MMR vaccine in pregnancy
Q: I am looking for some information of MMR vaccine on the unborn child. I took MMR vaccine 3 weeks prior to conception, I am now 9 weeks pregnant. I would like some more information about this.
I took MMR vaccine on Aug. 24, 2001. My last menstrual period was on Aug. 30, 2001. Today my antibody level against rubella is 60.6. I am in a dilemma whether to continue this pregnancy or not. Should I go for an abortion in order to avoid any birth defects in child.
1. Is it safe to continue pregnancy with all the above information?
2. Can MMR vaccine cause any harmful effects on baby without causing any infection in the mother?
A:Because the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine contains live attenuated virus of each of the three species, it should preferably not be administered immediately before or during pregnancy because of the possible risk of inducing malformations in the offspring. For a long time it has been recommended to implement effective contraceptive measures during three months following vaccination with the live attenuated rubella (German measles) virus. However, since at least 5 years, it is known that (accidental) vaccination immediately before or during pregnancy does not cause any identifiable malformation in the child to be born, despite the fact that viral particles can be found in various organs.At present, (accidental) vaccination with the live attenuated rubella virus is no longer considered to be an indication for therapeutic abortion. As far as the attenuated live measles and mumps viruses contained in the MMR vaccine are concerned, things are not quite as clear, as fewer women were accidentally vaccinated with these strains shortly before or during a pregancy, and evidence is lacking. Nevertheless, it was recommended to avoid vaccination DURING pregancy, because of the potential risk of inducing teratogenesis (malformations). In conclusion, there is a possible, but extremely low risk that the vaccination you underwent three weeks before conception would be the cause of any malformations in the embryo you carry. To my mind, this risk is many times smaller than the natural risk of having a child with some congenital malformation inherent to a pregnancy, unexposed to any known teratogenic agent. In my opinion, a termination of pregnancy on medical grounds is therefore not warranted in your particular case.
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