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Is the MMR vaccine safe?

Introduction According to me the controversial topic of MMR linked to autism is not very much known to everyone. MMR has been introduced since 1960 by Maurice Hillman. When it was first introduced children vaccinated were having mere fever and stomach upsets. Consequently, when children were vaccinated in there early tooth appearance, parents who found that their children presented symptoms of autism believed that it was the effects of the MMR vaccine .With that conclusion scientists from New York started to make research on the development of MMR and found that it was a mere coincidence and they dropped the subject . After 15 years a child in the North Arizona was developing autism problems just after having been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. Parents sued the hospital for not having cured their child. Then the court suggested that the researches on the subject should be open once again. All this leads to ask ourselves this particular question: Is the MMR vaccine safe? My case study focuses mainly on answering this particular question by providing the appropriate arguments. Vaccination is very important so we should all know its effects.

Background Science What is a vaccine? In the 19th and early 20th centuries, infectious diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, whooping amongst others were the primary cause of death. For instance, hundreds of thousands of people I the USA suffered from these diseases. Many of us may probably have not heard of these diseases. This is due to the introduction of vaccination. The term vaccination comes from the Latin vacca or cow, and was coined when the first inoculations were given with organisms that caused the mild disease cowpox to produce immunity against smallpox. In the late 1700s,
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Edward Jenner noticed that milkmaids who developed the mild and temporary cowpox virus did not become infected with smallpox. As an experiment, he intentionally infected people with the cowpox virus, also known as vaccinia. As with the milkmaids, these people did not get smallpox. The procedure of using a similar substance to prevent viral infection became known as vaccination, as homage to the vaccinia disease, which started it all. In short, vaccination is the introduction of the microorganism (killed or attenuated) into the body. This will trigger the immune system (our defense system) to establish chemicals called antibodies (fight against infection) before coming across the real disease causing organism. Vaccines are usually given injection, orally or by nasal spray. Types of vaccines There are indeed several types of vaccines which are made so as to trigger an immune response. There are two main types of vaccines: Live attenuated vaccine

Live attenuated vaccine vaccines are made up of living bacteria that have been modified through a process to weaken and reduce its virulence. A live attenuated vaccine creates a good immune response and often provides lifelong immunity with only one or two doses. Certain vaccines against viral diseases are made this way, e.g. measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox. Inactivated virus

In inactivated vaccines there is no live virus or bacteria. The latte has been killed by chemicals, heat or radiation. They cannot replicate and cause disease. Inactivated vaccines do not cause infection and stimulate a weaker immune response than live vaccines and always require several doses to provide a protective immune system. The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine, as well as the vaccines for cholera, plague and hepatitis Measles Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. The disease of measles and the virus that causes it share the same name. The disease is also called rubeola.
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Measles causes fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body. About one out of 10 children with measles also gets an ear infection, and up to one out of 20 gets pneumonia. For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die. http://www.cdc.gov/measles/ Measles is an air and surface attacker, spread mostly by coughs and sneezes. Measles vaccine can crush the ability of measles virus to infect people. The number of people who get measles in the U.S has gone down by 99% since the vaccine started being used in the 1960s. http://www.cdc.gov/measles/downloads/bam-measles-508.pdf Prior to 1963, almost everyone got measles; it was an expected life event. Each year in the U.S. there were approximately 3 to 4 million cases and an average of 450 deaths, with epidemic cycles every 2 to 3 years. More than half the population had measles by the time they were 6 years old, and 90 % had the disease by the time they were 15. This indicates that many more cases were occurring than were being reported. However, after the vaccine became available, the number of measles cases dropped by 98 % and the epidemic cycles drastically diminished. Measles virus is rapidly inactivated by heat, light, acidic pH, ether, and trypsin. It has a short survival time (<2 hours) in the air, or on objects and surfaces. http://phil.cdc.gov/phil/details.asp?pid=8429

This child shows a classic day-4 rash with measles.

http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/photos.html
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Mumps Mumps is a contagious disease that leads to painful swelling of the salivary glands. The salivary glands produce saliva, a liquid that moistens food and helps you chew and swallow. The mumps are caused by a virus. The virus is spread from person-to-person by respiratory droplets (for example, when you sneeze) or by direct contact with items that have been contaminated with infected saliva. Mumps most commonly occurs in children ages 2 - 12 who have not been vaccinated against the disease. However, the infection can occur at any age. The time between being exposed to the virus and getting sick (incubation period) is usually 12 - 24 days. Mumps may also infect the:

Central nervous system Pancreas Testes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002524/ Mumps is an illness caused by the mumps virus. Mumps causes


Fever Headache Muscle aches Tiredness Loss of appetite

There is no treatment for mumps, but the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine can prevent it. Mumps used to be a common childhood illness. Today it is uncommon, with fewer then 1,000 cases per year on average, because of the vaccine. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/mumps.html

http://www.healthtree.com/articles/childhood-diseases/common-illnesses/mumps/

Rubella Rubella commonly known as German measles or 3-day measles is an infection that primarily affects the skin and lymph nodes. It is caused by the rubella virus (not the same virus that causes measles), which is usually transmitted by droplets from the nose or throat that others breathe in. It can also pass through a pregnant woman's bloodstream to infect her unborn child. Rubella infection may begin with 1-2 days of mild fever (99-100 F/37.2-37.8 C) and swollen, tender lymph nodes, usually in the back of the neck or behind the ears. A rash then begins on the
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face and spreads downward. As it spreads, it usually clears on the face. This rash is often the first sign of illness that a parent notices. http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/german_measles.html Children generally have few symptoms. Adults may experience a fever, headache, general discomfort (malaise), and a runny nose before the rash appears. They may not notice the symptoms. Other symptoms may include:

Bruising (rare) Inflammation of the eyes (bloodshot eyes) Muscle or joint pain

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001574.htm

http//www.petplace.com/cats/what-is-a-vaccine-3/page1.aspx http;//www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/vaccines/understanding/pages/what va

http://www.healthtree.com/articles/childhood-diseases/common-illnesses/rubella-measles/

Argument for
1. Prevents people from suffering from effects of the disease MMR vaccine helps to protect people from contracting measles, mumps and rubella. It is usually administered by two doses. The second MMR shot is recommended to cover people who may not have gotten full protection from the first shot. Since you have taken the MMR vaccine you will never be contaminated with the virus. Measles is a very contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus. It causes a total body skin rash and cough, running nose, eye irritation, and fever in most people. Children who get measles they are likely to suffer from severe back pain. Those who have an active measles infection or who have been vaccinated against the measles have immunity to the disease. Routine immunization is highly effective for preventing measles. People who are not immunized, or who have not receive the full immunization are at risk of catching the disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002536/

Mumps are caused by virus. The virus is passed from one person to another by respiratory droplets or by direct items that have been contaminated with infected saliva. Mumps can affect the central nervous system, pancreas and testes. When a child is affected he is likely to get face pain, fever, headache, sore throat, swelling of the parotid glands and swelling of temples or jaw. Mmr immunization protects against measles, mumps and rubella. Recent outbreaks of the mumps have reinforced the importance of having all children vaccinated. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002524/

Rubella is caused by a virus it can be passed down from one person to another within minutes. Rubella can cause inflammation of the eyes, muscles and joint pain. By getting vaccinated with the Mmr vaccine since childhood it prevents pregnant women from getting problems with their pregnancy and avoid malformation or defects with the baby.
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Hence, to avoid suffering from the inconvenient symptoms that we get from these three diseases, it is important to be vaccinated.

2. PREVENT EPIDEMICS Well Mmr vaccine help to prevent epidemics The new risks are much greater than any arising from the use of the combination vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella. The overwhelming factual evidence is that there is no risk from the MMR vaccine itself. Dr Wakefield's unorthodox work has been confounded by more rigorous studies in Britain and elsewhere, which show there is no link between autism and MMR. To prevent epidemics, 95 per cent of the population needs to be covered by inoculation. The proportion now covered by MMR has fallen to 86 per cent. Mmr vaccine is widely used in the world. In countries where the vaccine has been introduced successfully there has been a reduction in the three diseases. This immunity appears to be long-lasting and may even be lifelong. Minor adverse effects may occur approximately 1 week after immunization. Rarely, mumps vaccine-induced meningitis (milder than that associated with wild mumps virus) may occur, its frequency varying with the strain of attenuated mumps virus contained in any particular vaccine. Clinically, the vaccine is indicated for infants aged between 12 and 15 months, and should be administered by intramuscular or deep subcutaneous injection. A few specific contraindications exist, including a genuine hypersensitivity to eggs, and to the amino glycoside antibiotics kanamycin and neomycin. An increasing number of countries are now adopting a 2-stage MMR policy in an attempt to prevent epidemics among those who remain unprotected, and to move towards eventual disease eradication. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7686463 http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2002/feb/10/publichealth2

3. Girls should be vaccinated against rubella All girls should be vaccinated against rubella disease to prevent problems during eventual pregnancy. It is impossible to know that you have rubella measles because many people do not notice the disease. Girls who are vaccinated against rubella measles are not advised to start a pregnancy until three months of the vaccination. http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/germanmeasles.htm

Argument against
1. Mmr vaccine can cause serious allergic reaction. In rare cases children can suffer from severe headache in which the vaccine is said to be working on the individual.

2. Pregnant women vaccinated during pregnancy can lose their child this because the content of the vaccine is too strong for the unborn baby.

3. In 1990 scientists and parents said that there might be a link between Mmr vaccine and bowel disease. This is because when children were vaccinated at the age of 2 to 4 years old some of the children developed bowel problems.

http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-information/directory/m/mmrvaccine 10

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/MMR/Pages/Side-effects.aspx 4. (Subheading can be side effects of the vaccine) Mmr actually can be linked to high weight lost over a period of one month. According to scientists this is normal because it contain substances that make certain people lose weight

CONCLUSION It may be concluded that Mmr vaccine has no link with autism because if there was a link the government would not have encouraged the population to be vaccinated with it. In 2001 the Prime Minister Tony Blair son was vaccinated with the Mmr vaccine and he got no side effect of it. For society as a whole, vaccination is the best choice. But for each parent, it is difficult choice, with their child at centre of it. It is important that people have clear and unbiased information to help them make their decision. From this case study it may be concluded that there is no link between Mmr

vaccine and dangerous diseases like autism. It may be said that it was parents who actually created the link, this because that wanted to get a cure for autism. And sadly there is no cure for autism. Actually Mmr vaccine is rather beneficial to children to avoid problems like smallpox and fevers. Women who have been vaccinated in childhood can get their babies with no risk of getting deformation symptoms.

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