MMR stands for Measles, Mumps and Rubella. The vaccine against these three viruses can be combined into one and this is often referred to as the triple vaccine. Children are vaccinated when they are around twelve months old and then again between the ages of three and five. The measles, mumps and rubella viruses can all lead to complications which can result in lifelong serious health problems including deafness and/or blindness. Experts including the World Health Organisation have concluded that there is no evidence to support suggested links with the MMR vaccine and Crohn’s Disease or with autism. Parents have the choice whether or not their child is vaccinated and how the vaccine is administered – ie in single doses or by triple vaccine. Parents can only make the right choice if they have all the necessary information. Pressure should never be put on a parent to make a choice without taking the time to explain why the scientific and medical community recommend vaccination.
Scottish Council on Deafness recommends that:
1. Before their children are vaccinated, parents/guardians should receive full information about MMR including any advantages and disadvantages of the vaccination, as well as any possible side effects. Information provided should not have any medical jargon and be easy to read and understand. This will enable parents to make informed choices.
2. Parents/guardians should be given the time to talk over their concerns with the health care providers. Health services have a duty under the Equality Act 20101 to provide and pay for appropriate registered professional communication support to enable deaf parents to reach decisions about immunisation for their children.
1 More about this Act in our Information Sheet entitled Equality Act 2010