In my opinion the MMR vaccine can only be seen as a friend. After numerous hours of research, I felt confident enough to make the decision that all three of my children should be vaccinated.
A few years ago after the reports that the vaccine could be linked to Autism, it is under stable that parents became wary if giving their child this vaccine, but with no physical evidence, only speculation, surely it is more responsible to immunise rather than risk your child catching one of these life threatening diseases.
There will of course always be pros and cons for everything, and every parent wants what is best for their child. I would much rather my child be uncomfortable for a few seconds whilst having a needle, than to suffer, what could be needlessly and be at risk of complications from a disease that could have been prevented, by me.
The Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR) should undoubtedly be regarded as a friend to parents as it helps to keep your children healthy. As a nurse who works within paediatrics, I can assure you that any child of mine would receive the MMR vaccine because there really is no argument whatsoever to not give it!!
Although there has been controversy about the safety of the combined MMR over recent years this research has been comprehensively rejected by the medical community. The author of the original research, Andrew Wakefield, who reported a link between the MMR and autism has since be declared of gross professional misconduct as The Lancet proved that he falsified his research data. Therefore on the basis of this finding, there is no longer even any controversy about the vaccine (in my personal opinion). I can find no other conclusion that this man concocted his research for his own personal gain and I really don't think we should pay any more hedence to his lies which have probably caused the suffering and death of many children worldwide.
Measles, Mumps and Rubella are often dismissed as normal childhood illnesses and therefore the vaccine isn't necessary. However, all of these illness can be very serious and can even result in serious disability and death. For example, measles can cause encephalitis and permanent blindness, Mumps can cause sterility in males, and Rubella can cause serious congenital malformations in the unborn child. Not to mention the fact that measles, mumps and rubella is not very pleasant for your child to suffer anyway - so why take the risk of not vaccinating them??
While its true that your child may suffer some minor discomfort up to 24 hours after the vaccine is given, the effects are minor (slight temperature, irritability, cold like symptoms) which can be relieved somewhat by giving Calpol. I know whenever I've given these vaccinations the children cry momentarily when the needle goes in, but other than some minor effects of "being under the weather" I've never seen anything remotely serious.
Seriously, there is no known reason for not giving the MMR and every reason to do it. Don't take any risks with your baby's health.
This is a very emotionally charged debate for obvious reasons and every parent has the right opinion for their child. This is my view for my son.
I think it's really important that the immunity level to measles is kept above the critical level to prevent unimmunised children for catching it. At the moment in Wales there is an alarming increase in the number of cases. In healthy school children the chance of any serious complications is rare but possible.
However, what about babies? Those that have yet to develop any form of immunity and are too young for vaccination. Severe illness is much more likely in infants under one year.
Now consider that the community level of immunity is dropping due to the low uptake of vaccination, more children are catching measles, more children are spreading measles, more babies will come into contact with measles. A friends newborn baby girl came into contact with measles while on the maternity ward from a visiting child (who wasn't symptomatic at the time). She was lucky to survive after intensive treatment. The other babies all had to have treatment too just in case. Imagine dealing with that?
My fear for the next six months is not whether I will vaccinate my son with the MMR but will he catch measles before he has it. Will have had any immunity passed from me by breast feeding? Is he healthy enough to fight it off?
Immunisation is a personal choice but its effects are more widespread than imagined. If you don't trust the MMR vaccine after reading all the evidence then please have your child immunised using the single vaccine.
Don't underestimate measles... a vaccine wouldn't have been designed if it was a harmless childhood infection. Maybe this is a slightly different viewpoint, maybe you will agree, maybe you will totally disagree, maybe I've missed the point. Hopefully I've put something into the debate.
I have had 9 nieces and nephews born, and I am hopefully going to have my own little one on the way soon, and the MMR situation has been a subject which has come up alot in my life.
The MMR is the Measels, Mumps and Ruebella Vaccination given to babies at about 18 months old (i'm not 100% sure on this, so correct me if I am wrong!).
For years there has been a debate about the safety of the vaccination as people say it can "develop autism" in children, as far as I am aware there is no actual scientific proof that this is the case, and the reason the issue has come about is because children show signs of autism at the age the vaccination is given.
My child will most definitely be given his or her MMR vaccination, the way I see it, even if the vaccination DID cause autism...I would MUCH rather my child develop this, than the potentially fatal measels, mumps or ruebella....!
All of my nieces and nephews have had this vaccination as well as me, and all of my family. It isn't even a question for me about my child getting the vaccine, even if I had to pay for each needle to be given separetly, I would do this. My childs safety is much more important to me than the fact they "could" develop autism...I have a feeling that this is a 1 in a billion chance of happening...and as I said until there is sufficient proof that it IS the cause of childrens autism, then I would never stop my child from having the important vaccination!!!
Autism, although a nasty disability which causes distress to family and friends of the affected, is not the end of the world, and it is something which people can get through in life with, and can lead a nice happy life if its not the stongest strain. Whereas with the illnesses which you could contract without the MMR, may very well result in death, and I myself could not cope with the grief of the death of my child due to me not getting them vaccinated against Measels, Mumps and Reubella.
Sorry this is only short but I feel it gets across my opinion :-)
There has been a lot of debate over the mmr vaccine over the last few years as a lot of people have begun to doubt the safety of this after allegations that it is causing autism in children.
Before allowing my daughter to have this vaccine i looked into it a lot and thought long and hard about it, i couldnt find any proof any where that stated this vaccine was actually causing autism in children the only link i could find was that the vaccine was being given at the same age as autism became noticable in children so the link had been deduced from this.
We decided that there was no reason for us not to go ahead with this vaccine and protect our daughter from three major and life threatening diseases, measuls, mumps and rubella.
There are a lot of increases in the number of out breaks of these diseases over the last 5 years as more and more people have refused the vaccine, i have no idea why and will never understand why people choose not to vaccinate at all, if they dont like the 3 in 1 jab they can pay to have it done seperately, but wont part with the money as this is costly but how can you put a price on your childs health.
I can sleep safe in the knowledge that both my daughters are vaccinated.
In my opinion, the MMR vacine is a friend and not a foe. Why would doctors want to give a child, not a child, a needle that would harm them. Ok, there has been research that this vacine is linked with things like autism, but if that were 100% proven, then they would have stopped giving it out ages ago. Together me and my wife sat down and starting discussions whether or not our children should be given this vacine, along with others, and after much debating, we decided it would be for the best. This vacine is given to children in order for them to be able to defned their bodies against three major diseases, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, three of the most deadliest diseases in the world, and the three main killers of young children, or so my research has shown me.
In my opinion, I think that all children should be given this vacine, and I am sure that any children who has suffered side effects as a direct result of this vacine, had something wrong before it even happened, and I know how that sounds, but that is my opinion.
I find this subject really frustrating. I can understand why some parents are doubtful of the MMR vaccination, because of all the bad press it has had for such a long time. But all of the research that was done, leading up to the bad press, was recently proved to be false!! It was all made up by the guy who was responsible for producing the single vaccines, and he was trying to push his jabs on the public to make money. The link between the MMR and autism has never been proved. It is a fact that autism is usually first noticed at about the age of one year. Which just so happens to be the age that you have the first MMR jab. It is mearly coincidence that the MMR is blamed for this. The rate of Measles and Mumps is on the rise, due to the lack of parents protecting their children. These diseases are serious and can cause death in severe cases. Why anyone would want to risk their childs life is beyond me. I have a little boy who is coming up one year old and he is definately having his MMR.
MMR - what a dilema for parents.
This is only my personal opinion, from my own experiences and with such a controversial topic, maybe you will agree, maybe not.
I have two children, a daughter aged 12 and a son, aged 8. Now my daughter has had both MMR vaccinations whereas my son has only had the first.
When our daughter was first vaccinated, there wasn't so much coverage about the possible adverse side effects, and we had very little hesitation about agreeing to the injections. She suffered the usual mild side effects afterwards but nothing that a little Calpol didn't put right and after a few days she was fine. She subsequently had her second and final set of jabs and Alex had his first.
Not long after the MMR vaccination became headline news following a study, which has subsequently been regarded as of dubious benefit. However the seeds of doubt were sown in our minds. We are just parents with no medical knowledge and we found ourselves being torn first one way then the other.
From what we had read, there was a greater chance of autism or Crohns disease especially in boys. It made sense, you were basically pumping three different poisons into a young child all at once - how could an immune system cope?
Alex was due his second set of jabs. He had certainly become more difficult after the first. Whether that was the jabs or simply normal childhood behaviour we don't know. What if he had the jab and developed autism - how could we live with ourselves knowing that we had authorised them? There again, what if he actually caught measles, mumps or rubella, with the risk of death, brain damage, infertility. Weighing up whether with the higher prevalence of catching it due to the declining number of vaccinations was another consideration. Again, how the hell do you live with something like that if you refuse the jabs and they catch a disease that was preventable?
From what I've read, and I may be wrong, after the first vaccination you have a 90 - 95% of having sufficient anti-bodies to do the job should you be exposed to those diseases.
However, there's one major factor that helped us make up our mind and is the reason why we didn't let him have the second jab. My wife works in a dental hospital, and the two most senior consultants, who are married, and extremely knowledgeable, have a son who became severely austistic. Prior to him having the second set of jabs, he had shown no signs whatsoever of being austistic. They are absolutely convinced that it was the MMR vacinations that brought it on.
There is an option, but most probably not on the NHS in most areas, that that you can have the vaccinations individually, one for mumps, one for measles and one for rubella. They are thought to be less of a risk as there's not so much of a hit on the body's immune system. Whether that's right or wrong I simply don't know.
It is an incredibly difficult choice for any parent to make. We can't see into the future, and it's one of those situations where you could be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
Whatever decision you take as a parent, you hope to God it's the right one and I wouldn't criticise or pontificate whichever way you choose.
Firstly let me say I am not against the MMR vaccination. In November 1991 my fifth child was born. He developed normally for the first 14 months with good medical results at his baby checks, a very healthy and lovely baby. January 1993 I took him along for his MMR just as I had for all his other immunisations. He was given the jab. Seven days later and unexpectedly he had his first seizure, the most terrifying thing at that time I had ever experienced. I remember at the hospital telling them he'd been given the MMR as it was what I thought of straight away. This was dismissd as if I knew nothing. Over the next twelve months he continued to have seizures and I was told they were febrile and I should use paracetamol. On one occassion in hospital and my son ready to be discharged my son had yet another seizure and his temperature was raised. After this tests were carried out and we were told that he had epilepsy.
I did contact a parents help group for the MMR, they checked his batch number as there had been at that time a bad batch but it came up at that time as fine. There were numerous parents whose children had been given the MMR and were very negative and this is quite understandable as I felt and still feel it was the MMR that has resulted in my son having a very different life to what he should of had.
During that year after the MMR his development had gone backwards and he had stopped making progress and had become a very challenging little boy and life had become very difficult, the little things you take for granted had now become impossible to do with him, going to the shops, eating out, eating in, going to the park, all those every day things we take for granted.
My son after seeing many specialists was eventually tested for autism and he came out at the severe end. He was asked to leave mainstream nursery and went to a special school for severe learning disabilites which he still attends and they are marvelous.
My son will never read or write, will always need 24 hour care but I can honestly say that even though he can be a challenge at times, even though he has generalised seizures most days, he is the happiest boy and gives so much pleasure that makes the hard work worth it.
I sound negative about the MMR. No. My opinion and I thought it and felt it as his mum from that first seizure that the MMR had caused his disabilities. I remember taking him for his whooping cough vaccine and thinking there is a one in a million chance of this effecting his life but I still took himand consented to it and most of us do as we are responsible for the health of our children. If someone had told me or I had known that there was a one in a million chance of it effecting my son I would of still taken him that day and the outcome would of been the same but I would of felt that I'd done the right thing by trying to protect my son. After this with my son, my youngest child could not be given the Whooping cough vaccine which was a worry and I did decide against giving my youngest son the MMR though he was given the booster without my consent but that's another story. After seeing the specialist in relationship to that I was told that my other son was probably ill the day he had the MMR but was displaying no signs of being unwell and that he may of had a virus and then being given two more live viruses at such a young age was too much for him and that my other son who had the booster was older (4 years) and bigger.
Measles is a disease that can leave children disabled and even cause death so my advice would be to speak to your health professional, if in doubt get them to take family history, make sure your child is well, get them to check your childs temperature and look for signs of being poorly, it only takes a minute on the day of the immunisation.
My belief and feeling is that my son was effected by the MMR and it changed his life, my life and my familes lives. I believe that if the people in charge were honest and said there was a one in a million chance that your child may be effected then maybe parents wouldn't be so scared and more children would be immunised against the disease that can kill.
My son remains a happy and smiley child that gives so much pleasure.
When it was time to start thinking about the MMR jab that was coming up with my eldest i went over and over it, reading leaflets, looking on the internet, asking other friends with children what they had done and eventually came to the comclusion that i would much rather my child have the vaccination rather than get a serious illness that could be life threatening.
Yes I know that there is a possible link to autism but there is no proof and although i would not want my child to have autism, it is a much better outcome than what it could be if they contracted one of the Measles, Mumps or Rubella illnesses.
I think parents have a duty to vaccinate their children against everything that is available. We are very lucky that we have access to vaccinations in this country as a lot of countries dont and have a higher chance of their child becoming ill. I bet if they had the chance that we have they would take it no matter what the possibility as long as their children are safe.
My eldest child had the vaccine and is 3 1/2 now. He is absolutely fine. A healthy, happy little boy. I intend for my other little boy to have the vaccine in 7 months time.
As a mum of a 9 month old the whole MMR debate is something I have been paying particular attention to. The MMR (Measles, Mumps & Rubella) jab is "due" at 13 months. The combined jab is available free of charge on the NHS or alternatively you can pay for your child to have the vaccinations separately.
My daughter had her initial vaccinations without much thought from me, other than how I would deal with a crying 3 month old or how she was going to react in the short term (ie would she get a fever, be unsettled or sleepy). However, owing to much media attention on the MMR jab this decision has played on my mind. I even spent money on a neutral publication regarding vaccinations to ensure I felt as informed as possible before making my decision.
During the research I have undertaken I have sourced views from friends, family, colleagues and health professionals. I have read and re-read newspaper articles and NHS publications and as mentioned I have even bought neutral books on the matter. I have a mother in law who is adament that my daughter should not have the combined injection and constantly pressures me to opt for private individual jabs.
Well, possibly controversially (for my mother in law at least) I have decided to let my daughter have the combined vaccination. I am confident following the research I have undertaken that this is a safer option than leaving her open to the diseases.
I have made this choice based on several reasons. I have recently found out that the individual Rubella vaccination is no longer available, so by not opting for the combined MMR I will be leaving my daughter open to this disease for life (and potentially putting any future grandchildren of mine at risk during pregnancy). Previously secondary school aged girls where given the Rubella vaccination (I remember mine all too well) this is no longer offered. If opting for the individual vaccinations for the Measels and Mumps element of the MMR my daughter would remain at risk of one of these diseases for a greater period of time and would be subjected to more painful injections (and short term after effects) than is neccessary - and as someone who suffered from mumps many times in my childhood, I would rather not put my daughter through that. Also, if I opted for private there is the cost to consider - not just of the vaccination, but also of the travel to get the vaccination, my nearest clinic to offer it privately is 100 miles away. Now, don't get me wrong if I thought for one second the risk of having the MMR was medium or higher I would pay that cost without any hesitation.
The press regularly link MMR to cases of autism and chrones disease. All the literature I have read suggests that this link is weak to say the least. Symptoms of Autism generally do not present themselves in children until after 13 months of age, so many of the cases where autism has been identified following the MMR jab are, in my opinion, more likely to be coincidental than as a result of the jab. Autism is also a "boy thing" in the main (in that more boys are autistic than girls) as it is a chromosonal defect. Perhaps if I was thinking of having a son vaccinated with the MMR I would have a different stance on this aspect, but as it is my daughter I am considering this "fact" helps me to support my decision to go ahead with the combined jab. There is no scientific evidence to support the link of Chrone's Disease.
The MMR jab, although only offered in the UK since 1988 has been offered in other European countries for significantly longer. Some of which have a very high standing in the medical profession.
The bottom line of all this, is that for me having my daughter vaccinated with the MMR vaccination is the right decision - although I have to admit that there will still be a period of "was that the right decision" and looking out for symptoms of autism etc.
Interestingly, I have asked my Health Visitor (during my daughter's last development review) if she thought my daughter showed any signs of autism and received a resounding "no", so perhaps after all my research I am still not 100% convinced that the MMR is the right way to go, but a decision is needed (not having her vaccinated at all is not an option for me, as I would rather she be protected against such diseases) so this is the one I have decided on. I do wonder if the government publications regarding this are a little propaganderish, but I am hoping that this country's government hasn't resorted to that tactic - although I still wish Tony Blair had shared whether his little one had the MMR or not!
Now I just need to keep my fingers and toes crossed that it is the right one (and not change my mind in the next 4 months).
Both my children have had the MMR vaccination, in fact they have had all their vaccinations as I feel this is extremely important.
As a nurse myself, I have seen the devastating effects that these illnesses have on children who haven't been vaccinated and contract the disease, I feel very lucky that we live in a nation where we can vaccinate our children against the potential harm these diseases cause and this is FREE.
As for the MMR, I believe there hasn't been anywhere near enough research done into the side effects of the combined vaccine against individual and I am happy to go with the government recommendations. There will always be the unfortunate case where things go wrong but I feel the advantages of the vaccine far outweigh the small risk.
The media has much to answer for as they hype up and exaggerate instances where things have gone wrong and this does not represent a true picture.
I completely trust the mmr needle , i have three children and both of them so far have had the vaccine, the youngest one not yet , but in saying that the mmr and meningitis, are the only ones that i do use , and thankfully none of my children have ever been ill .In my opinion youngsters do not need so many jabs at such a young age , they are constantly ill or feel run down , and besides that , they get a booster when they start school , their tiny bodies cannot handle that many needles in the first year and a half of their life , But all children are different . This is my opinion and any parent should do what they feel is neccassary to protect their own , But personally speaking i think all parents should wait at least till the children are over two.
The argument over whether the combined MMR jab is safe has been raging for years. It pops in and out of the health agenda and, at least for parents of young children, it remains one of the biggest dilemmas that they face.
The MMR jab was widely introduced into the UK in the 1980s to combat Measles, Mumps and Rubella (German Measles). Then, in the late 1990s a link was suggested between the take up on the MMR and an increase in cases of children being diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. Poof! In one sweep parents started questioning whether they should be giving their children the combined MMR jab.
The issue became one not only of health but of politics. Politicians were asked by the media to confirm whether or not their children had had the jab and, famously, the then prime ministerial incumbent, a certain Mr Blair, refused to confirm or deny whether his youngest had had the inoculation, fuelling the argument that Blair was a hypocrite, backing the NHS stance that the jabs were safe but privately not following his own advice. One could say that such hypocrisy was rife, but it did nothing for the cause.
Despite repeated studies telling us that the link between MMR and autism was nothing to worry about (and, at the end of the day, the study sample in the original study was tiny - just 12 people) parents still worried and over the last few years we've hit a new problem. Where previously the incidents of measles, mumps and rubella had been in decline these diseases have been on the increase and this is thought to be a direct result of parents not inoculating their children with the MMR vaccine (and not giving (through choice or availability) the individual vaccines).
So, what do I think?
I had to take the decision about 9 months ago as to whether to inoculate my son with the MMR vaccine, the three individual vaccines or not at all. Unlike Blair I won't sit on the fence. My son had the MMR and I hope to tell you why.
I certainly didn't go into the decision with my eyes closed. In fact, I probably obsessed about it far more than was healthy. After all, who wants to harm their child or put them at unnecessary risk? I read articles (including excerpts from the original report), I spoke to health professionals, I sought opinion and then I formed my own.
It's not easy to get all the information that one wants prior to making an informed decision. Health professionals seem reluctant to give positive advice (this is not just the case with MMR) for fear of having influenced a parent if something does go wrong.
I came to the conclusion that the original study left unproven the link between the MMR and autistic spectrum disorders. This didn't, however, give me the answer to my question as I still had to be convinced that there was a benefit in giving my son a vaccine over not giving it.
The answer to that question was to be found in looking at what the dangers of the three diseases that the vaccine sought to prevent were and whether there were any other risks inherent in the vaccine. There was no escaping the fact that I had had each of the three diseases myself and, aside from feeling uncomfortable with mumps, had escaped unscathed. In fact, I recall parents going out of their way to allow their children to catch rubella as early as possible. Whilst the diseases themselves might not seem so frightening the side-effects and effects on others are less paletable.
Measles carries with it a risk of death (16 deaths out of 86,000 people who contracted the disease in one year), although it's a small one. Encephalitis, chest infections (1 in 15) and brain damage are far more common side effects of measles and, in my opinion, more frightening.
Mumps is one of the most common causes of meningitis, the fear of every parent. Deafness, impotence and encephalitis are also possible side effects.
Rubella (or German measles) is probably the least feared in terms of the health of the child but its effect on others, particularly pregnant women and their unborn babies is more severe. The babies of 9 out of 10 pregnant women who contract the disease suffer some damage, commonly to eyes and ears. Prior to the drop in the uptake of the MMR rubella was almost eradicated in the UK - it's now on the increase again.
The risks associated with the vaccine itself also needed to be considered. There's a risk of convulsions and 1 in a million might suffer encephalitis, but otherwise the risks are fairly negligible. It should also be noted that each of these risks are significantly lower than the risks of getting the same conditions as a result of the diseases that we are seeking to inoculate against.
For me, at the end of the research, there was no question. My son was to be inoculated.
Throughout my research I saw no reasons why I should opt for single vaccines. In fact, I saw more reasons why single inoculations were worse than the combined vaccines, including the simple fact that the child remains unprotected for longer.
The question will remain for many years to come and the only thing we can do as parents is to draw our own conclusions from the available evidence. For me, the conclusions were clear, both for my son, and society.
When my son had his first set of immunisations when he was just 2 months old, I didn't think twice about letting the nurse inject him with all these vaccines, what was in them and the side effects, probably because I had not heard anything about them, good or bad. Yet when it came to my son having the MMR when he was 13 months old, I had a huge struggle over whether or not to give him this particular vaccine.
The MMR vaccinates against 3 diseases: Measles, Mumps and Rubella. It is a combined vaccine, and a live vaccine which means small amounts of the infections are injected into your child, to allow their immune system to fight it and become immune.
Over the last few years there has been a lot of information in the press about the MMR Vaccine, it's links with Autism and the NHS and the Government telling us it is a perfectly safe vaccination and that all children should be vaccinated with the MMR. Parents have come forward to the press and said that their children have been affected due to the MMR, and this has started up the whole cycle again.
I myself did a lot of research before making a decision one way or the other, as I knew it would be a hard decision to make and I was not going to make it lightly at all. I knew that I had 3 options open to me:
1. To give my son the MMR vaccine
2. To give him the MMR as 3 seperate vaccinations
3. Not to give him any vaccine at all.
Luckily, the third option was not one I was willing to consider so I had to look into the first two options. If I am honest, I was very much leaning towards option2, single vaccines. These would have to be done privately, and would cost roughly £100-£150 per injection, but I was willing to pay that if it would keep my son safe. However, the more I looked into it, the less certain about the idea I was.
The NHS does not offer single vaccines, and therefore the vaccines have to come from abroad, This means that the vaccines are not checked in the UK and they are not monitored for content. You would have to consult the doctor who would be administering the vaccines as to where they come from and what is in them but there is no guarantee they are safe. This is really what put me off the single vaccines.
I went online for hours and hours months before my son was due his MMR and looked up many websites, both government ones, NHS ones and parenting forums to find out peoples opinions of the MMR and also read some of the stories which are about MMR and its link to Autism. The government says that the link between Autism and the MMR has been disproved but there are still stories on the web which say otherwise. it is hard to know which to believe, but I am leaning more towards the link NOT being there now.
I think the only thing you can do is to weigh up all the evidence that you are able to get and make an informed and educated decision about a controversial subject. People will always disagree about the MMR, and there will of course be parents who choose not to vaccinate at all, but I knew for me I wanted my son to be vaccinated against these horrible illnesses, and I feel I made the best choice in the end by choosing to give him the MMR.
Thank you for reading, and I hope this has been helpful to you.
For more information on the MMR vaccine see the NHS site (this was a great site to use when I was researching the MMR)