Single-dose MMR Vaccine

Updated on May 19, 2011
M.O. asks from Highland Park, NJ
10 answers

Is there any way to access a single-dose MMR vaccine in the US -- that is, the measles vaccine all by itself, the mumps vaccine all by itself, etc.? Or, in clinical terms, monovalent vaccines? My understanding is that Merck was going to resume manufacturing of these monovalent vaccines but then decided against it, in spite of considerable parent interest in them. I guess I just want to know: is there really no way to get these monovalent vaccines at all???

And, if it's okay, I would like to respectfully request that this not be a forum for the Great Vaccine Debate. I KNOW Wakefield falsified his results, the Lancet retracted the article, etc. I also know that there are still plenty of parents that would still never go near a vaccine with a 10-foot pole. I just really want to know about these monovalent vaccines.

By way of a teeny bit of background, my 4.5 year old son has a lot of personality traits associated with Asperger's syndrome, but clinically, he doesn't meet the threshold for a diagnosis. I've had a (very mainstream) pediatrician tell me that she's had children in her practice who have exhibited subtle symptoms of autism pre-MMR exhibit much more pronounced symptoms post-MMR. When I described my son's personality to another (again, very mainstream) ped and recounted this first ped's observations, she sort of told me quietly, out of the side of her mouth, "Yes, I would really recommend doing the single doses, or waiting, with this little boy." My son has had all his other shots, though I've made efforts to spread them out over a longer period, with no adverse effects. But the possibilities with this one give me an acute case of the willies. If there's any way in the world I can get them, I'd feel, much more comfortable with the single doses for my shy, sensitive little math 'n science nerd.

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answers from San Francisco on

My understanding is there is no longer a single dose vaccine. I work in a Children's hospital. My measles titers fell off several years ago. I was revaccinated. Two years ago the mumps titer fell off. Both times was revaccinated with MMR. By the way, not really optional if I want to work in a hospital caring for children. I am also required to get the yearly flu vaccine. I was told there are no single vaccines anymore.

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answers from Washington DC on

Kudos to you for doing your own research and trying to make the best informed decision you can. Vaccination is a personal decision. Frankly, I've never understood the great debate. It's a choice each parent should make based on their individual child with the recommendations of that child's DR. What works for one of your children may not for another, but it's the Parent's choice. I took alot of flack for choosing individual preservative free shots spread out over time rather than the combo shots. I understand where you're coming from. I do not think the MMR is available individually :( but just wanted you to know you are not alone in your wishes. Good Luck and God Bless.

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answers from Detroit on

M.---It looks like there are few options. I found some interesting advice at the Dr. Sears website, I know that either Dr. Bob or Dr. Jim wrote a book about vaccines. Haven't read it but I know that they do recommend an alternative schedule.

BTW...I have to throw this in here as it seems that the vaccine/autism controversy has simply taken another disturbing trend. Wakefield never said that vaccines caused autism. What he did note was an association between vaccines and problems with the gut and that autistic children tend to have intestinal issues. Here are a few excerpts from an article written by a Naturopath who has her PhD in Nutrition:
"The study that caused all the fuss was a case series involving 12 children that was organized for the purpose of documenting reports from their parents. The Ethics Practices Committee of the Royal Free Hospital NHS approved Wakefield's study before it started. The study was subsequently published in the Lancet. I have read the article and it does not state that autism is caused by the MMR vaccine. It reported that changes in intestinal health and behavior followed the MMR vaccine in some cases, suggested that environmental triggers might be responsible for autism, and suggested that further research was required.

Wakefield feels that there are many children who cannot tolerate vaccines and that giving multiple vaccines at the same time and administering vaccines to children who are ill places them at significantly higher risk. He says that children with a family history of autism, autoimmune diseases, or bowel diseases are poor candidates for vaccination."

So, I applaud you in your search to do the best thing for your son. I would be happy to forward this entire article to anyone who cares to read it. Just email me at [email protected] luck...D.
Edit: I should amend my statement that Dr. Sears 'recommends' an alternative vaccine schedule. I should say that he OFFERS an alternative schedule.

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answers from Washington DC on

I have not been able to find the separated doses of the MMR vaccine. I would recommend that you read "Healing the New Childhood Epidemics" by Kenneth Bock, MD and Cameron Stauth. It gives you a lot of information on how to heal your child from Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies. If you go to a DAN Doctor, you can get help in how to heal your child before getting any further vaccine. In addition, there are certain vitamins that your child can take to help support the immune system when a vaccine is given. Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Zinc and Transfer factor is recommended by Dr. Bock before and after the vaccine.

I am not following the recommended vaccine schedule and have been spreading out all the vaccines doing them one at a time. I get a lot of pressure from my pediatrician and my Husband to do more vaccines sooner. It takes a strong will to stay firm and follow what you know is right.

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answers from New York on

Has he ever had the first shot of all three? My nephew had the first set and when he was due for the booster it was recommended for him to have a blood test to see if he had immunity. which he did. He is also showed signs of austim before the initial shot. Ask yor ped about the blood work. Good luck.



answers from Washington DC on

Hello. I Never knew about the single dose versions. My son's Ped is also a family friend and I can ask her if you would like. She works w/ Children's hospital and is very well versed in latest things. I commend you for going with your gut. I did the same thing with my son. He got his almost 2 yrs later than recommended. My family gave me alot of flack about it, but I stuck to my gut. I view it like this: You are his mom. Moms want nothing but the best for their children, and if nothing else if something does go wrong we are the ones who have to care for them, so it is our choice/ right to protect them how we see fit. Good Luck and if you want me to check w/her just let me know!!! K.



answers from Pittsburgh on

No, there are no monovalent vaccines for the ones included in the MMR. The CDC website is a pretty good source of information about what is available and current licensure status.



answers from Washington DC on

I was told there was no split dose option for my DD and she had to have the MMR version before an overseas trip - which was just before she was 1...which likely means the school district will yell, but our pediatrician said she sees no reason to re-do until we have to. But as much as I wanted it and as much as our pediatrician would have done it, we didn't have the split option. :( I don't have the concerns you do, but I really dislike all these combo vax for my own reasons and wish they would offer more options.

It's hard when you don't have the options you want. I hope you can find a solution that works for you/your family. I would wait as long as you could and maybe also get the pediatrician to write a letter to the school district if necessary for a "medical need" exemption or something while you work it out.



answers from Chicago on

no. there is not at this point. id research each illness and decide from your gut mama!



answers from Bellingham on

Good article, Diane! The whole Wakefield thing is a witch hunt , IMHO. Good to see someone else who actually read the thing before passing judgment!
Anyway, I wanted to add that yes, while there are no seperate MMR vaccines, ALL parents who wish there was should call/email/write/ Merck and request it to be made again! If enough people do this, and show them that they are loosing money by not offering it, they will most likely bring it back!
Also, Congrats to you for doing what's best for your little guy! If you don't feel comfortable with giving him the shot (which it sounds like you don't) then don't do it! trust your instincts, momma!!