“Our previous study among 12-to 23-month-olds found increased risk of febrile seizures 7 to 10 days after receiving the MMR or the MMRV” (Klein et al., 2012).
Why is THIS not headline news? This study is hot off the press (right along with the increased risk for autism if obese during pregnancy)
Important Background Information
Readers should know that the MMR refers to the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine that children in the US are advised to receive between 12 and 15 months of age and again between 4 and 6 years of age. So, the medical community knows about an increase risk of seizures for infants an toddlers when they receive the MMR, yet they continue to recommend that the children receive the vaccine?!?!
The MMRV is a vaccine that includes the MMR as well as a dose of varicella. In addition to the MMR between 12 and 15 months, children are also advised to receive a dose of varicella. Thus, some vaccine manufacturers created the MMRV so that children can receive all the vaccines in just one dose. However, after vaccinating many infants and toddlers with the MMRV, researchers later learned that the MMRV more than doubled the risk of febrile seizures for children 12 to 23 months of age. Thus, it is now recommended that the MMR and the varicella be given in separate doses (unless the parent insists otherwise).
For the current recommended vaccine schedule click here.
Little Seizure Risk at Later Ages
Klein and colleagues (2012) (the same authors who first told us about the increase seizure risk for infants and toddlers back in 2010) set out to assess the risk of seizures following the MMR+ varicella or the MMRV for children aged 4 years to 6 years. The authors reported that few seizures were observed during the study of over 150,000 children. As a result, the authors concluded that their study “provides reassurance that MMRV and MMR +V were not associated with increased risk of febrile seizures among 4- to 6-year-olds.”
This is exciting news! Neither vaccine increases the risk of febrile seizures for older children.
It seems as the children age, their bodies may be better able to process the chemicals in the vaccines.
Modify the Vaccine Schedule?
So, based on this new research, does it not make sense to modify the vaccine schedule to reduce the risk for infants and toddlers? Why is the administration of MMR at age 12-15 months so important? Do we know? Will the world come down with measles if we hold off on the vaccine until the child is 4? Has the research even been completed?
Uninformed is Better
Maybe the medical community does not want us to know this research. If we don’t know that vaccines may have harmful side effects, then we won’t question vaccine safety. If we know the true risks of vaccines, we may use our brains and decide to withhold measles-containing vaccines from our 12- to 23-month-olds.
Klein, N. P., Lewis, E., Baxter, R., Weintraub, E., Glanz, J., Naleway, A., Jackson, L. A., Nordin, J., Lieu, T., Belongia, E.A., Fireman, B. (2012). Measles-containing vaccines and febrile seizures in children age 4 to 6 years. Pediatrics, 129 (5), 1-6.
For a complete copy of the article, click here.
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