A bit like how Anadin Extra is actually paracetamol, aspirin and caffiene. And I cant imagine that its a different type of aspirin than you would get on its own.

That's why I think a measles bit of an MMR must be the same as a measles-only jab. no-ones told me the opposite, even though I've asked the question lots of times.

And about getting ill from something youre already immune to, Ive been told thats not possible - because youre already immune to it and your immune system will beat it easier than it did last time. I have a lovely GP who explained immunity to me when I was worried about DD getting sick all the time as a toddler, and she's fine now.

HugoBear Wed 24-Apr-13 20:34:10

I just found out that the measles bit of an MMR is exactly the same strain as the measles in a single vaccine as imported from France!! The Schwartz strain! I love the internet! smile

Tabitha8 Sat 27-Apr-13 20:59:36

Same strain or same ingredients? Is it true that measles differs a bit depending on where we are? So, if someone has the MMR in Brazil, they might still catch measles in Europe?
(If that isn't true, please do pick yourself up off the floor when you have finished laughing. I won't be offended).

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