It’s a vaccine that many parents are beginning to question. “I think a lot of parents stopped doing the vaccine when they heard that there was the potential that autism could be caused by the MMR vaccine. Unfortunately, the researcher who proposed this was giving false data,” said Dr. Michelle Hoffman, a pediatric infectious disease physician with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
Dr. Hoffman says, when it comes to the MMR vaccine, there’s only one answer. “This is a particularly concerning vaccine to not give your child because of the risks of getting measles and because of the risk of permanent damage to their bodies or death.”
If a child is diagnosed with the measles, symptoms can be severe, including pneumonia, hearing loss, brain damage, even death. The MMR vaccine is a live virus that helps prevent measles, mumps, and rubella. “The fact that you can prevent this from happening by giving the vaccine and by the community all giving the vaccine, so we are all protected,” she said.
The MMR vaccine came out in 1971–In 2000, the United States was declared to be measles-free. “Unfortunately, now with these large outbreaks due to unvaccinated populations, it looks like we can consider ourselves not measles free anymore,” Dr. Hoffman said.
Children typically get the vaccine around their first birthday and then a booster vaccine around four or five years old. A potentially life-saving vaccine that can protect children and the community from MMR.
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