39 answers

MMR Immunizations

Dear Moms,
Due to the magazine articles I've read, I have lots of anxiety about getting my son the MMR vaccine. My son has had ALL the other shots on schedule except for this one. Another reason why I'm so worried about this shot is that after my son got the flu vaccine, he stopped talking from 10 mos to 2 years old (he was saying Ma Ma at 9 mos.). I can't say for sure if there was a connection. He's talking all the time now at 3 years of age. But this is after he was diagnosed with speech apraxia and is way better now after speech therapy.

My son is starting preschool in the fall and he has to have to MMR vaccine in order to get in, is there something someone can say to me to make me feel better about getting him this shot?

Thanks, D.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all the responses. I found all the advice helpful both pro and con regarding the MMR. I took my son to another pediatrician recommended by one of the Moms. At the pediatrician's office, they had the new MMR vaccine that is thermasol (mercury) free. The old vaccines are getting phased out so if any of you moms are concerned about this too, make sure you ask your doctor to check the label on the vaccine. My main concern was the mercury since I suspected my son had some sort of sensitivity to it after he got the flu shot. But I found out from the doctor that the mercury issue is separate from the autism MMR suspected link. She did not herself believe that there were any links but still respected my opinion. I feel good about waiting until now to get this one.
Thanks, D.

Featured Answers

1) Get the shots and be done with it, his body must have built up the immunity already.

2) If you don't want the shots, you have a legal right to not administer the shots and he will still be accepted in both private or public education facilities. Contact Concerned Women of America for more information.

The risks out way the diseases. If he gets a little fever, that is a small price if he the contracts the diseases. Fever is a temporary sickness, MMR is permannet. The risks are so rare! I have 3 kids, pregnant with another and have a step-daughter. I have never known or known someone who has known someone who had complications (other than fever or discomfort) from the shot. If I remember correctly, MMR is a 3 step shot. He should have already gotten it at 18 months, unless it has changed. My oldest had it at 12 mths, 18mths and a little older. She had it at 12 mths b/c there was an outbreak of MMR in the Panama (where we were living at the time).

Hi D.. My son is 19 months old, and he has had the MMR. There were no complications from it, nor any of the other vaccines he has had. I don't have much information on the MMR, But I just thought I would put in my two cents to let you know that my son did not have any complications. Wish I could help out more, but maybe this will be added to more Mom's letting you know about their children having the vaccine. :)

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It might cost your more but I would split it up. You can get it in three separate does (M) (M) and (R) instead of bombarding his little system all at once. My 5 year old stopped talking at 2 as well and only began again at 20 months. Now he is diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and we are getting him tested for autism spectrum disorder.

After all that we split up the MMR for our second child and will do the same for our 10 month old.

1 mom found this helpful

I too was worried about the MMR. I did give it to my son and daughter when they were supposed to have it, but only after lengthy discussions with my pediatrician. Both are doing fine, and no developmental setbacks whatsoever. But I do know that they both had "mercury-free" vaccinations. The state of Illinois ordered all childhood vaccines to be free of mercury by 2006. Ask your pediatrician if the vaccines he/she uses in their office are "mercury or thimerasol free." (They should be). It was used as a preservative and apparently the excessive mercury in some vaccines was linked to developmental delays and other problems, ie autism. However, this law does not apply to flu shots, and from what I understand they DO contain the preservative thimerasol. I do NOT nor have I ever given my children the flu shot. I stopped getting it for myself about 6 years ago. I'm not a Dr., but maybe your child has a particular sensitivity to vaccinations and possibly the preservatives in them. I also understand that the older a child is, the better their little bodies can handle vaccines. So if your son is 3, he might be fine. I wish you the best of luck. I know it is a tough decision. I hope your Dr. walks you through the process with you, and isn't condenscending, like soem of them can be.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.
my nephew is autistic, and I'm very paranoid about my daughter. Though it was suspected he was autistic at birth (he didn't make eye contact even as an infant) we still fear for our 11 mos old daughter.

I have a friend who is a pediatric Physician Assistant and they work esp with autistic kids. They have a delayed vaccine chart they follow. They don't give MMR to kids until they turn 4 yrs old, instead of the 12-15 mos old time mark. They feel kids at this tender age are more prone to the vaccine effects and thus more probable to get autistic.

My pediatrician, though she strongly feels there is no link, is understanding. Even if there is no solid proof there is a link or not, why take a chance???

Once I get the autistic vaccine chart, I can let you know more.

1 mom found this helpful

I had the MMR vaccinations administered separately since Thimerisol is the preserative in the combo vaccine , not the separate vaccines. Most insurance does not pay for the separate vaccines, but they cost was less than $25 each. My pediatrician was very helpful in suggesting this course. Although she strongly belives that the combo MMR is safe, she was respectful of my choice to find an alternative.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow!! It looks like this is a hot topic. Hope my advice helps as well. All three of my kids received their MMR shots as well as all the others, including Chicken Pox, with no complications (except for a mild fever) and every mother I know that has opted for immunizations has experienced no problems.
I realize that people feel they should have a choice for their children and such, but it's really easy to make a decision to NOT immunize when we live in a country where most children don't have to suffer these life-threatening diseases. And why don't we have to worry about them for the time being? Because we have "contained" them by immunizing our children. Look at Africa - why do you think they have all those horrible diseases? They don't have the means to prevent them. How utterly sad.
My cousin who is graduating from MSU had to recently get a physical for a new job and she ended up having a discussion with the nurse there about vaccinations and the nurse told her that there is a growing number of children contracting measles and mumps and others, simply because of all the parents who have said NO to vaccinations.
I guess when it all comes down to it, you need to make that decision - no one can make it for you. Talk to your pediatrician and don't pay attention to websites written by over-zealous parents. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi- sorry I am reading this late.

I just wanted to let you know that you are not required to do the MMR before starting school. Indiana has religious and medical exemptions. We don't vaccinate anymore and are claiming the religious exemption even though that is not our only reason. Our oldest son has a rare form of epilepsy that we think is due to vaccines. We have a close friend whose son became autistic the DAY of his MMR. He also started seizures that day, too.

I have done a lot of research on vaccines and encourage you to do so, especially if you've already seen a bad reaction (loss of speech after flu shot- which contains mercury- is NOT RARE.) You should make sure that your child's reaction has been reported to VAERS-The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, and talk to your dr. about this.

The ingredients in vaccines are appalling. After researching, I have found them to be more harmful than the diseases being vaccinated against. And most parents are unaware that NO vaccine is 100% effective. In the recent outbreaks of measles & mumps, MOST people that got it were already vaccinated!

I encourage you to visit the National Vaccine Information Center www.nvic.org for more info, as well as feel free to email me at ____@____.com .

I know it is such a tough decision. What a good mom you are for looking into it in the first place!

1 mom found this helpful

Nothing anyone says is going to make you not worry, you are a Mom, you will do that anyway!!

My oldest son will be 4 next month. He was diagnosed with Autism shortly after his 3rd birthday, but we had started him in therapy shortly after he turned 2. I am one of the rare mothers of a child with Autism that believes vaccines have nothing to do with it. There has never been any proof. You hear so many times that the child regressed after getting a vaccine, but that is Autism, you NEVER know when the signs will appear! Just like with taking medications, putting certain things into your body can bring out things that you may have not known you had to begin with.
Good Luck with your decision!

1 mom found this helpful


MY kids are not vacc for amyn reasons, my 3 yo is starting school on Tuesday and you do not need to have any vacc. They should give you a form and there should be a few choices for you to fill out. Usually
one is you are up to date
Two you are not up to date, but will be
Three you do not Immunize because of religious reason
Four you do not immunuze because of personal choice

After hearing about your sons issues after the flui shot I would NOT do any more.

Good LUck with this, I would love to hear what you decided to do, sorry I am so late on this post, but I jsut starting reading this website

If you are not comfortable with getting that shot, you can waive it by parents rights due to religious reasons. It is up to you !! I have used my parental rights and beliefs and did not want my youngest to have the chickenpox vaccine. I feel she can get it naturally just like her older siblings did. Same with the flu shot. It is up to YOU.

Good luck

My son is 3 months old and had his first shots at two months, but skipped the Hep B when he was born. After some reading, I'm thinkin about postponing some of the shots. A doctor who doesn't push shots is very helpful. I'm still reading and researching, but I've found a lot of helpful information on mothering.com's discussion boards. Good luck!


My husband is a pediatrician who has done a lot of reading on this subject. The difference to me is that he reads medical journals and you are reading lay articles. There is NO scientific evidence of harm from the MMR vaccine. There is GREAT danger in NOT immunizing every child, that is why there is a requirement by the school.

I do not know if there is a link or not and all three of our ped's have said the same thing. My oldest two 12&9yro have some my two little ones have none 3&1yro. We file an exemption if you would like help with that email and I would be more then happy to send you the form. It is just a few sentences nothing complicated. Many of our parents have lived through measles mumps and rubella. Now with medicine advanced as it is there are many more options to help treat these once common diseases. As they get older their bodies are better equipped to handle it. We delay but do not plan on getting the mmr at all. Look at the stats from the outbreak that happened a bit ago, most were people who had the vaccine but it had worn off.

All 3 of my boys had the shots on schedula, and are fine. If you're worried, talk to your dr

Hi D.,
Let me just first say that follow your gut on the vaccines. If you felt your son had a reaction to a flu vaccine then you are probably right. I have chose to vaccine my six year old at my pace if at all. She hasnt had any Hep, mmr, a couple dpt and she was over two when i started. I felt, being a little older, her body might handle the side affects better. I have clients of mine , one in particular , that swears her son derick was autistic until he had been vaccinated. So use your own judgement and its your right. If you choose not to vaccine their is a waver the daycares, schools etc have that you would have to sighn stating religous beliefs or other and you son can enter. It is out of intimidation that us parents feel we need to do this in order for our children to attend public schools etc. You have a voice, you have the right to choose and there is a waiver if you choose not too. good luck C.

you can get a waiver i believe. my cousin never vaccinated her 3. i found studies that showed murcury was used as a preservative in kids vaccines and kids did exactly what yours did. the lights went out as the parents said. it was a show on pbs. some kids had murcury levels off the charts. they are also linking murcury to autusim. and this show said that these families were putting their kids threw major detox to get the murcury out of their systems and are seeing results. some kids are more sensative to murcury. if i were you i would not not not get the mmr unless you are sure they are not using murcury, or gett a waver. i would get the waiver. you don't have to vaccinate. i did but my ped is close to a natualist ant is really aware of murcury. he had a fit when he saw metal fillings in my older son's teeth. do some research on it. i believe the preservative began with a phy or pryth something, but that is scarry. maybe pbs has the show in archives somewhere, but this was exactly what the parents went threw. it was scary. please research well before you get that shot. good luck...H.

Kinda late to answer but I am a 48 year old mom of 5. At 11 years old I came down with the measles, which progressed to Rhuematic Fever and then I somehow picked up Scarlet Fever which anyone knows is deadly. I laid in a hospital totally paralyzed for six days. I deal with a lot of medical issues as an adult due to the high fever and rhumatic fever. I'm to young for my body to be this old. When measles go around you just don't know how your child will react until it's to late. All of my children had their shots right down to the hepatitis. I would rather think I tried to protect them than wait till they possily catch something and have catastophic long lasting effects and then say I should have gotten them. By then it's too late. Just my opinion, but God put doctors here for a reason.

The risks out way the diseases. If he gets a little fever, that is a small price if he the contracts the diseases. Fever is a temporary sickness, MMR is permannet. The risks are so rare! I have 3 kids, pregnant with another and have a step-daughter. I have never known or known someone who has known someone who had complications (other than fever or discomfort) from the shot. If I remember correctly, MMR is a 3 step shot. He should have already gotten it at 18 months, unless it has changed. My oldest had it at 12 mths, 18mths and a little older. She had it at 12 mths b/c there was an outbreak of MMR in the Panama (where we were living at the time).

Hi Diana
I am not a medical professional, but a mom like you. I have not had any negative experiences with immunizations. I look at it as the immunizations are for the child's well being. It sounds like you are very aware of you son's speech development. So in case he had a setback, you would probably be aware right away and could work on it. I would say talk to his pediatrician and speech therapist. Good luck!

Just wanted to let you know that I delayed the MMR as well. My son is 18 mos. old. I am a speech-language pathologist. Even though research refutes the autism connection, I don't buy it!!!! And I've worked with too many children with autism to risk it.

We want to wait until he is three to do it. I think 3 is old enough. Their neurological systems are much more developed. You say that he is a chatterbox now...that is definitely good! Autism (if that's what you are worried about) can usually be diagnosed well before age 3. I'll be fearful too, but be confident in your decision that you waited this long!
I bet it'll be fine now that he's older.

I understand your concerns. I have a 2 year old and read up on everything. I work in healthcare and believe that the benefits far outweigh the risks. Often, the magazine articles don't emphasize the very small risk, so it may unnecessarily scare people.
My two cents,

I was concerned as well...because of all of the media about mmr causing autism...however, there is NO proof that there is a causal link between the two, they are looking into a correlation though. Its just that autism peeks or is most noticeable about the time that the mmr vaccine is given, and therefore people have started wondering if one causes the other..all i can say is P R A Y, and good luck...

Hi D.. My son is 19 months old, and he has had the MMR. There were no complications from it, nor any of the other vaccines he has had. I don't have much information on the MMR, But I just thought I would put in my two cents to let you know that my son did not have any complications. Wish I could help out more, but maybe this will be added to more Mom's letting you know about their children having the vaccine. :)

Hi D.,
You've already gotten alot of advice. I have a friend who's son had a very severe reaction to his immunizations even though there are people out there who say there is no correlation. You know your son best! I, too, was worried about allowing my son to get his vaccinations.

We put off my son's vaccinations for a while and when he did get the MMR, we split it up. Our pediatrician was great and completely understanding. If you are worried, talk to your ped about it and ask about it getting split up.

Good Luck!


i'm sure that you can see from all your responses that this is a Hot Topic for all of us Moms. Mom of 3 here, 2 boys 1 girl, 7, 5 and almost 3. All children have had all vaccinations on schedule, including Chicken Pox. I would suggest that you stay away from "no-name" websites and talk to your Dr. You can find anything you want on the web to prove anything and everything; that doesn't make the information correct. Don't fake religious reasons for not getting vaccinations as another Mom suggested, there simply isn't anything Biblical about exposing your child to diseases versus prevention of it. You might feel better about splitting up the vaccines instead of combo-ing them together. Every vaccination should have a reaction of a slight fever and possibly crankiness; the body is adjusting to the medications. AGAIN, talk to your Dr. Keep in mind that we have erradicated many harmful diseases in the US because of vaccinations. If you told an African mother her child would potentially not get a particular disease because of a shot, she would jump at the chance! Weigh your options and don't be afraid.

Hello D.! It sounds like the vaccine is linked to your childs speech. You have a feeling in your heart that you can not deny. I always believe that we know our bodies the best. We moms have a strong "motherly instinct" that we have to listen to. The decision to vaccinate is a difficult one. My husband and I have chosen not to vaccinate our children. We have had no problems with the schools. There is a simply wavier form. From what I read, I am concern about the health of your son. Chiropractic is a powerful tool to your family's health. I have noticed that there are two types of people. One is willing to do anything to keep their family health. They are pro active. They research topics, and are well informed. The other type goes along with what other people tell them. They put their family on drugs and follow the system. You sound like the first group. Look at www.icpa4kids.org and www.mercola.com. Learn more about vaccines and PLEASE have your family examined by a family wellness chiropractor. The web site www.icpa4kids.org has a list of doctors who are educated in children. Have a Happy and Healthy Day!
Dr. K.

D. it is good to see that you are worried about shots your son receives, unfortunately all the immunizations that they try to give children are hazardous to the child's health. Look on the Internet at www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/vaccgov.htm#avoid. Legally you have the right to deny any vaccinations to yourself or child. They put all kinds of chemicals in those shots that are very toxic. Now they have started a process called zoonotics that uses animal parts in with the harsh chemicals. Please for your son go to that website and become informed on this crucial issue. People will try to intimidate you but follow those guidelines to the letter. Children do not have to be vaccinated to go to school. My wife and I have a six year old who has never been given any shots and she goes to public school. She is a healthy vegetarian who hasn't been sick a day in her life. Any questions email me at ____@____.com J.

D. I am from Sterling Il so I do not know if this may apply where you are from, but as long as you have a signed letter from your physican you DO NOT need to have your child vaccinated.


I have chosen not to vaccinate my second child due to his sensitivities/allergies/eczema. I can't really make you feel better becuase I agree with you- bit I filled out a form that I said I was opting not to get them because of religious reasons. I don't know how it works for preschool but maybe that is a possibility for you. Good luck.

I would advise you to look at the American Acadamy of Pediatrics Web site and the CDC web site. Also talk to your Doctor.

Hi my son has and oral and verbal apraxia, my son used to scream all the time, because he could not talk, snd he didnt talk until well after 3 and now he is 4 and he will be starting preschool. as for the mmr shot my son had his and i dont think that there is any link at all between the shot and the speech...just to say my son around 2 was saying ma and da then nothing, so honestly i dont think yoiu have any worries..


I'm a mom of three sons, (21,18,15) Do you research regarding shots. With our last child...he has never had a shot...and he had never had any childhood sickness but on, chicken pox.
.read up years ago about the side effects. My second child i have the some shots...he had cronic ear aches, which was a side effect the medical industry does not tell you. Our children went to public schools. We told the schools it was for religious reasons that our children we not getting any shots. I never had any problems with any school official. But they did want a yearly letter from my minister stating that we did believe in this. All our sons have grown up very healthy.
Hope this info helps
Mrs. P

I assume you have talked indepth about this with your pediatrician? As far as school goes.. No you do not have to have your son get any of the vaccines "required". Have your pediatrician sign the designated state form exempting your son from this shot and the reasons for it. Turn it in to the school. When the state researches the schools records, the state may or may not require additional information. My kids went thru public high school without the hepitis vaccines because of the possible link between it and Lupis which runs in my family. Private school is always an alternative too.
Good luck.

1) Get the shots and be done with it, his body must have built up the immunity already.

2) If you don't want the shots, you have a legal right to not administer the shots and he will still be accepted in both private or public education facilities. Contact Concerned Women of America for more information.

Hi D.:

It is important for him to have the MMR.....your anxiety about this is normal. Contact the CCD for info. and check out the health sites and become informed, this will help your anxiety. My children have had all their shots and have had no problems. Your son will need to have them prior to entering any school system so this is a better time than when he's older.

As for the Flu vaccine....I don't believe in this. I've gotten sick from them too. Plus I think in order to fight off the flu we need to be exposed to it.


I know how you feel, I myself had a bad reaction to it, and the papers say if a "parent" has had a bad reaction to it you shouldnt give it to your baby.
I had a hard time with my first she was about 4 mos late getting all her shots, the Dr showed me pictures of children in other countries that don't have access to our medical resources and its sooo sad... It was a gamble that has potentional risk. I decided to go with it,, she is fine, and now in a mentaly gifted class ( she is 6) my next one it was a little easier.. and she stoped talking around too and now she is 3 and never shuts up. and then I have the baby who is 18 months I didn't realy have a problem by the time he came along, he talks, he a sharp little guy. So 3 kids same shots they are all ok, and mom is almost ok about it too :-)
I hope this helps

D.- There is no research to date that suggests any problems secondary to vaccinations. Do you research at reputable websites that provide solid research. Avoid websites that are run by groups promoting the idea to stop vaccinations. After you read the current literature I am sure you will feel more comfortable with the shots. My son just got his MMR last week.

Hi D.,

Our doctor took a lot of time to explain the MMR and how the pros outweighed the cons. Our daughter had hers and she was and is fine.

I did not have the shots because my childhood doctor didn't believe in them. I was healthy as could be as a child and never caught measels, mumps or chicken pox when all my friends became ill. However, I did contract all three my last three years of high school and was extemely ill with all three.

Times and opinions change. Do what you are comfortable with.

I have a problem with all of the vaccines also. I often wonder just how necessary they ALL are. I have refrained from the chicken pox one (my husband and I both had CP and turned out fine). My mother is almost fanatical about homeopathic medicine and believes in building the immune system naturally. I asked her about the vaccines (hoping she would give me some grand advice). She told me to get the major ones for him (CP in our eyes is not major) and stay on schedule. So if this fanatical home remedy lady tells me to get them, they must be important. The alternative (baby getting sick) would be devistating and I would never be able to forgive myself if something happened because I failed to get my child immunized.

Hi D.,

Yes, I can understand your anxiety. I have 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls, and both boys have autism. I have read many an article, website, news report, etc. about the possible link between autism and MMR. I think most had to do with the use of thimerosol, the preservative used before 1999 in most immunizations and flu vaccines. I just took all of my children in for their yearly checkup and my oldest son (12) needed a booster. I asked if there was any thimerosol in the vaccine and the nurse said "No, we don't carry any vaccines with thimerosol" and she knew exactly why I was asking...I certainly didn't want my son to regress! My opinion is get the shot, but check to make sure that thimerosol is not in it. If you have any concerns I would definetely talk with your pediatrician about them, especially with your past experience.

Good luck,


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