Thoughts About the Mmr Vaccine

Updated on June 10, 2008
A.V. asks from Westchester, IL
26 answers

Just wondering what everyone's thoughts were on the mmr. My son had his mmr done when he was 15 mo. and had an allergic reaction. He had a slight fever initially then broke out in a rash which last about 10 days and I was asked not to bring him back to daycare until the rash was gone, I have backup resources so that wasn't really a big deal. Anyways, now my daughter is 16 mo. and was supposed to get the shot but I just don't feel comfortable with her getting the shot right now. I would rather wait a few more months. I could tell the dr. was not happy with my decision. I'm just looking for other opinions on this. Thanks.

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L.B.

answers from Chicago on

I always waited until the outside of the window was reached before giving vaccines. For example, if it was something that was to be administered between 6 mos -2 yrs, I waited til 2 yrs.

Do what you think is right. Doctors don't know everything.

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B.M.

answers from Chicago on

Amy,
Good for you for standing your ground.

We split up the mmr - 3 months in between each shot. Our dr is very understanding of our concerns.

I also don't do more than 2 shots at a time and we decline some of them. They get off schedule, but its not that big of a deal.

I hope this helps,
B.

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A.M.

answers from Chicago on

MMR is the most studied vaccine on the market today. Twice the Institute of Medicine (an independent group of the nation's experts) have studied it and found it to be safe. Putting off getting the vaccine only delays the benefits for your child. If you need information on vaccine safety, there are a variety of resources. see the CDC website at www.cdc.gov or the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org or google institute of medicine.
The Centers for Disease Control,[2] the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences,[3] and the UK National Health Service[4] have all concluded that there is no evidence of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. A systematic review by the Cochrane Library concluded that there is no credible link between the MMR vaccine and autism, that MMR has prevented diseases that still carry a heavy burden of death and complications, and that the lack of confidence in MMR has damaged public health.[5]
the bottomline is that this vaccine can help your child avoid illness that can be devastating. I would get your child vaccinated ASAP.

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K.O.

answers from Chicago on

I just got back from my daugher's 9 month old check up and we discussed the MMR vaccine. It seems as though the rewards really outweight the risks. There have been some measel/mumps outbreaks in the area, which should cause concern. For example, if a boy gets mumps it could make him sterile.

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C.K.

answers from Chicago on

Part of the reason your doctor was not happy may have been due to the recent measles outbreak in the midwest. Most of the people contracting this are unvaccinated children and people exposed to unvaccinated children. There have been a few deaths though doctors are finally being trained in how to treat it, its still a toss up. Measels are very dangerous with an extremely high mortality rate. Far more dangerous than any rash, and statisically there's a higher risk of contracting this disease, than having an adverse effect from the mmr. I have a lot of friends in the healthcare industry and right now is not a good time for playing with vaccines. it's getting too dangerous and irresponsible not to vaccinate.

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K.B.

answers from Chicago on

Did the health department or your doctor verify your son's reaction as allergy to the MMR? Did he get the subsequent ones or did he never receive another one? If he did get the subsequent ones, how did he react? I'm guessing that they didn't document it as an allergy since your son wasn't allowed back to daycare. (A doctor's document that it was an allergy not a contageous rash should have pacified everyone including DCFS who regulates them.)

We had a similar experience with my DS and Prevnar, although I don't think that he had a rash. The day after the Prevnar (and other shots, but he'd had those before) he had the highest fever I think he's ever had. I freaked COMPLETELY out. The doctors said that even if it was a reaction it was better to get the fever than to get whatever Prevnar prevents (I want to say the pneumonia-causing virus.) So I sucked it up, took a big deep mama breath, and had him get the second one. Nothing. Not a fever, nada. We figured it was a freakishly-timed virus and not a reaction to the shot at all.

That said, with my daughter, who was born with a heart defect, we did a delayed immunization schedule. Mostly that was because she was too sick to get them at the right times, but even now, as she enters kindergarten, I've split up those vaccines. My son had no problems getting all of his at once, but I worry about my daughter. So we split them. No worries.

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H.C.

answers from Chicago on

What you're describing isn't an "allergic reaction." That's a typical reaction to the MMR virus itself -- the body is responding with antibodies to the virus, but in a far far less severe way than it would respond to the full-strength virus. It's very normal. Probably the reason you were asked not to return to daycare is because your son was shedding virus and there may have been other children there not immune yet.

BTW -- it is completely false that measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough don't happen in the U.S. There are measles outbreaks every year. When I was teaching in California, we had a problem with kids contracting whooping cough, and a couple of my adult friends even got it. Another friend who is a practicing doctor was seeing cases comes into his clinic every week.

As for me, I'm pregnant. If I get measles now, it could be deadly for my unborn child. Why? Because despite two sets of immunizations, my body hasn't built up immunity.

Everyone is free to make their decisions about vaccinations -- I personally space out my son's vaccinations and have turned down the Hepatitis and Chicken Pox vaccines for now -- but please do it with correct information.

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J.R.

answers from Chicago on

Amy,

Measles Mumps and Rubella are all still actively reported to the CDC in the US. in 2006 there was an 'outbreak' - mostly among college students, but that doesn't minimize exposure to little ones. I won't sit here and tell you why you need to vaccinate. clearly you know the benefits. :) Until the US closes it's borders entirely with countries that have not come as far as us in preventing these diseases, we will always be exposed. that's a fact.

If you are concerned about another reaction, and I certainly cannot blame you. I have never seen one personally in any of my 4 children, but I know it would scare me to see one. Talk to your doctor about using a modified vaccine schedule. Most are pretty good about this as it's a hot button topic. dr. Sears website has a modified schedule if you are looking to follow that. and he also has a list of doctors who are willing to work with it.

Don't take it personally about the doc seeming upset. They are probably getting a lot of parents who clearly dont understand the benefits v risks and are trying to opt out of vaccines all together... i dont mean to offend anybody, but there you have it.

People dont' understand... even the simple act of gardening with your kids... a seemingly wonderful activity, can expose your child to tetanus. it's in the soil.

I personally plan to go every ten years to have my blood tested for antibodies against those diseases that we vaccinate for. My children (12 and 10) are getting boosters too.

You wouldn't drive your car without a seat belt or car insurance would you? Vaccines are the the best insurance policy we have to keep from getting these terrible diseases.

Good luck, I hope your doctor is more accepting of your proposed schedule. You could always call and speak with one of the nurses... tell her you are looking to use a modified schedule and want to know which doctor is most accepting.

Good luck!

Edit note: I jsut wanted to add, that at some point we have to trust our doctors. If you don't trust yours, go elsewhere. Their medical degree's have to count for something and the research we do on the internet is good at informing us what the doctors dont have time to tell us at every appointment, but when we ask our doctors questions, we have to feel confident they are not just spoon feeding society what would be dangerous or careless.

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J.P.

answers from Chicago on

I didn't split my son's MMR but I did hold off till he was a bit older. I think he got it around 18+ months. It is your choice so the doctor can be as upset as they want but they can't make that decision for you. Our doctor actually suggested I wait since I was apprehensive. Too bad not all doctors are understanding to parents fears.

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H.L.

answers from Chicago on

I just want to add that the mortality rate of measles in 3rd world countries is from lack of nutrition. Without Vitamin A, it can wreak havoc on the body. However, in our country, dying of the measles is exceedingly rare. EVERYONE got it before the shot, and it wasn't some dreaded smallpox disease, it was a normal childhood illness like chickenpox was for us. I can't believe how much drama got attached to it after just one generation of vaccinations being available. If you are worried about it, wait. Research. The best thing to do is always follow your "mother's intuition".

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M.S.

answers from Chicago on

Amy,

My doctor is letting me split the MMR into the individual vaccines. My son is only 2 months old, but since vaccinations started this week, we discussed the schedule going forward. We are using Dr. Robert Sears' alternative schedule, which recommends splitting the MMR. However, the doc asked that we adapt it a little. The Sears' schedule puts the measles shot much later, and there is currently an outbreak of measles in Illinois, so we'll switch the order when it's time and do the measles shot first, then mumps, then rubella.

I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck!
M.

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C.B.

answers from Chicago on

Talk over your Son's reaction with your Ped prior to your daughter receiving it. There may be other options like spliting the vaccinations up. Maybe the formulas have been modified since when your Son received them. The vaccinations are important, but you need to make sure you get all the facts so you can make an informed decision. Most importantly your Ped should be involved so that they now how best to treat you precious ones.

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J.P.

answers from Chicago on

Hi everyone,

I was also recently wondering about the safety of vaccines and read an interesting article athttp://generationrescue.com/vaccines.html that has me thinking about delaying my daughter's vaccines. My older daughter had no problems, and I never questioned anything. But, in my 10 years of teaching I have seen SO MANY kids with autism- SOMETHING has to be causing it. Did anyone see the pictures of Jenny McCarthy's son on Oprah before and after his MMR shot? That was enough to make me reconsider. This article talks about how much we are injecting into these tiny bodies at once, and how it's so different than 25 years ago. Now, I know we don't want our kids getting horrible diseases either, but if there's an alternate schedult that works and is possibly more safe, then I'm for it! My 4 mo. old did run a fever after her 2 mo. & 4 mo. shots, but I guess thats normal. I would love to know at what age other people are getting the MMR done, and if any of you have followe an alternate schedul (spreading them out) please share or PM me if you have more info! I don't know how my ped. will react if i bring this up, but I need to do what's right for my beautiful baby girl!

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R.A.

answers from Chicago on

AMy, I have done a lot of reading on this - good for you. There is the possibility of splitting up each of the 3 shots that are combined into one - measels, mumps and rubella - ask for that option and spread each of the shots out over time.
my pediatrician has given me a really hard time for my opinions on spreading out vaccines, so I am going to switch for our 2nd - which is due in Dec. If you want the names of doctors who are open to working with the parents - private message me. I got the list from the mom's on this site.

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E.B.

answers from Chicago on

I speak as a mother of a child with several severe disabilities. You need to listen to your heart. If you aren't comfortable with vaccines don't do it. Serious damage can be done with them and obviously your child had a bad reaction. Read up on the horrors of vaccines then make an educated decision. If you need to change doctors then do so. It only takes one time of your child having a bad reaction (read brain damage)and then it's been done...possibly irreversible. This could leave your child unable to take care of himself for the rest of his life, constantly depending on others. this is not the way we want our children to live. It's no fun for mom either.

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J.K.

answers from Chicago on

I have 3 children, 2 girls ages 6 1/2 and 5, and a son age 14 months. With the girls, I followed the traditional vaccine schedule and everything has been fine. However, with my son, I have been on a delayed schedule. Some visits, I don't get any shots at all, and I never take more than two at a time. He seems to have a quirky temperment, and I just feel that if something were to go wrong, he would be the kid. We go to a large practice group (Wheaton Pediatrics in Wheaton by Danada) where we usually try to seee Dr. Cynthia Ambler. She has been very understanding and accomodating, although I have received some pressure from some of the other doctors in the practice group when we see them instead of Dr Ambler. Fortunately, depending on how you look at it, my little guy has "cooperated" in this particular effort by being sick a lot, so since he has been sick for quite a few of his well visits it made it easier for me to postpone his vaccines. Please don't misunderstand me -- I'm a big supporter of vaccines in theory and I plan to get them all well before he starts school. I just think that 4 plus shots at one time is overwhelming for a little baby's immune system, and the heightened controversy scares me. We aren't on a particular schedule. I just get one or two each time we are at the doctor and he is well enough for a shot. I figure it will all work out long before he is 5 and I'm happier this way. We haven't had the MMR yet, but I do plan to wait on that one. Good luck!

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L.F.

answers from Chicago on

hi, do not worry about your doctor. these are your babies and your life. the decision is a very personal one and is ultimately up to you. it is however important to have a supportive doctor. the dr. sears vaccine book is very informative and unbiased. check it out if you can.
best of luck.

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H.T.

answers from Chicago on

Hi Amy,

We split up our MMR shots into three seperate shots/visits. This did mean that we got out of sequence on some of our other shots but the doctor wasn't concerned about that. Unfortunately insurance covered the MMRV but didn't cover the shots seperately, but it was worth it to us to pay.

Some practices won't even consider this because the CDC supports there is no link between MMRV and autism. If your doctor is open to working with you to ensure your child is protected but at a vaccination rate you are comfortable with, then you are ahead of the game.

Good luck with your decision.

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R.A.

answers from Chicago on

so did you finish the mmr series with your son after the allergic reaction? if not, i would strongly recommend that you do NOT. in addition, it is generally recommended that you wait until any siblings are at least 2 before giving the mmr if one child had an allergy to the shot, or that you NOT give the shot at all.
if your current doctor is not happy with your decision, seek out a second opinion from a doctor more open to discussing alternative vaccination schedules.

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J.C.

answers from Chicago on

None of the diseases (measles, mumps, rubella) are even happening in our hemisphere of the world these days. If you don't feel comfortable with it, you should wait. Trust your instincts. Especially since there is a history of allergic reaction in your family. By the way, did they ever pinpoint which ingredient your son reacted to? Read Dr. Sears book, The Vaccine Book. It will help you make an informed decision.

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M.R.

answers from Chicago on

We're planning on following a traditional schedule per our pediatrician's recommendations. We trust her years in medical school, her pediatric residency, the fact that she is a FAAP, and that she's been an outstanding physician for many, many years. That being said, just because I feel something is right for my child doesn't make it right for another. Ultimately it is your decision and up to you.

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D.S.

answers from Chicago on

You'll get a lot of opposition from your doc if you buck the system. I certainly have. But, do what's right for your family. You can break up each shot into three. Even if the single dose isn't available, tell the doc that you only want a 1/3 or the injection and you'll come back three weeks in a row. Doctors don't study the vaccines themselves, they swallow everything fed to them by the CDC/FDA. Vaccines schedules would be too hard to manage if doctors all recommended/supported different schedules. But, that doesn't mean the schedule that's out is current the right one. Good luck.

J.S.

answers from Chicago on

If you don't feel comfortable, then you don't feel comfortable. Good on you for trusting your instinct.

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J.H.

answers from Chicago on

I say go with your gut and wait.

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K.H.

answers from Chicago on

Hi Amy,

Even though, you have gotten great advice, I wanted to chime in for you to go with your instinct. If your doctor is not understanding to your concerns/fears, you might want to consider switching doctors. My son has had a reaction to the DTaP vaccine twice and for 2-3 weeks following the shot, he stopped babbling and was incredibly irratible. We were doing an alternative schedule so I knew the reactions were to that vaccine. Our doctor has asked us if we would be okay holding off on vaccines for awhile. (Our son is 7 months and he recommended until 15 months) And after how scary it was to see the reaction (esp. the second time) we are definitely in favor of slowing the schedule down even further. I support vaccines; however, even before his reaction, I wanted to take it slow since children have reactions...hence the warning pamphlets and sign-offs. I would go with your instinct to protect your daughter and take time. Plus, you will feel like a stronger parent standing up for what you believe in...this will be only one of those difficult decisions you will have to make as a parent. Take care...best wishes. :) K.

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T.V.

answers from Chicago on

Hi Amy-I waited to respond to this because there is so much controversy and mis-information. I spent about 100 hours doing research on vaccines for a presentation that I gave 3 weeks ago for concerned mothers. Your warrants are justified. Check out www.vaclib.org for all of the latest info on the vaccine controversy and the courts. The CDC and FDA have said their is a link and it is to just more than autism.

I have some great articles and other websites. If you would like a copy of these please send me an email. Also there is www.homefirst.com. The doctor that started this practice over 20 years ago has an excellent track record with delayed vaccines and non-vaccines. Doctors need to work with their patients. Dr. Ettner out of St. Francis in Evanston is also a great doctor and respects whatever the parents wishes are.

I have 4 children and will not vaccinate. I consider myself very educated about this decision and my children are never sick, no allergies and no doctor visits with the exception of routine check-ups for school. There immune systems are very strong and I chose not to introduce foreign substances into their bodies. It is a personal choice and all of the supplemental information that you need is at your fingertips.

T.

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