What Every Parent Should Know: MMR Contraindications

Childhood immunization is an important part of protecting children against infectious diseases. The MMR vaccine inoculates children against measles, mumps and rubella. These immunizations are generally safe for all children, but when a child is taking certain medications or suffering from certain medical conditions the risk of an adverse reaction increases substantially.

Medications or conditions that increase the risk of an adverse reaction to MMR are generally called “contraindications” by doctors. As parents it is important to know what the contraindications are for the MMR vaccine.

MMR Contraindication 1: Current Illness

Any individual that is running a fever or is currently ill with a respiratory or other infection should not be vaccinated with the MMR vaccine until he or she recovers from the illness.

MMR Contraindication 2: Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatment can have serious effects on the bloodstream and immune system of those receiving it. This effect is often considered a contraindication for MMR vaccine, because you will not be able to produce the antibodies needed to make the vaccine effective. Discuss your current treatment with your physician before allowing the vaccine to be given to you.

MMR Contraindication 3: Immune System Problems

Parents of children that have a medical condition that compromises the immune system may wonder what is the contraindication for a child to receive the MMR vaccine. The conditions may include HIV/AIDS, treatment for cancer that includes radiation or chemotherapy, blood disorders that involve low platelet counts or any condition that is being treated with steroid medications.

MMR Contraindication 4: Recent Blood Transfusion

Those individuals who have recently gotten a blood transfusion or any type of blood products are also advised against receiving the MMR vaccine. The blood you have received may already contain antibodies against these diseases, and your body may not make its own antibodies, which makes the vaccine useless. You may have to wait several months after a transfusion before getting the MMR vaccine for it to be effective.

MMR Contraindication 5: Pregnancy

Pregnancy is not a concern for children, but we wanted to be thorough with our presentation of contraindications. Pregnancy is a contraindication for receiving the MMR vaccine. Pregnant women should wait until after the pregnancy. Women should also wait for at least 4 weeks after receiving the vaccine before becoming pregnant.

MMR Contraindication 6: People Who Suffer From Allergies

Any child that has had a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotic called neomycin or has had a previous reaction to the MMR vaccine should not be vaccinated. Anyone with a family history of allergic reactions to this vaccine or antibiotics should inform their physician before accepting the MMR vaccine to determine if it is contraindicated.

MMR Contraindication 7: Already Received the Vaccine

If you have already received the vaccine and the physician recommends a re-vaccination, ensure that at least 4-weeks have passed between the two vaccinations.

*VaccineInjuryHelpCenter.com is not “anti-vaccine”. VaccineInjuryHelpCenter.com was created to inform the public about rare but very real adverse reactions to vaccines. Vaccines are like any medication with both risks and benefits.

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