As recently as 2006, mumps cases in the United States began to increase–while the U.S. as a whole has a dramatically lower amount of current cases, and a higher immunity rate than many countries around the world, the disease on a whole is increasing. In just a few years ago, outbreaks were an all-time high. Thanks to new research, medical professionals are now analyzing data showing that the number of vaccinated adults who should be immune to mumps, could be and should be improved. Unfortunately, the mumps vaccine is included in the MMR vaccination, which children receive two doses of based on current vaccination schedules.
The MMR vaccine has faced years of scrutiny due to a study published in England and has since been retracted stating that the MMR vaccine holds a link to autism. Despite the fact that the article’s findings were retracted and considered to have been highly flawed, researchers and parents of autistic children have never given up the fight claiming that their children have never been the same since they received the MMR vaccine. Study after study has analyzed the vaccine can find no “clear link” between the vaccine itself in autism. However, now the mumps component of the vaccine is being analyzed, and medical researchers are trying to determine if the vaccine is working as well as it should after analyzation of 15,000 people who should have strong antibodies to the illness. Instead, it was found that only 93% of participants had functioning antibodies. Researchers feel that this is on the lower end of normal to protect the overall population.
Despite the fact that the rate of mumps among vaccinated populations over the last several generations has declined by 96%, medical researchers feel that this number is not high enough to prevent a serious outbreak. Mumps is a viral illness that can cause serious complications including meningitis, encephalitis, deafness, and sterility in some cases. The virus was once a common occurrence before vaccinations began, and other symptoms including fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and swollen glands of the neck and ears are all common symptoms.
Due to vaccination, the rate number of mumps cases in the U.S. has made the condition quite rare. Even though the number of cases has trumped her manically, we are left wondering what price has been paid for these numbers.
The CDC and the FDA adamantly deny that there is any link between autism or other complications and the vaccine itself. While at one point vaccinations contained thimerosal, a mercury derived preservative that was used in multi-dose vials vaccine had been changed to single dose administration and the use of this attitude is no longer necessary. It is difficult to erase the fears and concerns of parents around the world is still firmly believe that their child MMR vaccination changed them permanently.
If health officials plan to make changes to our MMR vaccinations, what other complications may arise from this vaccine? There are no current plans at this time to alter the makeup of the vaccination itself, and researchers are giving no indication that this will happen anytime soon. However once the research is presented, it may be in a to spark a wave of change in how we currently look at our MMR vaccines. Let us hope that it is a change for the better.
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