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Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Advice about Health > Vaccinations & Immunizations > MMR



Mercury Free MMR?

Jan 2004

Does anyone know of a doctor that has a mercury free mmr vaccine? it is one of the few that is still preserved in small amounts of thimerisol. any suggestions? thanx jess


According to this site at the US Food & Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm#t3 the MMR is mercury-free. Don't know your source claiming it's not. R.K.

Obtaining measles vaccine only

Sept 2003

We chose to NOT give our daughter the MMR vaccination. Rather, we gave her the Measles single antigen shot when she was two years old. Now it's time for a booster and Kaiser does not provide the single antigen anymore, nor does the City of Berkeley's Immunization Clinic. Does anyone know where might we find the Measles single antigen vaccination?

[no replies received]


Mar 2003

Does anyone know where I can find Attenuvax (live measles vaccine) solo? I would like to avoid having my son immunized with the MMR, and while Attenuvax is available in theory, Merck (the only US manufacturer) hasn't made it for over a year and won't produce any in 2003. Steven

[no replies received]


My 18-month-old son has mumps

Jan 2003

My 18-month-old son has mumps. Yes, he was vaccinated three months ago, but apparently did not become immune. We haven't been out of the area. I'm posting just to let other know this virus is around. (By the way, my son has a mild case, and is rapidly improving. It presented as swelling just below one ear.) Mumps Parent


It was interesting to hear that there is a case of mumps around. I have postponed the MMR vaccine in my daughter because she is allergic to eggs and I understand that this vaccine is based in duck's egg. However, we have an appointment to go on and get it started. Doc says give benadryl one hour before and not to worry. Just wondering if anyone had an adverse reaction in a child that was egg allergic. Thanks
I obtained this information from the Food Allergy & Anaphlaxis Network regarding the administration of MMR and egg allergy. ''Can an MMR Vaccine be given to an individual with an egg allergy.''

''The recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) acknowledge that the MMR vaccine can be safely administered to all patients with egg allergy. The AAP recommendations have been based, in part, on overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the routine use of one-dose administration of the MMR vaccine to egg-allergic patients. This includes those patients with a history of severe, generalized anaphylactic reactions to egg''

I would not want to give my child benadryl. If there was a problem the benadryl would only mask the initial symptons of a reaction but not prevent an allergic reaction. My son, who was allergic to eggs had no reaction to the vaccine. We waited in the office for about a half hour just to make sure everything was fine. He received the vaccine in one dose. I have a full article on this subject dating back to 1997. If you would like to receive it please email me at emfeder@attglobal.net Elisa


When's the last time anyone got measles?

Feb 2002

I'm looking for information on local communicable disease outbreaks. In particular, I'm looking for statistics on any measles outbreaks. My daughter is 17 months and has not gotten her MMR yet (and won't until she's 2). Her pediatrician thinks I'm an idiot and says that a child who gets measels has a 10% of going into the ICU. When's the last time anyone got measels around here? How would I find this out? Is there a website I can access? Thanks!


I understand your concern about wanting to delay the MMR vaccine. I'm responding not because I necessarily have information about measles outbreaks, although the state dept. of public health would likely have that information, but because I witnessed a measles outbreak happen when I lived in Oregon several years ago. Unfortunately, someone who did not vaccinate their child let her play with children who had the measles and then brought her to a gathering of about two to three hundred people, including many children two weeks later. This started a measles epidemic over the entire state and many children came down with it, including young babies. I'm not saying you would be that irresponsible or nor am I making any judgement calls on your decision, just that it's hard to predict when these types of outbreaks might occur. Unfortunately, sometimes others are incredibly irresponsible about these things. I think if I were investigating this, I'd not only want to know when the last measles epidemic was but the percentage of current infection that exists in the population at any one time to assess the risk. Good luck making your decision.
There have not been very many outbreaks in recent years in the U.S. due to widespread immunizations since 1963. Before that, there were 3,000 deaths a year. But there are still outbreaks (and deaths) in recent years, in Utah and Nevada, in Ireland and the UK. Measles is still around. It is a major killer of children in third world countries, as great a threat as malaria in children under 5 according to Unicef (http://www.childinfo.org/eddb/measles/).

Is it safe for you to assume that you don't need to buy in to the immunization ''insurance policy'' because so many other parents will protect you by immunizing their own children, thus reducing the risk that your child will ever be exposed to measles? What happens if a lot of other parents join you in your choice? Will you still feel your child is safe from measles 5 years from now if the no-immunize crowd continues to gain in popularity and finally exceeds the pro-immunize crowd? Personally, I'm not going to gamble my child's health on the bet that enough people will immunize to keep the chance of outbreak in Berkeley low. I am immunizing my child, because I can't accept the risk that your non-immunized child will contract measles and infect my child.

Unfortunately, unvaccinated children put the entire community at risk. Unvaccinated people are 35 times more likely to contract measles, according to a Science News article I found at http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/sci-news/1999/snr0707.htm. But since a small percentage of the vaccinated can still contract measles, a growing population of 35-times-more-likely unvaccinated children puts all of us at greater risk. So you are not just making a choice for your own child in choosing not to immunize. You are making a choice for all of us, whether we choose to immunize or not. I urge you to do a little research on the web and see for yourself what the risks are for your child, and for those of us in your community.

-- a mom who immunizes


I waited until my son was 2 also and I struggled to find this type of information as well and I don't think I ever did. I searched on the internet for Measles outbreaks and never found any. My doctor felt that it reasonable for me to wait through the summer and fall because Measles outbreaks tend to happen in winter months. I felt fine about waiting and I'm really glad I did. I wish I held off on other immunizations until later as well. In any case, my Doctor at Kaiser was ok with me wanting to space them because he saw that I had done my research and had good arguments to support my decisions. It help to know what you are talking about I agree. Good luck to you. Hadley
I don't know how you can find out, but I have not heard of a case ever. I live in Fremont, grew up in Fremont and traveled extensively around the U.S. with my family when I was growing up. Never heard or saw anyone with measles. Probably because the innoculations work so well. I would try a search for a communicable disease control center and see if you can find out the statistics your're looking for there. I don't think you're an idiot, just concerned, but I think your child is pretty safe. Let the rest of us know what you find out. marianne
Please listen to your doctor! The question is not ''When was the last time anyone got measles around here?'' It should be ''How soon before an outbreak of this serious disease occurs because increasing numbers of well meaning (but misguided) parents defer or avoid MMR vaccinations for their children?''

Your Doctor is giving you the best advice available to protect your child - AND every child your child comes into contact with. Vaccination protects children from horrible diseases like Polio, Measles and Diptheria that killed or disabled significant numbers of children as recently as our parents generation (and still do in third world countries).

The proposed link between MMR vaccination and increased levels (or is it increased diagnosis?) of Autism has not been statistically established by any subsequent research.

Considering that the Bay Area is a center for so much world class medical and Biotech research, the general population sometimes seem to have an almost medieval suspicion of modern medical science, while at the same time being very open to any ''natural'' or ''alternative'' therapy, no matter how dubious it is. We can't all be experts on science or statistical research, but given that fact, we need to follow the current advice of a pediatrician rather than be guided by our own uninformed feelings or suspicions. Remember, this is not a personal choice issue - your decision affects the whole population.

For the record, my son has received the MMR vaccination, and no, I'm not a doctor.


The reason that measles and other potentially life-altering/threatening diseases are ''dying out'' in the U.S. is that IMMUNIZATION has greatly enhanced our public health (my aunt died at 2 years old from diptheria in the 1920's rural South and today millions of children die needlessly throughout the world from lack of immunization). Quite frankly, I'm having a hard time with your logic. You don't see why your child should get immunized (and be put at VERY LOW risk of getting a bad reaction) because everyone else's child has? That's exactly the kind of thinking that leads to new outbreaks and quite frankly I feel its amazingly self-centered. If your child has some underlying medical condition that makes them a high risk for having a bad reaction to immunization THEN I can understand your point of view. But otherwise, you're risking your child's life much more by not getting immunized... not to mention raising the danger for others by your child's becoming a vector for disease. Measles/rubella is NOT relatively harmless like chicken pox. Karen H.
I don't mean to be judgemental, but why risk the health of your child? Vaccines are helpful to insure your child's safety...and most schools require that your child have them. You asked about local outbreaks. What your question doesn't take into account is the possibility that someone who is infected may visit the area and spread the illness. Just my 2 cents. an anonymous mom of a child your child's age
I'm the original poster of the measels question. 1) The question asked was not, ''Is it OK to not vaccinate my child?'' The question was, ''When was the latest local measels outbreak and where would I find out that information?'' I appreciate all responses that pertained to my question. 2) I do vaccinate my children. My son got his MMR at age 2 and I didn't encounter hysteria from the pediatrician. My daughter is now 17 months and I wondered if I should reconsider delaying her vaccination. 3) My family, for health reasons, has *delayed* certain vaccines and this is acceptable practice by the AAP. 4) CA allows medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions for vaccinations. 5) Please be aware that there are families who should not vaccinate for family health reasons. Frankly, I am more than irritated that assumptions were made about our family's choices (i.e. ''Why would you want to risk the health of your child, etc.''). You don't know anything about us. Thanks for your concern, Very Annoyed Parent

Does MMR cause Autism?

April 2001

(from the discussion "Worried about Vaccinations")

While I completely respect your decision to monitor your child's vaccinations, I want to clear up something. You should have all the facts when you make your decision. It is not true that there has been a rise in autism related to vaccinations. In fact, a recent study showed that the number of cases of autism is not rising at the rate of the population of vaccinated kids. The single erroneous study linking vaccinations to autism was in Great Britain, where a doctor took a very small group of autistic kids (under 25) and tried to map their 15-month MMR vaccinations to the first signs of autism. There was no control group. Of course there was a relationship: Unfortunately, the first signs of autism seem to be around 15 months, which is the same time babies get their first MMR shots. There was no study of all infants who had received the MMR vaccines. Since then, several groups have done studies and found they could not correlate the two at all. (See the "New York Times," Feb. 20, 2001, "Vaccine Discounted as a Link to Autism.".) Also, it seems every time a major media outlet rehashes what I just wrote, folks ignore the part where they say scientists have dismissed the British doctor's claims. This happened with the recent "60 Minutes" episode and the recent "20/20" episode. Unfortunately, it's very hard to prove a negative. And, because doctors and scientists are not certain what causes autism--although, according to the "Time" magazine issue on it last year, the medical community believes it is related to genetics--it is hard to rule out anything. I truly feel for parents of autistic children. But remember that without vaccinations, we'd still have smallpox and whooping cough. There are very valid concerns about overvaccination. But measles, mumps and rubella can be very serious to infants. And, worse, exposure to rubella can be very serious to pregnant women and their babies. Gwynne


I wanted to add a comment regarding vaccinations, prefacing it with a statement of my own bias: I have chosen to vaccinate my children, but I do believe there are important risks involved. As to the issue of vaccinations and autism: Whether or not there is a link between autism and vaccinations is unknown, and if there is one, it is likely complex. I have not yet read the original research articles that were discussed regarding the MMR and autism, though I plan to, but I have read about them many times, and I do know that there are some researchers who do not dismiss the findings by Wakefied in Great Britain. There are clearly some sort of environmental contributors to the increase in autism seen in recent years. There appear to be genetic risk factors involved as well; as with most diseases autism probably has multiple causes, and genetic risks are not necessarily or even usually the sole cause of disease and disorder. This recent increase in autism in the U.S. is real and alarmingly large, and we should all be concerned about figuring out why and what must be done to prevent it. Regarding vaccinations in general: There are alarming recent increases in a number of other childhood and immune system disorders that may be caused in part by the way we vaccinate our children. I, and many others, believe there absolutely must be rigourous LONG-TERM research on the consequences of vaccinations, and that the question is not whether to vaccinate (though this should be a choice that parents can make), but how to vaccinate: starting at what age, using what additives, against which diseases and how many diseases overall, what is the most approporiate timing and spacing, etc. Perhaps we vaccinate our children at too early an age, perhaps we use too many vaccinations and too many at a time. The reality is we don't know what the long-term consequences are of our current recommended vaccination schedule, and we should all be concerned about increasing the level of unbiased research into these issues. Parents who question the safety of vaccinations are doing a service to the greater society, as their concerns have already led to increased commitment to such research and to some needed changes (for example, note the recent decision to stop using thimerosol, mercury, in children's vaccinations). And it's important to remember that there have been many times in history when a seemingly strange idea was later supported by scientific research and then accepted as an obvious truth. While some of the problems parents have attributed to vaccinations may have nothing to do with vaccinations, others clearly do and research is accumulating that suggests there are many unintended consequences of vaccinations, some of them potentially serious, which must be investigated. What's a parent to do? Find a doctor you feel will honestly and openly discuss your concerns and consider the following: you can opt out of some vaccinations, and/or start them later, do only one at a time, etc. Stay as informed as you can as there is new research accumulating all the time, and be an advocate for research into these issues! Lisa
May 2000

We are agonizing over whether or when to get our children (now 16 months old) vaccinated for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella. There have been several articles in recent editions of our local paper (the West Contra Costa County Times) that talk about the skyrocketing increases in autism rates and a link between autism and this vaccine. Studies are only gathering funding now. We also have friends with an autistic child who was glowing with health and normal in every way, just as ours are, until about this age, so it's close to home. However, young children can die from measles (CDC says 1 in 1,000 do), so we don't want to leave them unprotected. Our pediatrician is not addressing our concerns ("There's no link," is all she will say). Has anyone had time to research this link between MMR and autism? Our questions are these:
- Is there more than one MMR vaccine? Has the link been made between autism and the vaccine of one particular manufacturer? Is there a "safer" MMR vaccine?
- Is there only one window of opportunity for the onset of autism? That is, if we put off getting the vaccine until our children are older, will the risk of autism be past?
- Why are the three vaccines bundled? Is it possible to vaccinate just against measles, or just against mumps, and leave rubella, for example, out of it (we have heard that rubella will only be a problem for them later in life)? Thanks. Pamela


I have a strong opinion on this: vaccinate your child! These diseases can all be serious & they are highly contagious. Rubella causes serious birth defects if a pregnant mother catches it--you don't want your baby to be Typhoid Mary. Whooping cough is now back and nearly killed a friend of mine--all because some people have been scared off the vaccine by rare reactions that are not dangerous if the child is properly monitored.

I am extremely skeptical of "studies" that show vaccines as "causing" autism--don't trust what is in a popular magazine. People are always seeking ways to blame this & other disorders on something simplistic & there is always anecdotal evidence to scare people out of doing something they are ambivalent about doing anyway. (Witness the discussion on sunscreen "causing" cancer--my kids were required to have sunscreen in day care because NOT having sunscreen really can ultimately cause cancer.) If these articles cite back to scientific sources, you could always examine them or have someone with a scientific background do so for you, if science is not your thing. I would be very surprised if there were any substance to it. If your doctor says as much, he/she is probably right. Mary Ann


Autism only manifests itself at an age of about 18 months ... there is no way yet to test for it before then, and the babies that do become autistic will seem normal, healthy etc. This is just a part of autism and has nothing to do with vaccinations or other 'external' factors. A very recent study found that newborn blood samples of babies that later develloped autism show an abnormal amount of particular brain development proteins. A news story on this is at:

A study published in 1998 looked specifically for a link with the MMR vaccine and it reported no increase in autism in the UK after the introduction of the MMR vaccine in 1988: Brent Taylor, Elizabeth Miller, C Paddy Farrington, Maria-Christina Petropoulos, Isabelle Favot-Mayaud, Jun Li, Pauline A Waight: Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: no epidemiological evidence for a causal association. Lancet 1998:353 # 9169

Of course all good scientists will say that 'more study is needed' to be 100% sure, but seeing this evidence, allong with the fact that MMR really does save lives, meant that I vaccinated my daughters without hesitation. Michael


I'm sure others will comment on the degree of risk associated with the MMR and other vaccines, and on whether they can be given separately. I thought you would be interested in a recently published book on the possible link between vaccination and certain forms of 'late-onset' autism: "Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder: A Mother's Story of Research and Recovery," by Karyn Seroussi and Bernard Rimland, Ph.D.

I heard Karyn Seroussi interviewed on NPR recently and was impressed. (I might add that I am by no means a medical alarmist, either.) Here's a brief description from the publisher:

"When their nineteen-month-old son, Miles, was diagnosed with autism, Karyn Seroussi, a writer, and her husband, a scientist, fought back with the only weapons at their disposal: love and research. Consulting medical papers, surfing the Web, and networking with other parents, they traced the onset of their child's problems to an immune system breakdown that coincided with his vaccinations. As a result, his digestive system was unable to break down certain proteins, which in turn led to abnormal brain development. So Karyn and her husband got to work -- Karyn implementing their program at home while her husband tested his theories at the scientific lab where he worked." Timothy


I saw the vaccine question. I am a nurse and I would (and did) get my kid(s) vaccinated. The risk of getting the diseases, with possible terrible consequences (we don't see them much now so we have forgotten) is greater than the risk of side effects, in my book. It is also a huge known risk, versus an unknown and/ or unproven or smaller one. You always have to weigh the two sides. My mother and I both had polio and lucked out of being disabled like a few people. I'm for vaccines. Christine
I teach preschoolers who have autism so I have heard quite a bit about this from my students' parents. A few thoughts: autism is typically diagnosed at about the same age as the MMR vaccine is given, thus there is a strong correlation but not necessarily causation; when the MMR vaccine was initially introduced, there was not a sudden spike in the number of children being diagnosed with autism as you might expect if the vaccine was really the cause; there are different strengths/brands of the vaccine and a weaker version may be given to children who have had allergic reactions to other medications (or in this case to younger siblings of children whose parents think there was a link between their older child's autism and the vaccine); parents have told me that you CAN get these vaccines done separately rather than grouped together thus reducing the overall toxicity of what's going through your child at any one time- of course you have to ask for this and probably be very persistent about it and it requires taking your child to the doctor three times rather than just once; finally, children with autism either show marked delays in developing language at all, or like your friend they develop "normally" and then lose the language and social skills that they have between about 18 mos and 36 mos. So, if your child is beyond this "window" it is extremely unlikely that he would lose all his language and be diagnosed with autism. Amy
Several books on vaccines (Cournoyer and Miller, to mention two) plus a recent book AUTISM and Pervasive Developmental Disorder by Karyn Seroussi (2000) will be good resources in your decision-making. Seroussi and her husband did extensive research and found a link between autism and genetics, food allergies, and vaccinations. Science News, 2/26/2000, saw fit to carry a review of her book. She focuses on the MMR and the combination DPT vaccine. Some links between IBD/Crohn's Disease have also been seen in recent studies (see Lipski's book Digestive Wellness) Good luck with your choice. Nori
The MMR/Autism link debate has raged in the journal Lancet since the first paper from Andrew Wakefield and colleagues came out in 1998. It has come up again, since there was a congressional hearing on the matter in which Dan Burton (R-Indiana) was convinced that his grandson got autism this way. The latest editorial (Lancet, 355:1379, April 22, 2000 issue) debunks some of the logic and uninterpretable research by Wakefield, et al., and also notes that we still have deadly measles outbreaks in the US. Global vaccine coverage for measles is actually decreasing and nearly a million children die of it yearly. Joe
I want to add my family's perspective to the MMR vaccine discussion. My son, now 20 months old, received a liver transplant at 5 months old. Thankfully, he is now a healthy, happy, growing little boy. The anti-rejection medication he takes allows his body to accept his liver, BUT it also makes him more susceptible to diseases. He has gotten most vaccines, but he cannot get those for chickenpox or MMR. If he ever does contract chickenpox, measles, etcetera, it would land him in the hospital and possibly take his life. So I ask parents who are debating whether or not to vaccinate to PLEASE consider the impact their choice may have on others. For our son's health, our family must rely on the rest of the community to get their children vaccinated. Julie
Dear Parent, First of all I'd like to say that your child's health is the best vacine against disease. Second I would like to introduce a possibly new out look on health and "disease". First of all there are no "bad" guys out there as far as those nasty deadly germs and viruses. If a person's immune system is healthy and strong then their body will be able to handle coming in contact with all elements in it's environment. Please don't fall into the fear trap. I can recommend a homeopathist, who can enlighten you to homeopathic alternatives to allopathic vaccines. And I would also like to share my experience with my daughter who is a glowing 12 year old who I believe is so partly because I let her have the "normal "childhood diseases and she is all the stronger and healthier from. It was my understanding from my study and practice of macrobiotics during pregnancy and throughout my daughter's first years, that the measles and chicken pox are normal reactions of the body at that age, which is usually around 2 or so, of cleansing itself before the next stage of development. My daughter had both sicknesses the same winter when she was two (she got them from a house mate who had picked them up at preschool) I took special care to make sure she got all the rest and quiet etc. she needed and when she was all done she was a slightly different little person. I can honestly say it was one of the most beautiful experiences in my life with her. Illness can be a time of needed change and ultimate transformation. Honor the body's natural processes and please don't let any negative medical establishment/pharmasutical industry propaganda scare you away from your instincts and intuition. And call Daniel Donner,L.Ac.,Dipl.Ac.,CCH 510-655-0555 or Ellen Gunther MD 510 8411677 There are also naturopathic doctors around, for example The natural Healing center of SF Victoria Hamman, ND Alumnus, Bastyr Univ. SF 415-821-3656

Also your child does not HAVE to have immunizations to attend public school. There are waivers you can sign. You just have to ask. I did that for my daughter because I felt the immunizations were unnecessary after reading all the info. Good Luck Lianne


Contact Christine Ciavarella at the Hahnemann Medical Clinic in Albany, 524-3117. I think I remember seeing the three listed separately on their insurance form so it is possible they carry separate M, M, and R. One warning though, it will probably be a lot more expensive to do it this way. We did the Tetanus-only vaccine and it cost three times what the dT would have been at our peditrician's office. This is because of supply and demand- they can't buy these in bulk and that jacks up the price.

Christine is also a good person to discuss your decision with. Very balanced view IMHO. When we discussed Pertussis she talked about treating both children who got the disease as well as children who had reactions to the vaccine. The homeopathic approach is to start later, give only one vaccine at a time, and make sure the child is not sick at all when you do it. It also includes strengthening the child's immune system through diet and avoiding, where possible, the use of antibiotics. We chose not to do the MMR but to reconsider when our kids hit puberty. We made that decision irrespective of the allegation that the MMR is linked to autism- I think a lot more has been written about it in the meantime. One thing to keep in mind when you read "death rates" for a disease is that these don't distinguish between children who are immuno-compromised and those that aren't, who was treated immediately and who wasn't, and a number of other factors. I have heard that the Measles that's around today is more virulent than in the past because of the vaccine and I don't know if this is true. Sophie


Splitting the MMR Vaccine

Nov 1999

I have a question about splitting the MMR vaccine. I spoke with my son's pediatrician, and we are planning to administer the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines separately and monthly, instead of one bulk shot. However, the pediatrician told me that my medical group (HMO, Hill Physicians) will not pay for the shots if I do them this way (I suspect that they have some sort of contract with the manufacturers of the 3-in-1 vaccine, and therefore charge more to supply clients with the separate dose vaccines). Anyway, does anyone have experience with this situation? I know there's got to be a way to persuade the medical group to pay, but I don't know how. Please advise.


This is most likely a Generic vs Name Brand drug issue. All HMO's will pay for the generic version of a drug (prescriptions, vaccinations, other injections ...) and will not pay for the name brand version unless there is no generic equivalent. So I'm guessing the individual vaccines are available as a more expensive name brand form, but the combined MMR vaccine is generic and cheaper (not to mention only one office visit for the HMO to pay for).

Splitting the MMR Vaccine

Feb 2001

Does anyone have update on MMR vaccine? Any doctor giving three separate shots instead of one combined vaccine? Since I saw the story about the story on '60 minutes' about possible link between MMR shots and autism, I have been researching and hearing different accounts on this suspected but unproven link. My feeling now is to try to find a clinic or doctor who can give them separately. My son is due for this shot in a couple of months and I would really appreciate any comments and updates on this. sd


As I understand it part of the problem with the shots is that most of them contain (or used to) some form of mercury as a preservative, I believe the full name of the mercury is thimersol (sp?). You should request that the shots be mercury free. I was recently at my child's 1 year appointment and requested the shots be mercury free and that they be given in single doses. The Dr. said their shots were mercury free and that it would be no problem to get the shots in single doses. One other thing to keep in mind is to not vacinate your child if she is sick. My daughter had just recovered from a cold so I chose to not vacinate her at this appt. cecily
Please see the American Academy of Pediatrics website for well-considered info re this topic at: http://www.aap.org/new/autism2.htm Sharon

Splitting the MMR Vaccine

May 2002

Our child is turning two. We chose not to give him the MMR vaccine but, instead to give him the three vaccines separately. Our problem is that our doctor does not have the mumps vaccine and cannot get it (manufacturing had been suspended) and now cannot get MMR either. Does anyone know of an available mumps vaccine either through a medical doctor or pharmacy? Are other parents having similar difficulties? Alicia

[no replies received]


Splitting the MMR Vaccine

Oct 2002

We've decided to split up the MMR vaccine into three separate shots, and our doctor is having difficulties getting the vaccine for the measles and mumps (we've already done the Rubella shot.) Has anybody recently had their child immunized for measles and/or mumps by splitting up the MMR shot? If so, do you know where your doctor/health clinic obtained the individual shots? Any leads on how to obtain the individual shots are appreciated. Even sending me the name of your doctor or clinic where you had the shots done is helpful and I will follow up with them myself. Thanks in advance! Betsy

[no replies received]


Splitting the MMR Vaccine

March 2003

Does anyone know where I can find Attenuvax (live measles vaccine) solo? I would like to avoid having my son immunized with the MMR, and while Attenuvax is available in theory, Merck (the only US manufacturer) hasn't made it for over a year and won't produce any in 2003. Steven

[no replies received]


Splitting the MMR Vaccine

Sept. 2003

We chose to NOT give our daughter the MMR vaccination. Rather, we gave her the Measles single antigen shot when she was two years old. Now it's time for a booster and Kaiser does not provide the single antigen anymore, nor does the City of Berkeley's Immunization Clinic. Does anyone know where might we find the Measles single antigen vaccination? Na'ama

[no replies received]


Splitting the MMR Vaccine

Nov. 2003

My daughter is approaching the time for her MMR vaccine. After reading older posts on this subject I have decided to give her this vaccination in three separate doses. However my pediatrician said that they get this vaccination only as an MMR. I am wondering if anyone can point me out to where I can purchase this vaccination in separate doses. I am also interested in any other advice one has on this approach. Annon


We also tried to separate the MMR vaccine, but were unable to get the measles shot. It is no longer made in the U.S. (The only tip I got was it was made somewhere in Czechoslovakia!!) Our main concern was the connection between mercury and autism, but mercury is no longer used in the MMR vaccine. To ease our mind, we waited until our son was older before he had the MMR shot, and had it done when he was 27 months old. By then it was obvious he was a healthy, active and talking two year old, so it helped ease our minds to know that I wouldn't have to wait a year-plus to see if the MMR shot had any adverse effects. Hope this helps!
I tried to get separate vaccines earlier this year. At the time, the ONLY manufacturer of MMR (Merck) had quit making the monvalent vaccines and I couldn't find any leftovers at any office. I don't know if Merck resumed production. If so, someone please let me know! EM
Hi- My pediatrician said that she can order the MMR separately, but that it comes in doses of 10, so she needs 10 patients who want it before they'll order it. Take Care, Suzanne

Splitting the MMR Vaccine

April 2004

I have two inquiries: I was wondering if anyone can reccomend a pediatrician who is respectful of a parent's desire to defer some vaccinations, break up some of ''vaccine coctails'' into seperate doses and wait a couple years for other vaccinations. My pediatrician is not very understanding, and on the subject of getting individual shots instead of the ''vaccine coctails (like MMR or DTaP),'' she said she would do it but I have to find the pharmacutical companies that provide those individual vaccines. Does anyone know what companies provide individual doses of DTaP or MMR? Any help is so appreciated! jennifer


We go to Berkeley Pediatrics and I was able to split my son's MMR vaccine. My son is 5 now so their policy may have changed but it might be worth a call. I think it mostly depends on the companies that produce the vaccines rather than an open minded doctor. Good Luck!
hello, my infant's new pediatrician told us that it is no longer possible to split the mmr. (i would be disappointed to find out otherwise!) i have a 3 1/2 year old son who i did split the mmr for. and there is a new ''combination'' immunizaion (IHBDTP) i wasn't formerly aware of, which combines even more immunizations into one shot. apparently the pertussus is acellular in this shot.

anyway, i fully intend to immunize my child but i have opted to spread out my immunizations a bit so that my daughter is not receiving so many shots per visit. some doctors are open to this while others are not. it's just a matter of finding one who is willing to be sensitive to your comfort level with regards to immunization schedules. our doctor worked out a schedule based on what illnesses he thought our daughter was most susceptible to in her early months.

i hope you find a pediatrician who you feel comfortable working with. it is important to do so because your relationship with him or her is optimally an 18 year one. happy with our pediatrician


HI, We go to Berkeley Pediatrics and we delayed the MMR until my son was 2 1/2 years old. I had to be firm about our decision but once they understood that I wasn't backing down, they were fine with it. At the time(one year ago), I couldn't find a place that would break up the vaccine so our compromise was to delay it over a year. Good luck.
Janet Perlman at Bayside Pediatrics is very open to alternative vaccine schedules (she refers to them as 'boutique vaccination schedules' I believe). I think the majority of the kids in her care are on some kind of boutique schedule. We delayed starting our daughter (and have skipped a few completely so far) and feel she's given me good advice about how to proceed (e.g., what she has to have when starting group child care and what can wait). She knows about current vaccine research findings so can answer questions you might have about efficacy and safety. And she offers seperate MMR vaccines if she can get 10 families to sign up.

She is great with kids - my daughter (15 mos.) loves her. She has administered the vaccinations herself and encouraged me to breastfeed during the injection. She is always responsive, gives good, practical advice, and in general, is a wonderful pediatrician! She practices out of the Berkeley and Oakland offices (both on Telegraph). Her number in Berkeley is 843-4544 Shari


I have been working with our pediatricians office to break up vaccines with no problems. I have completely declined a few and broken all of the combined ones up into individual shots. When it came time for the MMR, I said I would allow it, if it could be broken down. They did the R that day and said to come back in a month for one of the M's. At that point, they told me that a single measles vaccination wasn't available anymore, so I declined the entire vaccincation. At our last appointment, earlier this month, they had the single measles shot and we received it. I asked why it was suddenly available and they gave me an explaination related to the manufacturer. So I know that it is possible to get single vaccincations, with acceptance by pediatricians and without having to recruit 9 other families to do the same thing. We use Bancroft Pediactrics in San Leandro. Good Luck Kim
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