Vaccine Side Effects

November 12, 2012

Vaccine Side Effects

As with any medicine the MMR vaccine may cause serious problems including a severe allergic reaction. However the risk of the MMR vaccine side effect is very small and certainly those vaccine sideeffects still mean that the MMR vaccine is safer than any of the three diseases it protects against. Because the MMR vaccine protects against three different diseases if there are any side effects they may well present at different times and in different ways. It also appears that any side effects are generally seen after the first dose of the vaccine.

For most people there are no side effects from having the MMR vaccine.

However as with most things it is always good to be prepared and to be aware of what may present itself post-vaccine.

Minor side effects of the vaccine which may appear in children within 7-12 days of the dose may include a fever; mild rash -these are associated with the measles part of the vaccine. Up to four weeks after the vaccine there may be some swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck or cheek – resulting from the mumps part of the vaccine. Adult women may experience painful or stiff joints lasting 2 or 3 days – this may occur within 1 – 3 weeks after the vaccine dose and is the result of the rubella part of the vaccine.

More moderate, and also more rare problems may include pain and stiffness in the joints which soon passes; febrile seizure; temporary drop in blood platelets.

Severe problems with the MMR vaccine side effects are extremely rare and may include a serious allergic reaction. In very rare cases a child may present with a rash of spots which look almost like bruises – this generally occurs within two weeks of the MMR vaccine dose and this side effect is linked to the rubella part of the vaccine. However it must be remembered that the risk of developing this rash from the diseases themselves is far greater than from the vaccine. This rash, known as ITP, generally resolves itself without any treatment, but, as always, it is important to see the advice of your medical practitioner if you are concerned.

There do appear to be some problems which occur after a child receives the vaccine but which are so rare doctors are not able to definitively state that they are the result of an MMR vaccine side effect; these may include coma, seizures, some loss of consciousness, loss of hearing and even some brain damage.

If, within a few hours of receiving the MMR vaccine you become aware of any unusual, unexplained issues presenting as a severe allergic reaction, then medical attention should be sought immediately. Indications of a severe allergic reaction may include rapid heartbeat, dizziness, hives, difficulty breathing/wheezing, weakness, and change in colour. A high fever or seizure may not occur until up to 2 weeks after the vaccination.

It is important to keep a record of all vaccinations so that in the event of a suspected vaccine side effect the correct information can be passed onto your medical practitioner. Your medical practitioner should also be able to give you plenty of information pre-vaccine so that you can be fully informed about the issues surrounding vaccines.

Always remember that those who have recently had the vaccine can not infect others with the disease itself.

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