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Measles, Mumps, Rubella singles - are they safer?

(32 Posts)
CuppaTeaJanice Fri 12-Jun-09 15:22:02

DS is due for his injections in the next few weeks so I'm trying to sort through the information (and misinformation!) on the internet before deciding what to do.

On many of the threads on mumsnet it seems that anyone who doesn't trust the MMR for any reason is choosing the single vaccinations on the assumption that they are the safe option.

Given that a. All vaccines carry a tiny risk, and singles require 3 times the number of injections as MMR, and b. A Japanese study found the levels of ASD rose significantly after government policy changed from giving MMR to singles (from an article in the New Scientist), I wondered why the single jabs are seen as a risk-free, if expensive, alternative to the MMR.

I'm hoping somebody might have some info on this - to be honest the whole subject is really scaring me.


hf128219 Fri 12-Jun-09 15:24:24

Well in my opinion 3 jabs in one are a lot for a tiny body to cope with.

CuppaTeaJanice Fri 12-Jun-09 15:49:16

The jabs they have when they are tiny immunise against about 6 different diseases in one though - Diptheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough, Polio, Hib and Meningococcal C or Pneumococcal. Or is it different with measles, mumps & rubella?

jabberwocky Fri 12-Jun-09 15:52:21

We did singles. I agree with hf128219.

lljkk Sat 13-Jun-09 08:21:48

What cuppaTeaJanice said.

OP also might want to check whether aluminium salts (which are meant to heighten immune system response) are still used in the singles, and which exact preservatives are used in which ever (MMR or singles) that are on offer. Then you'd have to check the safety info for the various ingredients. And try somehow to figure out which choice (no jabs, singles, MMR) might possibly be that much obviously safer than the other choices.

The singles are hard to get, expensive, and in my case, would have involved a day's travel to get there and back for each one (not available at local surgery because of licensing).

Also, read up on what the diseases are like, not just for the affected child but for the parents too (look at Spidermama's recent thread). With singles the child is unprotected for longer so more chance child might get the relevant diseases.

Or you could just give up on all the research and go for MMR because it's easy to get and very unlikely to be that much riskier than the other options.

OlympedeGouges Mon 15-Jun-09 09:42:47

The problem with the Japanese study is that they were supposed to be giving the singles a month apart but in reality often gave them on the same day. However I was only aware of the study that concluded autism stats did not change with the intro of singles. I did not know ASD cases were claimed to go up. Could you possibly link to the article?

buzzybee Mon 15-Jun-09 09:51:53

I think the issue with singles is that in recent years they have been much less tested so it is very hard to say whether they are safe. MMR has been extensively tested so the risks are well known. So the question is whether you'd rather go with very small but known risks or unknown risks (which may be more or less than MMR but we really don't know).

OlympedeGouges Mon 15-Jun-09 10:17:01

well single measles vaccine was used from the seventies until MMR was introduced in the nineties so has a long record of use.

CuppaTeaJanice Mon 15-Jun-09 14:37:14

the article

...hope I've done that right!!

Still very confused over the whole issue...changing my mind every day!

Peachy Mon 15-Jun-09 14:52:53

DS4 is having single measles on Thursday.

It's a difficult decision to make, really. We're one of the few famillies who have actually witnessed a post MMR regression in a child. I know the med types would say that it was chance, I beleive they are wrong.I also beleive that we have a ery complex genetic make up that led to it happening (we also have another child with asd) and as such are a special case.

Its a balancing act; we happen to live near a measles outbreak and we'renot willing to expose ds4 to that, though I do believe that it would be better for us to take the risk than have MMR. Even if ds4 was OK with the jab, there would a massive associated stress element that I think would be horrible. DH ahs had mental health issues before and is well ATM, I know that the rsik of him having ne illness triggered by the MMR and the associated worries would be higher than the risk of measles.

Measles may not be a given for safety but it's the best choice we have been ale to make, short of winning the euromillions and buying an otherwise- uninhabited Island to raise ds4 on.

It's not that expensive BTW, £110, I've seen figures of up to £600 on here, that's one jab. He'll have rubella in the autumn. Our clinic recommends 6 weeks minimum between vaccinations.

A big negative of singles is that there is currently no mumps jab about, so we will end up giving ds4 Mums if he has neither had access to a single not developed the illness by puberty.

So the thing is it's a personal decision, based on the situation of your family. I fully expected a blasting for leaving runbella until autumn from my Mum as she lost a baby to rubella damage, even she can understand why we're doing it this way. Though ds4 will even then only be 18 months, many who ahve the MMR are still getting that at that age.

Good luck with your decision.

paisleyleaf Mon 15-Jun-09 14:55:47

Yeah, you will be changing your mind every day smile
and every reply on here will be different, and probably won't help much either.
When I looked into it for my own DD I decided that singles did not seem so safe.
(she is fit and healthy - my DD has no health issues/immune system problems.......if things were otherwise I might've felt differently).

No country in the world recommends single vaccines
(the UK is unique with the MMR scare story we've had)
Some single vaccines are though available for special circumstances in some European countries.....but it worries me that some of these keep getting banned, sometimes because the particular strain may cause a type of meningitis, sometimes because they just dont work, and that one from Czech that we couldn't transport and store safely.

I think the main implications, for me, about unlicensed vaccines is that at least the MMR has been thoroughly investigated.
Being unlicensed the singles haven't been....

they don't really know how long to wait between the 6 injections
it's experimental so they guess it.
(It might seem unkind to put LOs through 6 jabs, when they can be better protected with just 2)
Then the waiting inbetween leaves the child vulnerable to the diseases for longer (babyjabs recommend 6 mths between each jab)
as after the first injection the child has no immunity to the 2 other diseases
this would have the same effect as reducing the proportion of children immunised
increasing the risk to themselves and other children.

The manufacture and storage methods would be a concern to me
(the 'C temperatures kept while in transit to UK etc)
as well as wanting to understand about all the different strains offered.

There have been a few (it is a very few, but enough to be noticed) cases of anaphylactic shock
after single vaccines given at private clinics in SW England

Single vaccines which are being imported have no evidence to show that they are either safe,
or that they work in preventing the disease for which they are intended.
There are no health benefits from using the single vaccines. Parents ask for the singles because of the stories they have heard about MMR....not because there is any evidence that single vaccines are safer.

Thats what I came up with when I looked into it around the time my DD was due MMR and I looked into the single jabs anyway.
If you do decide to go down the singles route, the Health Protection Agency reccomend that you ask......
*exactly which vaccine you are being offered
*when and where that vaccine was tested
*what the results of those tests were in terms of the safety, potency and purity of the
*what post vaccination follow-up of your child is being offered by the clinic.

Mumps has never been licensed as a single vaccine.
And they are not all the same strains as the MMR

Peachy Mon 15-Jun-09 15:01:40

Whilst I am certain that most of the info in that link from paisley (OK not certain but assume), it'sworth noting there is at best debate about whether wakefields work has been entirely dsicredited- I would suggest the OP read some of the threads on here to form her own opinion, I especially recommend posts by saintlydamemrsturnip as I am aware of her Scientific background not just from MN sources, but there are others on there I have massive respect for also.

paisleyleaf Mon 15-Jun-09 17:13:50

(I've not mentioned Wakefield Peachy).
As I say, my DD is in good health, and we have no genetic concerns/bowel issues etc within the family. So really felt the MMR was the safest option for her.
In your position I'm sure I'd do the same as you.
I have worked with a couple of adults with disabilities due to vaccine damage, so I'm by no means disregarding that it happens.

Peachy Mon 15-Jun-09 17:51:48

Oh no,the article you linked to did though pais- so0rry if I didn't make that clear blush

OlympedeGouges Mon 15-Jun-09 18:17:56

'If you do decide to go down the singles route, the Health Protection Agency reccomend that you ask......
*exactly which vaccine you are being offered
*when and where that vaccine was tested
*what the results of those tests were in terms of the safety, potency and purity of the
*what post vaccination follow-up of your child is being offered by the clinic.'

LOLOL. Sorry PaisleyLeaf, I know you're being sincere, but have you ever tried to ask the same questions about any of the infant jabs, including MMR, at your local practice? They wouldn't have a clue.

paisleyleaf Mon 15-Jun-09 18:24:19

The health protection agency have asked for us in that circumstance though
hence the liscence.

Beachcomber Mon 15-Jun-09 23:53:31

Paisleyleaf your post of 14.55 is so full of misinformation that it is difficult to know where to begin addressing it.

Can't work up the energy right now but suffice to say that the MMR is not only controversial in the UK there is huge controversy and debate in the US and there are 5000 families involved in litigation which implicates MMR and other vaccines in their children's regressive autism.

You mention in a vague manner vaccines being banned because they cause meningitis. You do realise that the most well known vaccine to have been withdrawn in recent times for causing meningitis was the Urabe strain MMR vaccine don't you?

As for mumps never being licensed, well words fail me. The single mumps vaccine was first licensed in 1967. The disease strains used in the single vaccines are the same as those used in Merck's MMRII.

Package insert for MMRII including info on virus strains

for some info on single vaccines including the strains used which are exactly the same as in the MMR

Cuppatea there is an interesting article here which examines the Japanese study you refer to.

Beachcomber Tue 16-Jun-09 00:00:28

Sorry have just reread and realise above post not clear. Was refering to mumps and rubella strains. Measles varies from one manufacturer to another.

nappyaddict Tue 16-Jun-09 01:35:11

As you say all vaccines carry risk. I know someone from a different forum who gave her child that single measles jab (rouvax) and nearly died from meningitis.

Beachcomber Tue 16-Jun-09 09:15:43

I think one of the problems here is that it is very difficult to get accurate safety information on either the single vaccines or the MMR.

Since the government is intent on pushing MMR it seems obvious that problems with single vaccines are much more likely to get publicity than problems with the triple vaccine.

The whole business with licenses appears very political when you consider that the single mumps vaccine made by Merck is actually a component of its MMR.

A bit of info on the political angle saying as it is curiously hard to find much on safety/efficacy

On a practical level I think Dr Halverson's clinic Babyjabs has clear information on single jabs. The FAQ section will probably be of interest to you. I know quite a few MNers have had contact with Dr Halverson and they report back that they were very happy with him.

Let's remember also that until the MMR patented mumps vaccination was not recommended at all in the UK and rubella was offered only to teenage girls who tested negative for rubella immunity.

Beachcomber Tue 16-Jun-09 09:23:55

sorry until the MMR was patented.

paisleyleaf Tue 16-Jun-09 09:45:01

"As for mumps never being licensed, well words fail me. The single mumps vaccine was first licensed in 1967"

Oops. I mean in the UK.
(It was licensed in the States in 1967 apparently).

CuppaTeaJanice Tue 16-Jun-09 12:43:50

Thankyou for all your posts. Lots of information to take in, and not making my decision any easier!!!!

Peachy (and any others affected) - I'm so sorry to hear about your child's regressive asd. Do you mind if I ask (and please don't feel you have to answer) in general terms about the genetic makeup that you mentioned. Do you mean other older members of the family (apart from your other child) have asd or similar conditions? Thought this might help people identify possible signs for adverse reactions to MMR.

Beachcomber - do you have any info on the other vaccines involved in the 5000 American litigation cases? Do they include the single measles, mumps & rubella vaccines?

I agree, it's a bit suspicious about the mumps shortage.

Beachcomber Tue 16-Jun-09 22:26:05

From what I can make out the litigation relates to MMR and thimerosal containing vaccines but I haven't done a search on singles specifically.

lljkk Wed 17-Jun-09 12:45:26

CuppaTea, the theory is that if the child has a family background of autoimmune disorders (like Type I diabetes, lupus, leukemia maybe) or a family history of bowel disorders or autistic/ASD type conditions, then the child may be more vulnerable to vaccine damage. 1st born male children seem to be considered more vulnerable, too. Also children with eczema, I think (Maybe?).

It's a widely promoted set of ideas on MN about who the most at-risk children are, but I've never seen/heard it discussed anywhere else.

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