Protects against: measles, mumps and rubella
Age: Given at 12-13 months and at 3 years and 4 months of age
A mother's antibodies usually protect her baby against measles for 6 to 12 months; the MMR is given at 13 months. Initial high uptake of the vaccination virtually eliminated epidemics in the UK, but the fall in vaccination rates has seen a resurgence of the disease.
Measles is a nasty disease that can have complications even in healthy children but these are perhaps over-exaggerated.
Fears about the MMR vaccine came to a head in 1998, following a study published in The Lancet by Dr Andrew Wakefield, which linked the vaccine to bowel disorders and autism.
Following a storm of controversy the article was retracted and further studies hastily concluded that no such link exists, although the Cochrane report points out that: "The evidence of adverse events following immunisation with MMR cannot be separated from its role in preventing the target diseases.”
It’s worth noting that at least eight studies have found similar results to Dr Wakefield . A team from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina are currently examining 275 children with regressive autism and bowel disease - and of the 82 tested so far, 70 prove positive for the vaccine-derived measles virus.
It may surprise parents to learn that safety outcomes from the MMR are based on a handful of studies that only follow children for a maximum of three weeks after vaccination. No studies into the long term side effects of the vaccine have been carried out.
Consult your doctor before this vaccination if your baby has had any of the following:
Between a week and 10 days after the vaccination, some children get a mild form of measles. This includes a rash, high temperature, loss of appetite and general feeling of being unwell for about two or three days.
Three to four weeks afterwards, one in 50 will develop mumps. This includes swelling of the glands in the cheek, neck or under the jaw. It lasts for a day or two. Two weeks later, the child may, occasionally, get a small rash of bruise-like spots; this is due to the rubella content.
- Known sensitivity to any component of the vaccine or to neomycin
- Pregnancy (pregnancy must be avoided for one month after vaccination)
- Acute severe febrile illness
- Chickenpox - it is advised to wait until the infection is over
What’s in it:
Each 0.5 ml dose of the reconstituted vaccine contains: 10 (30) CCID of the Schwarz measles, 10 (37) CCID of the RIT 4385 mumps, 10 (30) CCID of the Wistar RA 27/3 rubella virus strains, CCID - Cell Culture Infective Dose 50. Amino acids L-alanine, L-arginine, glycine, L-histidine, L-isoleucine, L-leucine, L-lysine HC1, L-methionine, L-phenylalanine, L-proline, L-serine, L-threonine, L-tryptophan, L-tyrosine, L-valine, L-aspartic acid, L-cysteine, L-cystine, L-hydroxproline, and lactose, mannitol, sorbitol. Residual amounts of the antibiotic neomycin.
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