MMR vaccine

Q: I have a 10 month old baby boy and I have been in UK for over a year now. The boy was born in India only, and after four to six months, I have had my family come here and join me. Now apart from the various vaccines that are required (and already given), there is one called MMR (a triple vaccine which is to be given after 12 months). Over here in UK there is a hot debate as to the feasibility of this vaccine (some expressing doubt about its effects) and even the PM (Tony Blair) has been roughed up on this issue (i.e whether his sons had this vaccine given). I just want to know a) how safe it is and what are the reasons( if any) for it being harmful(even if the %ge is low). b) If I don't administer this MMR to my baby and rather go for separate vaccines one at a time ie. Mumps and then Measels and then Rubella, would it be safe? c) Is hiB vaccine a part of vaccination program in India(it is over here) Could you please enlighten me? As a first time father I am very anxious and hope you would understand how grateful I would be.

A:MMR vaccine is given in the UK in the second year of life against infection with measles, mumps and rubella. There was a suggestion that it could increase the chance of developing autism. There have now been a number of studies and they have provided no evidence that it leads to autism. There is also no vidence at all that giving the vaccines separately has any advantage. A baby can produce immunity to the three infections at one time. There is a disadvantage in giving the vaccines separately because that schedule would delay the vaccination for two of the illnesses and would leave the baby unprotected against them until all the injections had been given. MMR is given as a part of routine vaccination in India, but at 9 months because of the importance of providing immunity sooner since there is a higher risk of developing more serious illness in India, particularly with measles.

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