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had the MMR and still caught rubella - is this possible?

11 replies

StripyMouse · 23/05/2004 22:50

Just been on the phone to my sister in law, monaing about my DD1 catching chicken pox (sorry to mention it again). She told me that her boy (3 years old too) has just recovered from catching German Measles. I was surprised to hear this he had his MMR jab "on time" - are they still vulnerable to these diseases then until they have the follow on MMR at 4 years, have they misdiagnosed him or is his case rare? Just wondering if any of you know. Sorry if this seems a daft question, genuinely surprised by this one and it has got me wondering, can?t find any info about vulnerability between jabs on the internet anywhere..

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StripyMouse · 23/05/2004 23:02

no one out there with any knowledge on this one? ok will check tomorrow as it will bug me now!

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essbee · 23/05/2004 23:06

Message withdrawn

Ronny · 23/05/2004 23:06

The ds of one of my friends had all three after his first MMR, - not at the same time fortunately - it can happen apparently. Here in Holland at the moment there are big discusions about the whooping cough vaccine, the one used here no longer gives enough protection. The one used in most of the rest of Europe is fine.

StripyMouse · 23/05/2004 23:14

essbee, don?t know if she took him to the GP, presumed so but didn?t specifically ask as we were busy discussing the MMR and went off topic somewhat.
Ronny - that is so seriously unlucky - hope he was ok after that, poor lad. What a raw deal

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Weatherwax · 23/05/2004 23:49

The NHS website says that the MMR is not effective in 5 to 10% of cases. Thats the reason why they do the second jab.

Can't do links but see

Marina · 24/05/2004 09:57

The reason why the booster is given at 4 or so is apparently that the MMR is only about 80% effective first time round (ie, that of 100 children given it on time, only 80 will have permanent immunity from the three illnesses).
Well, that's what I was told by my HV after I quizzed her closely about why ds was being pressed to have the MMR booster (he didn't in the end). That's a bigger percentage than Weatherwax gives, but the HV may have been exaggerating to scare me, she knows we are single vaccine parents.
I wonder whether the rubella vaccine is less effective than many full stop (Jimjams?). A child at ds' nursery had the MMR and caught rubella the following year, like your nephew Stripymouse.
And I had the single rubella vaccine at 12, like a lot of women my age, but a chance discussion with my GP when I was TTC led to me getting my immunity checked and it had lapsed. So I had to be redone and wait 3 months before trying to TTC again. I think it's a fairly inefficient vaccine for some reason.

aloha · 24/05/2004 10:04

According to Sense, the deaf/blind charity, the vaccine just doesn't seem to take for some people which is a good argument for herd immunity IMO. My ds had single jabs btw.

Jimjams · 24/05/2004 10:26

Quite common for rubella not to work. Got some stats somewhere which give a very wide variation on extimation of efficiacy.

DS1 caught rubella from someone who had been vaccinated. In fact he spread it everywhere as his mum assumed (fairly enough) that it couldn't be rubella as her ds had had the MMR.

Don't think its notifiable- I know 5 kids who have had rubella in the last few years and I don't think any of them have been notified.

BTW its not really that there's vulnerability between boosters its just that vaccines are never 100% effective. Things like pertussis are often reckoned to only be about 80% effective (so doesn't work in 20% of the cases).

dinosaur · 24/05/2004 10:35

This reply has been withdrawn

This has been withdrawn by MNHQ at the poster's request.

Jimjams · 24/05/2004 10:37

OK this is from Neudstadter- which is the most reliable vaccine book imo.,

"The protective effect of rubella vaccine has been estimated as 77% in one study (hough et al 1979 (thats from journal of family practice). A continuing concern is the gradual reduction in an individual's antibody titer folliwng rubella vaccination. The effectiveness of the vaccine may decrease, so that women who were not susceptible as children become susceptible as adults. IN fact the disease has shifted to older age groups. During the 3 year period before vaccine licensure (1966-1968) 23 % of rubella cases occurred among persons of 15 years or older. IN 1987 48 % of cases occurred in persons 15 or more years. Serologic surveys of postpubertal populations have found that rates of rubella susceptibility are comparible to the prevaccine years (10 to 20 percent lack evidence of immunity - Crowder et al 1987, Bart et al 1985). The proposed solution to this problem of shifting age occurrence has again been to revaccinate susceptible women of childbearing age".

The moral of that of course being that whilst actual numbers of rubella have been brought down by vaccination, there's still plenty of susceptible adults out there, sao if you have a dd educate her to get her immunity checked once she gets to childbearing age.

Oh and never let anyone give you a rubella jab when you are pregnant (don't think they do this anyway) or breastfeeding. It's been linked to all sorts of nasties.

StripyMouse · 24/05/2004 12:34

thaks guys - will ring my SIL up and pass on this thread info to her as I know she was interested. I had no idea the failure rate for the vaccine was so high or that the second jab was to cover this failure rate to a degree. I thought it was a "booster" type second dose to bring them "up to strength" - shows how ignorant I am about these things despite what has seemed like loads of reading and research. Those stats are frightening - 1 in 10, or even 1 in 20 not being covered when they think they are ok. No wonder they do a routine blood test at start of pregnancy to determine antibodies regardless of vaccination. I think there should be more done to make sure women trying to conceive are aware of these type of risks and are offered an antibody test prior to TTC as it is too late to do much once they are pregnant other than worry them - we all know a lot of these bugs are most infectious before the physical symptoms so being vigilant isn?t enough. My mum caught rubella when pregnant with my youngest sister and caused her so much stress, worry and guilt - as well as being ill herself and having a sick, prem baby (fully recovered, no lasting side effects).
Thanks for all your posts - food for thought.

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