A Closer Look at the MMR Vaccination and Its Potential Risks
Measles, mumps and rubella (known collectively as “MMR”) are viruses that each have different symptoms and potentially-serious long-term effects. As a result of widespread vaccination, reported instances of these diseases are relatively low. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that last year the number of cases of measles in the United States reached a 20-year high and 2014 saw an unusually high number of mumps infections as well. Due to the potential risks associated with these viruses, the CDC recommends that all people (unless they have certain medical histories or conditions) get vaccinated against MMR.
As with all vaccines, MMR vaccines carry potential side effects and risks. This includes a small risk of febrile seizures among infants. Those considering MMR vaccinations for themselves or their children should take precaution to educate themselves on the symptoms of commonly-associated injuries so that they can seek medical attention and pursue financial compensation should complications arise.
Current Vaccinations for MMR
There are currently two MMR vaccines approved for use in the United States. Those vaccines are:
- M-M-R II – Manufactured by Merck, M-M-R II received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1971 for vaccination of individuals from the ages one year and older.
- ProQuad – Also manufactured by Merck, ProQuad has been FDA-approved since 2005 for vaccination of children ages one through 12 against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox). ProQuad is commonly referred to as the “MMRV” vaccine.
The CDC recommends that children receive either M-M-R II and a chickenpox vaccine or ProQuad between 12 and 15 months of age, and then receive a second vaccination between the ages of four and six. However, adults can also receive M-M-R II (and a separate chickenpox vaccine) as well.
Risks Associated with MMR Vaccinations
M-M-R II and ProQuad have both been known to cause side effects and lead to life-changing medical conditions. While the CDC identifies these vaccines as “very safe,” in some instances these vaccines can and do lead to complications such as:
- Bleeding disorders associated with low platelet count
- Brain swelling
- Febrile seizures among infants
- Pain and stiffness
- Severe allergic reactions
- Shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration (SIRVA)
Some of these complications – including a form of bleeding disorder known as immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) – can be fatal if not treated right away.
As a result of these and other concerns, the CDC recommends that certain people not get vaccinated against MMR. This includes pregnant women, anyone who is sick and anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to an MMR vaccine previously.
What to Do if You Experience Vaccine Side Effects or a Vaccine Injury
Under a federal program established in 1988, individuals who suffer side effects and injuries due to MMR vaccinations can seek financial compensation from the national Vaccine Injury Fund. This program, known as the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), provides an alternative to pursuing vaccine injury claims by more traditional means. In addition to covering medical expenses and other losses, the Vaccine Injury Fund covers victims’ legal fees as well. Learn more about filing for compensation under the VICP.
Contact Attorney Leah Durant about Your MMR Vaccine Injury Claim
The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is a national vaccine injury law firm that assists victims in pursuing financial compensation under the VICP. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or side effects as a result of receiving the MMR vaccine, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant for a free, no-obligation consultation today.