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General health

MMR jab

37 replies

LiamsMum · 26/05/2002 01:58

I was reading yesterday that a lot of British women are refusing to allow their children to have the MMR jab (measles mumps rubella). Is this true or are some of you still having it done? I know there has been a lot of controversy about a supposed connection between MMR jabs and autism, but I didn't think anything had been proven. It certainly is a worry though... I agonised over the decision for quite a while but finally decided to have my son immunised, that was a year ago and I haven't seen any adverse effects at all. I'm just wondering if anyone has actually experienced problems after the MMR injection.

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susanmt · 26/05/2002 07:42

We had it done (as all immunisations). No ill effects. My dh is a doctor and has seriously looked into the research - there is no proven link with either Autism or Bowel problems, it is all based on the research of one man (a Dr. Andrew Wakefield) who did research on tiny numbers of people which don't really count. The journal that published his initial research has been reprimanded by the medical profession for publishing an article that was so vague.
The thing is that Autism often shows up at around 13 - 18 months, when a perfectly normal toddler becomes withdrawn and is diagnosed as Autistic, and this is the time the jag is given at. There has been a rise in Autism, although that was happening before the MMR was introduced, and it is thought that better diagnosis could have something to do with it. That is not the only reason they think, but so much money is going into researching this (unproven) link with the MMR jab that real research into Autism isn't taking place.
My dd had the jag, my ds will too. Funnily enough, the only Autistic person I know is my brother, and he had a really bad reaction to the single vaccines (back before MMR was introduced.)
I feel quite strongly about this, and I am sure there are others who are going to feel strongly the other way - any forum I have ever discussed this on has got quite vehement and even personal!! Hope this doesn't happen here.

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LiamsMum · 26/05/2002 08:51

Didn't know there'd been previous discussions on this - hopefully this won't cause any major disagreements!! It's just a subject that I've been wondering about for a while. Thanks for your response susanmt, it's interesting to hear what others think about it.

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bundle · 26/05/2002 10:26

I couldn't agree more with susanmt..dd had hers at 15mths (good job I didn't do it as planned at 13 mths, as she had undiagnosed chickenpox!), no ill effects. I remember being very sick with measles when I was about 3yo - rheumatic joints etc - and although the anecdotal cases you see of autism are very distressing, the research just doesn't support Wakefield's claims. He himself spent 4 yrs at the Royal Free trying to replicate his own work on a very narrow group of children (ie those with bowel disease and/or autism) and couldn't. you need to do a big study on the general population to work out cause/effect & all the big studies have shown no link.
having said all that I didn't go skipping off to the clinic for dd's jab...I asked my hv for something to read and she gave me a very good pack of stuff the health authority (city/islington/hackney) had put together on the research and faqs.

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LiamsMum · 26/05/2002 12:41

Sorry everyone for starting up this topic again, I've just discovered the other thread regarding the same subject, dated 22nd May. Guess I should've joined in with that discussion!! It does seem to be a very controversial topic though doesn't it.

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star · 26/05/2002 19:19

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Tinker · 26/05/2002 19:27

star - from what I recall, his research found that there was evidence of measles but it could have come from MMR, single vaccines or measles itself. In fact, I'm pretty sure that in the Panorama programme, he admitted that some of the children in his study had had the single vaccine.

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star · 26/05/2002 19:57

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lou33 · 26/05/2002 20:01

Can anyone explain to me why if the mmr jab is safe why my ds aged 15 months has been told to hold off having it because he might have had some seizures a few months ago? Not being antagonistic, just genuinely curious.

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star · 26/05/2002 20:28

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SofiaAmes · 26/05/2002 21:08

lou33, you should probably ask your doctor why they suggested you hold off as only he/she will know why he/she made that decision. However, my guess is that a vaccine/immunisation gives some amount of trauma to the body, so if there is another illness present it is advisable to wait until it has cleared up so the vaccine/immunisation doesn't exacerbate the existing situation. They don't give them if your child has a bad cold with a fever either.
The MMR is mandatory in the usa and there is no higher incidence of autism there than in england. If you don't vaccinate your child you are not only making a decision for them, but for every child under the age of 1 that your child comes into contact with. My son has not only had the mmr, but chicken pox as well which is about to become mandatory in the us. Like susanmt, I feel very strongly about this.

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angharad · 27/05/2002 09:00

Liamsmum, have you read the private eye special issue about the MMR? It's incredibly well-written, much better than a similar new scientist article. None of mine have had the MMR as there is a history of dodgy reactions to the jab among my (much) younger brothers and sisters, not autism, but severe side-effects so it's a no go. Have to add that dh (with scientist's hat on) finds the govt's attitude bizarre as there is evidence to support Andrew Wakefield. The limitations the govt cite are limitations he himself listed in his paper, the studies they use to rubbish him are taken out of context and are not always looking at the same thing (e.g. the one from Finland). Will shut up now...

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mears · 27/05/2002 10:34

My concern about the MMR is that there are too many questions from lots of peopls as demonstarted on this thread - that confidence in the vaccination is low. As a professional I am urged to assure parents it is safe - as a mother I have my doubts. Initially we were assured there was no such thing as BSE, now look where we are.
When my first son had the MMR about 13 years ago he had already had the single measles vaccine because that was what was avavilable. Then a few years ago there was the threat of a measles epidemic and it was advised to have the measles repeated. I agreed to that for my sons at school as advised by the government. I then began to read more information and spoke to the founder of JABS - a campaigning group for vaccine damaged children. The information they have is astounding and I would advise everyone to read it. They do not say you should not vaccinate children but that children should be assessed as individuals re their suitability for certain types of vaccination. What is required is choice.

Funnily enough at the time of the supposed measles outbreak there was a vast quantity of measles vaccine on the point of expiry which got used up on school age children!!
All my children have had the MMR. A booster was not initially a recommendation but because the figures needed to be increased in the uptake of MMR a booster was recommended in order to hopefully catch those who had not had the first injection ( info from my GP ).
I decided that as my children had been breastfed they would not have the booster. Babies who are breastfed have a better immunity response to vaccination ( research evidence).
I remember a midwifery student from Canada on a visit to our unit ( about 18 years ago) saying that there was a problem there with women not being immune to Rubella because in that country babies were vaccinated against and it had been discovered that the immunity had gone by the time girls were childbearing age. Immunity is usually lifelong if the disease is contracted naturally.
When my dd is a teenager I will ensure that her immunity status is checked.
All most parents want is choice and I honestly don't see why not. I also think we have to evaluate what we are doing to tiny babies immune systems by giving them more and more vaccinations. What about the link with rising levels of asthma and eczema? These have been linked.
I am glad I do not have to make the decision any more. I would be refusing to load a chickenpox vaccination into my baby on top of Men C and HIB and all the rest.

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LiamsMum · 28/05/2002 01:17

While on the subject of needles, have anyone's children experienced any adverse effects after having the chicken pox vaccination? I've been considering having my ds vaccinated for chicken pox but because the vaccine is relatively new, I wasn't too sure about it. Thanks.

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Tillysmummy · 28/05/2002 08:49

I didn't think Chicken Pox was particularly dangerous ? When I was a child they used to have Chicken Pox parties and mum used to take us round so we could catch it !!

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bundle · 28/05/2002 10:00

star, the recent work where particles of measles virus were found in gut of children with bowel disease/autism didn't identify whether it was from a manufactured source (ie the vaccine) or "wild" measles caught from someone in the community. and the trouble with measles is that no one gets it much these days, so it's hard to remember the cases when children were left severely disabled or even died after getting it.

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bundle · 28/05/2002 10:01

sorry, just realised how inappropriate that smiley face was - just didn't want to add any 'heat' to this thread.

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mears · 28/05/2002 10:56

One of the reasons children died of measles was because of poor sanitary conditions and lack of antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections - hence children dying in the third world.
Better living coditions have helped in the fight against infection. Interestingly - and this has already been mentioned - TB was on the wane prior to vaccination because of that very fact.

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star · 28/05/2002 13:20

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star · 28/05/2002 13:26

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bundle · 28/05/2002 13:45

I agree about the booster, star, as well as what you say about individuals making up their own minds. Personally I think the single-jabs option is a bit of a red-herring...but I'm not going to say any more, either!

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sjs · 28/05/2002 14:07

Re. the chicken pox vaccine: our paediatrician told me that he reccomends it not because of chickenpox which is reasonably mild but still annoying childhood illness, but because if kids have the vaccine instead of the disease, then it lowers (or eliminates? can't remember!) the risk of getting shingles in later life which can be very serious. Apparently this has been discovered in Japan where they have been vaccinating against chicken pox for years.

Didn't realise it, but apparently you can only contract shingles if you have had chicken pox, it is part of the the herpes family of viruses.

Anyway, we haven't done the vaccine yet for our dd but we are considering it.

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Enid · 28/05/2002 14:13

Does anyone else ever feel like saying 'Oh for gods sake just go and get your child immunised, they'll be fine'?

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SueW · 28/05/2002 14:46

Enid, a mum at school made a similar comment just the other day. She said she'd never worried about it, just gone when she'd been called in.

DD had her pre-school booster vaccs just after Easter. She had polio, DTP, and MMR at the same time.

She'd never had a reaction to any of her immunisations as a baby but this time we got a large swelling at the site and approx 10cm below it (i.e. most of her upper arm but not all the way round). This cleared up in a few days only to be followed by a 'broken vein' rash which seemed to radiate from the jab centre but ignored the bit that had already been swollen, if that makes sense.

If she wasn't immune before, I bloomin' well hope she is now after all that.

She's still due her Men C but I think we'll wait a while before that. She's just had an ear infection and she's due for a barium meal on Thursday. I don't think I can cope with any more illness, even if it is a mild, non-infectious form!

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angharad · 28/05/2002 14:48

No, but I do feel like saying "if you care that much take the time and look at independent info,then decide. Leave other people to do the same and don't preach".

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Enid · 28/05/2002 14:55

SueW, dd also had a swelling at the site and it would be wrong to say she sailed through the whole immunisation process as she was quite poorly about 2 weeks after.

I know my comment sounded flippant but after reading an article about a pregnant woman who contracted rubella from children at her ds' nursery, I can't help feeling that this whole issue is beginning to affect the wider population. Apparently some single-jab parents aren't bothering with the rubella jab as rubella itself is a fairly minor disease to a child. The woman's baby was born profoundly deaf, by the way.

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