'Why I chose to give my daughter the MMR jab'

Charlotte Sanger, a writer and editor, recalls why she chose to give her daughter, Harriet, the MMR jab

"Harriet had already had her routine 5-in-1 vaccine and meningitis C jab when she was two months old. It was an automatic step for her to have these, which I didn't question or worry about.

"But when she reached her first birthday and it was time for her to have the MMR jab, I had qualms. So did many of my friends with babies the same age.

"By this time, all the scare stories (which surfaced in the late 1990s) that the MMR jab could cause autism had been firmly dismissed, and the logical side of me knew that the vaccine was safe and beneficial. But as a mum, I still had nagging doubts."

MMR or separate injections?

"I know my worries weren't based on medical facts, but I was very cautious about going ahead. The decision for Harriet to have the MMR jab ultimately lay on my shoulders and I felt under pressure to make the right choice.

"A friend had looked into having each of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines as separate single injections, but she told me it was expensive, meant travelling to a private clinic in London and would be six injections, rather than just two, for the MMR course. That, and the fact I knew there was no evidence showing that single injections were any safer than the combined MMR jab, ruled them out as an option."

Finding out the facts on MMR

"I did some research of my own into the pros and cons of vaccination and, from what I read, all the evidence showed that the MMR jab was safe and had no links with autism.

"I talked to a colleague who was a doctor and another friend, who's a nurse. They were both reassuring and said the benefits far outweighed any potential side effects of the MMR jab.

"What really made up my mind to take Harriet for her MMR was that I didn't want to risk her catching mumps or measles. I knew both of these illnesses can kill a child.

"Once I'd made the decision to go ahead, I never looked back. I probably kept a closer eye on Harriet than usual for a day or two after the jab, but she was absolutely fine and I forgot about it.

"With the recent surge in cases of measles, I'm so relieved Harriet had the MMR jab and is protected. I'll definitely be taking her for her pre-school booster."

Read answers to some of the common MMR questions that parents have.

Find out about potential MMR vaccine side effects.

Page last reviewed: 04/08/2015

Next review due: 04/08/2018


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