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MMR vaccine live webchat Mon 8 Mar 12-1pm

To help answer users' MMR queries and concerns, a webchat will take place on Monday 8th March 2010 between 12-1pm with Professor David Salisbury of the Department of Health (DoH). Prof. Salisbury is the Director of Immunisation at the DoH, and will be joining us live to answer your queries. You can post your MMR questions here


  • Your email article states a child needs two MMR vaccinations to be fully protected against measles. What does this mean for my 14 month old who has had just one? Is he still at risk if he comes into contact with another child who is incubating measles?
  • Welcome to today's LIVE webchat. Professor David Salisbury from the DoH is now here and ready to answer your questions until 1pm. Please post your questions now...
  • Our thanks to Professor Salisbury for joining us today, and to remind our Babyexpert users that the Prof is here to answer questions specifically relating to the MMR vaccine programme for babies and toddlers; any posts deemed inflammatory or obstructive may be removed by the Web Editor.
  • Hi Elki1171
    it would be nice to think that one dose of MMR would gie a 100% protection but vaccines very rarely can do this. Measles vaccine protects about 90% of children with one dose, the same for rubella and a bit less for mumps vaccine. This means that children will not be fully protected against all 3 viruses on all occasions. Since we cannot tell who is or isnt immune without doing blood tests, and it isnt practical to test all children, the best ansswer is to recommend a second dose of MMR. This is usually given at about three and a half before children start school.

  • Dear DB73

    The answer to your questions is easy but I am really sorry that you were so scared about that autism story and didn't get your 9 year old vaccinated. When your 8 month old little boy reaches 13 months, he should get an invitation to come and get his MMR. Please do take him to your GP. For your 9 year old, again its not too late so contact your GP and arrange to have his first MMR. He will need a second dose three months later.
  • hi there ,my daughter is 13 months so is due to have her mmr very soon well as this she is due her swine flu jab however i am slightly apprehensive about giving them both within a certain time of each other ..what advice do you have for the "ok" amount of time between them without risking her getting swine flu or measels etc?

    many thanks

  • Dear Chuffedbaby2

    MMR is a ???????live??????? vaccine but the swine flu is an inactivated vaccine. This mean that there is no problem about giving them at the same time or on separate occasions with no particular interval needed. Getting them done at the same time means just one visit to your GP. Having them together without a gap means that you have got the best chance of getting protection as quick as possible.
  • thank you professor salisbury image
  • Hi professor Salisbury, How long does it take for MMR jabs to work? I would like to travel abroad with my daughter this summer and wondered if I should wait any length of time first?

  • I am still worried about the Autism/MMR link - can you ease my mind - is there a study/research I can read ?

    Thanks, MKB
  • Hi Professor Salisbury
    What's your opinion on the latest views that autism and the MMR jab is connected in some way? I'm a bit anxious about going ahead with it after lots of stories I've read.
  • Dear Mooming_mum

    Thank you for your question.

    The viruses in MMR vaccine start to give protection from about 5 days onwards and certainly by 10 days for the measles and rubella viruses. The mumps component can take as long as three weeks to give protection; but it does depend on how old your daughter is. Before about 12 months of age, there are still antibodies in the baby that have come from the mother and so the vaccine isn't as effective. If you have a dose before about 12 months of age, you really have to ignore that and have two more later on. Presumably, your daughter will be old enough to have her first MMR before you plan to travel and three weeks should certainly be long enough.
  • Hi Professor Salisbury I just wanted to ask if there are any side-effects with the MMR jab. My daughter is due to have her first jab next week but she's had quite a heavy cough and cold which isn't shifting, and I'm concerned that the jab might make her feel worse in some way? Thanx
  • Thank you so much, she is old enough as we have just got her letter and we don't want to go until the Summer so that is great. Just another question which is more just me wondering. Why are Measles Mumps and rubella jabs grouped together and not as single ones, it seems like an awful lot in one go?
  • Dear MrsKittyboo

    You really do not need to be worried about autism and MMR immunisation. There never was a study that actually showed that having MMR increased the risk of autism - even if that's how the story got reported. There have been numerous studies done in this country, the US, Denmark and Japan that were different in design, numbers of children, years of follow-up and they all came to the same conclusion that they could not identify that MMR was a risk factor for autism. There was a study that said that measles viruses were persisting in the bowel of autistic children. However, we now know that that study was carried out incorrectly and when attempts were made by other researchers they could not find any measles viruses. Whenever independent researchers fail to confirm an earlier finding you really have to be very suspicious that the first results might be wrong. I think we can say very confidently that there is no autism MMR link. You can find the links to quite a few of the research articles on go to the research timeline on the right hand side.
  • Dear Heres_hoping

    Sorry to disagree but all of the latest views are that autism and the MMR jab are not connected in anyway! Do go ahead with MMR and you don't need to be anxious. One of the things that upset me the most about the autism scare was the amount of anxiety that it caused parents completely unnecessarily. Getting MMR for your son or daughter is actually the best thing you can do to protect them.

  • Hi Ali

    As long as your daughter isn't acutely unwell she can go ahead and have her MMR next week; by then she should have got over her cold and cough, and as long as she hasn't got a temperature then go ahead. Quite a few children do get grizzly about 5 to 7 days after the vaccination and some get a temperature then, and a mild rash. Those really are the most likely side-effects but you can find all of the information at
  • Dear Mooming_mum

    I guessed somebody would ask about single vaccines! First, the three viruses in the vaccine do not work at exactly the same time so there is no problem about making immune responses to each of them. Next, even babies' immune systems have huge capacity to respond to immunological challenges. It's a great scare story that their immune systems might be overloaded but it is just plain wrong. Think about the number of germs that babies meet every time they play on a carpet or are kissed, passed from person to person or get horribly close to a dog or cat. Their immune systems function very well on those occasions. If our babies' immune systems couldn't cope with our environment, the human race would have died out long ago.

    The idea that single vaccines might somehow be better came with not a shred of evidence for benefit and there were very good reasons why separating the vaccines left babies at unnecessary risk of catching the diseases.

  • hello professor, i was just wondering if you personally thought there was a link with the MMR and encephalitis, my brother got his MMR and within 12 hours he had encaphalitis and as a result ended up with grand mal epilepsy, do you think this is connected?
  • Dear ~no2bump~

    Thank you for your question. Given that your brother had encephalitis within 12 hours of MMR that really is much too quick to be caused by the viruses in the MMR vaccine. They do take much longer to replicate and cause symptoms so I do not think his epilepsy is likely to be connected with the vaccination.
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