Measles Vaccine in Babies under 12 months - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 05-01-2014, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope that it's okay that I'm asking this question here - I am wondering if you ladies (and gentlemen, I've seen at least one around the vax boards) have any information about the safety and efficacy of vaccinating babies with the MMR under 12 months of age. I'm living in an area with an active measles outbreak, in particular many of the places that have been highlighted as areas where exposure has occurred are extremely close to my home and the places where I shop for groceries. At the moment I'm doing my best to lower her risk by leaving her at home with another caregiver as much as possible while I'm grocery shopping, going to work, etc, but there are times where she has to come along with me since she is so little still and I'm exclusively breastfeeding.

 

My older daughter has had both her MMR doses, but I have a baby who will be 3 months old next week and I'm nervous about her getting exposed and contracting measles when she is so little. I know that I've identified myself as a selective/delayed vaccinator here on the boards, but I would really appreciate your input here. I figure that, with how contagious measles is, this may week be an issue by the time my baby reaches six months of age, and I don't feel like I have enough information (any, really) to make a good decision about whether to choose to do this vaccine early because of the outbreak. It is being offered to infants from 6 months up here, but I've heard nothing about any research that indicates that this is safe or effective. I obviously don't want to do something unsafe for her, but I am concerned with her being so little and vulnerable, and form what I've found it doesn't appear that even exclusively breastfeeding provides much, if any, protection against contracting measles. 

 

Also, can a vaccinated person carry the virus without contracting it and pass it along to a susceptible individual? I just want a better picture of what exactly I'm dealing with, risk-wise here. As some of you probably have read on other threads a while back, I've already lost a child so I have a pretty strong fear of that happening again. I don't want to make decisions based in fear however, so I'm hoping that more and better information will help me out. 

 

Thank you in advance. I appreciate the help. :)

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#2 of 8 Old 05-02-2014, 07:40 AM
 
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According to the CDC measles is spread very easily. One example was a child contracting measles after sitting in a waiting room with an infected child. I do not belive you doctor will give a child as young as yours the vaccine. I would discuss with you pediatrician other ways of protecting your baby. My 2 year old has not received the mmr yet and if I recall correctly my older daughter received her first dose at 3. This shot was hard on her. Is your older child in school?
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#3 of 8 Old 05-02-2014, 01:46 PM
 
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Thank you for your post Rednightingale. I just learned that the measles vaccine is being offered to babies as young as 6months old due to the measles outbreak in my area as well. My oldest is in kindergarten and my youngest is 9months old...

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#4 of 8 Old 05-02-2014, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rednightingale View Post
 

I hope that it's okay that I'm asking this question here - I am wondering if you ladies (and gentlemen, I've seen at least one around the vax boards) have any information about the safety and efficacy of vaccinating babies with the MMR under 12 months of age. I'm living in an area with an active measles outbreak, in particular many of the places that have been highlighted as areas where exposure has occurred are extremely close to my home and the places where I shop for groceries. At the moment I'm doing my best to lower her risk by leaving her at home with another caregiver as much as possible while I'm grocery shopping, going to work, etc, but there are times where she has to come along with me since she is so little still and I'm exclusively breastfeeding.

 

My older daughter has had both her MMR doses, but I have a baby who will be 3 months old next week and I'm nervous about her getting exposed and contracting measles when she is so little. I know that I've identified myself as a selective/delayed vaccinator here on the boards, but I would really appreciate your input here. I figure that, with how contagious measles is, this may week be an issue by the time my baby reaches six months of age, and I don't feel like I have enough information (any, really) to make a good decision about whether to choose to do this vaccine early because of the outbreak. It is being offered to infants from 6 months up here, but I've heard nothing about any research that indicates that this is safe or effective. I obviously don't want to do something unsafe for her, but I am concerned with her being so little and vulnerable, and form what I've found it doesn't appear that even exclusively breastfeeding provides much, if any, protection against contracting measles. 

 

Also, can a vaccinated person carry the virus without contracting it and pass it along to a susceptible individual? I just want a better picture of what exactly I'm dealing with, risk-wise here. As some of you probably have read on other threads a while back, I've already lost a child so I have a pretty strong fear of that happening again. I don't want to make decisions based in fear however, so I'm hoping that more and better information will help me out. 

 

Thank you in advance. I appreciate the help. :)

 

The youngest I've seen the vaccine offered is 6 months during an outbreak.  

 

Have you talked to your pediatrician? I'm not sure exactly how effective it is at that age, but my guess is that it's better than nothing, or they wouldn't recommend it. 

 

In the meantime, I would limit her exposure in crowded places (since measles is so incredibly contagious.  You only have to breathe the same air as someone within two hours of them being there to get it) and make sure all caregivers/family members have had their MMR.  

 

I understand your concern about the vaccine in a 6 month old, but during an outbreak scenario the risk/benefit analysis is clearly on the side of the vaccine.  Not to scare you, but SSPE (which is a late onset measles complication with no cure and is 100% fatal) is a lot more common in children who get measles under a year old. 

 

How big is the outbreak in your area?  What does your pediatrician say? 


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#5 of 8 Old 05-02-2014, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been leaving her at home every time I've gone out since I found out how extensive the outbreak is in my area, so I will continue to do that. 

 

Everyone in my household has been vaccinated, with the exception of my father who had measles as a child. I have an appointment in about two weeks with the pediatrician, so I'll definitely be discussing it with her then. Since it's not offered until 6 months I didn't see a reason to call early about it, but I suppose that I could. I was hoping for something to read about it while I wait for that appointment. 

 

Also, please don't worry about the scare factor - I live with a lot of fear on a daily basis, and I would infinitely prefer to have a realistic picture of risks than bury my head in the sand and ignore stuff. I've learned, the hard way, that those super-rare cases don't just happen to other people, they can happen to me. It's better to know what I'm dealing with and what my options are. What exactly is SSPE? I'm obviously not interested in losing another child, so I absolutely want to know about possible complications like this, so thank you for bringing it up. I hadn't read about that in any of my searches online so far.

 

At the moment there have been 9 cases in my city with several of the exposed places being very close to where I live and shop. The total outbreak for the province is 22 cases so far. Is it possible for a vaccinated person to transmit the disease unknowingly to someone else? As in, can a vaccinated person carry the virus but not actually contract the illness? I haven't been able to identify that in what I've read so far either. (I obviously have more research to do!)

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#6 of 8 Old 05-03-2014, 11:46 AM
 
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I'm so sorry about your other child.

There was a little bit of a discussion of this issue here: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1398839/measles-vaccine-under-12-mos

 

The most I could find on the subject is that efficacy may be impaired, but I cannot find anything to indicate the safety. Most developed countries recommend the vaccine for babies over 6 months in certain circumstances, such as an outbreak or anticipated travel to a measles-endemic area.

 

If you make a decision on this at 6 mos, make sure you get MMR alone and not MMR/Var. MMR/Var combo shot has increased risk of adverse effects, and some pediatricians are apparently unaware of a recommendation to avoid the combo shot for kids under 5.

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#7 of 8 Old 05-03-2014, 11:54 AM
 
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To address your second question, I have not read anything about asymptomatic measles, but I'm not well-read on that subject. Some illnesses can definitely have carriers without symptoms, but measles is not likely one of those. Vaccine failure is unlikely to have an effect on this. Vaccine failure would most likely result in actual illness in someone exposed.

 

Even so, it's possible a mild case could be misdiagnosed and therefore will go unidentified.

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#8 of 8 Old 05-03-2014, 02:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ss834 View Post
 

To address your second question, I have not read anything about asymptomatic measles, but I'm not well-read on that subject. Some illnesses can definitely have carriers without symptoms, but measles is not likely one of those. Vaccine failure is unlikely to have an effect on this. Vaccine failure would most likely result in actual illness in someone exposed.

 

Even so, it's possible a mild case could be misdiagnosed and therefore will go unidentified.

The one good (sort of) thing about an outbreak situation is that the chances of a mild case getting dismissed as something else are a lot smaller than usual.

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