The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella (german measles). Although these illnesses are most often mild in nature, they can develop into serious complications which can be life-threatening.
All children in the UK are given two doses of MMR vaccine as part of the immunisation program. One dose is given at 12-15 months of age and the second dose is given at 3-5 years. Two doses are given to ensure that your child is well-protected against measles, mumps and rubella by the time he starts school.
Children react differently to the MMR vaccine. Some children become feverish and develop a rash (similar to measles) about a week after the vaccine. In rare cases, your child may also develop a mild form of mumps about three weeks after the vaccination. This is not serious and your child is not infectious during this time. Sometimes, your child may develop a rash similar to rubella (German measles). Consult your GP.
The MMR vaccine has been linked with autism, Crohn's disease and encephalitis but sensitive tests and extensive research has proved that there is no such link.
The MMR vaccine is prepared in egg but can still be
given to children allergic to eggs. If your child has had a
serious allergic reaction after eating egg or
egg-containing products, do inform your GP before the
vaccination as arrangements can then be made to administer
the vaccination in safe conditions.
The stats as presented in the Metro on 6 February, 2002