The MMR vaccine is administered to prevent measles, mumps and rubella. This vaccine has been rumored to trigger serious health risks among children, including bowel disease and autism. On the other hand, with the studies conducted, it was discovered that the MMR vaccine has no whatsoever link with such conditions.
Purpose of MMR vaccine
The MMR vaccine works by protecting the body against three major conditions. This vaccine is already part of the immunization program in most countries all over the world.
- Measles can cause symptoms such as cough, rash, runny nose, fever and can progress to ear infections, pneumonia and brain damage
- Mumps can cause headache, fever and swollen glands with complications such as meningitis and deafness
- Rubella (German measles) can cause mild fever, rash and arthritis with serious concerns for pregnant women such as the possibility of birth defects or miscarriage
Who should receive the MMR vaccine?
There are guidelines being observed when it comes to the administration of the MMR vaccine that you should be familiar with.
- First dose – children 12-15 months old
- Second dose – children 4-6 years old
- Adults 18 years or older must receive one dose
Contraindications of the MMR vaccine
There are some individuals with certain conditions who should not receive the MMR vaccine due to potential effects.
- Pregnant women
- A previous life-threatening allergic response to a previous dose of MMR or gelatin
- Currently suffering from a moderate to severe health condition
- HIV/AIDS or an immune system condition
- Cancer or currently receiving any form of cancer treatment
Connection of MMR vaccine and autism
There were several studies conducted in order to examine the link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Even though there was an increase in the number of autism cases, there was no abrupt increase in the cases after the vaccine was introduced. The increase in the number of autism cases might have been due to changes in the diagnostic standards.
Potential side effects of the MMR vaccine
Since there is limited evidence that MMR vaccine causes autism, there are possible side effects that can occur. Understandably, administering the MMR vaccine is relatively safer that acquiring any of the three diseases it protects the body from.
The side effects can range from minor such as mild rash and fever to moderate effects such as seizure, joint stiffness and low platelet count or even serious issues such as an allergic reaction.
Weighing down the risks
It is important to note that some children who were given the MMR vaccine develop fever. Rarely, febrile seizure can occur. These side effects can be readily managed if you will enroll in a first aid course today. Even though parents are worried when it comes to the safety of their child with regards to the potential symptoms that can develop, healthcare professionals emphasize the benefits of immunization in order to fight off possible outbreaks of measles as well as other diseases.