rkaiulani asks:

What is your opinion and experience about the MMR vaccine?

I was watching Private Practice the other night, and the episode was all about a measles outbreak triggered by a mother who chose not to vaccinate her kids against measles, mumps, and rubella (the MMR vaccine) because of fear of autism. In the episode, one child died and another was vaccinated against the mother's wishes.

I thought it was a pretty heavy-handed take on the debate, but was wondering what other people think about this issue. Have you had any experiences with this kind of thing. What do you think about choosing not to vaccinate?
In Topics: Physical Health, Medical problems
> 60 days ago



Wayne Yankus
Feb 15, 2009
Subscribe to Expert

What the Expert Says:

You ask a very important question.  The issue is the public health and at what point do the rights of the community to remain alive and healthy trump personal rights to refuse vaccination.  Although you mention a television story, those situations happen in real life.

The MMR vaccine has been around since the early 1970's and is essentially unchanged.  It continues to have rigorous scientific examination and is used successfully all over the world.  Countless children and pregnancies have been saved by an immunized population.  We call it "herd" immunity.

Our job as pediatricians is to use the best of science to keep our patients well, growing and ready to learn.  Unfortunately for the times, too many people have forgotten what and how devastating the diseases of measles, mumps, and German measles (rubella) were to children. They were not simple.  Encephalitis, blindness, deafness, sterility, physical anomalies and death were often the results of these illnesses.

Please note that there is no scientific evidence that the MMR causes autism.  The English physician who proposed that has been discredited by his co authors and the scientific community.  This month the special court for the VAERS or vaccine injury program handed down its judgement that autism and vaccines are not linked.

Thank you for raising an important issue in the health of our children.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist, pediatrics

Did you find this answer useful?

Additional Answers (1)

Redwood_Cit... writes:
It's a scary issue of course....the notion that something you do in an effort to protect your child could actually harm him. But when it was time for my kids (4 & 6) to get the MMR, I guess I just tried to think about how the risks (which are unproven) stacked up against the benefits. I've read enough to understand that if we ALL stop vaccinating our kids, it won't be long before these horrible diseases (like measles, mumps and rubella) have a chance to re-infiltrate our society. As parents we have to make these kinds of choices every day (there's risk involved in putting a kid in a car to drive him to soccer practice, but few of us think of keeping our kids out of soccer because of that risk).

So, while I do fall on the "vaccinate" side of the fence, I think it's really important that we use the "power of parents" to keep pushing the government and drug companies to make sure they're doing everything they can to make vaccines safe for all kids.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
Answer this question


You are about to choose ${username}'s answer as the best answer.

Cancel | Continue

*You can change the best answer in the future if you think that you received a better answer

How likely are you to recommend Education.com to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely