MMR Vaccine

MMR stands for Measles, Mumps & Rubella (sometimes referred to as German Measles). Vaccines against Measles, Mumps and Rubella are often given together at 15 months (instead of the Measles vaccine alone) and is administered again at 5 years of age.


MMR & Autism

The MMR vaccine has received a lot of bad press as it is rumoured to be linked to autism. No sound evidence has been found to substantiate this claim. In Japan, the MMR vaccination has been discontinued, with single vaccines being used for each disease. Rates of autism diagnosis have continued to increase, showing no correlation with the change.

Medical professionals say that the risks of contracting either Measles, Mumps or Rubella far outweigh the documented side effects of these vaccines.

Why the MMR Vaccine is Important

Only the Measles vaccine is mandatory. Most government clinics will only administer the Measles vaccine to children. However Mumps and Rubella are also serious infections that can have a range of complications. If you are deciding against vaccinating your child for Mumps and Rubella, consider these points:

  • A male child with Mumps can develop a complication with the testes known as orchitis. This can lead to sterility.
  • A women who has never contracted German measles in childhood and never had the vaccine runs the risk of giving birth to a baby with severe birth defects if she contracts Rubella during pregnancy. This can vary from mental and growth retardation, deafness, cataracts, heart defects and defects of other organs.

During pregnancy, I had a blood test to check my immunity levels. It was recommended that I have a MMR booster after the baby was born. I elected to have this at the same time as my baby had hers.  If you are trying to conceive, you should wait 30 days after the vaccine has been administered before conceiving as it is a live virus and can cross the placenta.

Side Effects of the MMR Vaccine

Some of the common side effects that may occur include:

  • Mild fever
  • Minor skin rash
  • Swelling of the glands around the neck and cheeks

These side effects will resolve spontaneously within a week or two.

Note: If your child has experienced a life-threatening allergic reaction to gelatine, the antibiotic neomycin or to a previous dose of the MMR vaccine, the recommendation is that they do not have the MMR vaccine. I would suggest speaking to your Paediatrician before making any set decisions.