Guide to the MMR Vaccine: Contraindications, Potential Injuries and More


Much of the recent news has focused on a nationwide outbreak of measles. The disease was previously pronounced to be eradicated, but cases of it are on the uptick both domestically and internationally. Many jurisdictions are passing laws to either remove exemptions from vaccinations or to compel people to become vaccinated. It is best that people understand everything they can about the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine before making their own personal decision about whether to vaccinate themselves and their children.

While an overwhelming amount of people receive this vaccination without any serious side effects, the MMR vaccine is not for everyone. Both children and adults may have reasons why they would not want to receive the vaccine. There are some legitimate reasons why people may not want to be vaccinated for this disease. A contraindication is a type of person who should not receive a given vaccine because they have a high risk for a serious adverse reaction. The following are the contraindications for the MMR vaccine.

Pregnant women should not receive an MMR vaccination. There is a possibility that an MMR vaccine can impact the pregnancy. In fact, women who have had the MMR vaccination should avoid trying to become pregnant for at least one month after receiving the injection.

In addition, those with weakened immune systems should not receive the vaccine. For example, those with cancer or HIV have immune systems that are compromised. This is because the vaccine is an attenuated live virus vaccine, and a person without a robust immune system may be at risk for developing the disease and not being able to build up the necessary antibodies for immunity.

People with severe allergic reactions should also not be vaccinated. If one has had a prior reaction to a dose or to a component of the vaccine, then one should avoid the MMR vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control publishes a list of vaccine components so one can check to see if there are any allergies to parts of the vaccine.

Another group possibly at risk is those who bruise or bleed easily. This does not necessarily result from the actually MMR vaccine, but more from the injection itself, which can cause uncontrollable bleeding. This is very rare, but it should be monitored because an injection could cause a large amount of blood loss.

There are many different possible side effects from an MMR vaccination. Some of the more mild side effects include fever, infection, soreness at the site of injection, joint and muscle pain and headaches. However, there are also more severe complications from the injection. In addition, there could be a rash or loss of appetite and a general feeling of being unwell for a few days because live virus has been injected into the body. While they are relatively rare, one must at least know of the possible side effects.

One of the more severe complications that a child can encounter after the vaccine is a severe allergic reaction. Most times, this can be treated relatively quickly, and the child can make a full recovery. In rare instances, there are more lasting impacts. This is called anaphylaxis and it causes breathing difficulties and confusion, among other things. If not addressed immediately, it can be life threatening for a child. The good news is that many medical staffs are equipped to deal with this allergic reaction and can rapidly bring it under control.

Another severe side effect is that the child can suffer seizures after the injection. About one in 1,000 children suffers a seizure about six to 11 days after the injection. This will most often happen when a child has run a fever in the days after the injection. Most of these occur when the child is between 14-18 months of age, but they can occur when the child is as young as six months or up until the age of five. Most of the seizures are not fatal and do not cause lasting damage, but in some instances, they can harm a child for the long term.

Since it is a vaccine that is given to children, the MMR vaccine is covered by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. This means that, if anyone has suffered any injury from taking the vaccine, they can file a claim for compensation with the fund. While there will still be a legal process, it will be much more streamlined and be adjudicated more quickly than a full-fledged lawsuit would. From 2006 to 2016, there have been a total of 119 compensable claims for the MMR vaccine that were filed with the VICP. In the event that someone has suffered harm from the MMR vaccine, an adverse event report should be filed with the CDC and FDA to start the process whereby compensation can be obtained.

The Law Offices of Sadaka Associates is well-versed in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program as it pertains to the MMR vaccine. If you or a loved one suffered complications after receiving the MMR vaccine, contact an attorney for a free evaluation of your case.


You Only Have Three Years To File Your Claim

The first step in helping yourself or a loved one after a serious vaccine related injury is to contact us for a free review of your case.

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