Which Are The Side Effects of MMR Vaccine

MMR VaccineSince the MMR vaccine is mixture of the attenuated viruses of Morbilli (measles), epidemic parotitis (mumps) and Rubella, it is only normal that most of the side effects of MMR vaccine to be found among the symptoms of at least one of these diseases. So, to put into a better view the side effects of MMR vaccine, a good approach would be to explain first the symptoms of the 3 diseases.

Symptoms of Measles

Not many know that measles is actually an infection of the respiratory system. The most common symptoms that characterize this disease are cough, fever, coryza (runny nose) and the most characteristic symptom, the erythematous rash.

Symptoms of Mumps

Mumps is characterized by the painful swelling of the salivary glands, sometimes accompanied by testicular swelling. Symptoms are usually not severe in children, the severity grows with age though and could lead to infertility in teenagers, young adults and above. Fever and headaches can also occur as symptoms of mumps.

Symptoms of Rubella

Rubella or the “German Measles” is characterized by the following symptoms: low grade fever, headaches, swollen glands (usually posterior cervical and sub-occipital), conjunctivitis and sometimes joint pains. The signature symptom of this disease is appearance of a rash on the face of the patient, which spreads to the whole body and limbs, usually fading after a few days.

Now, since the samples of each one of the viruses present in the MMR vaccine are weakened, the side effects are most of the times of mild nature, very rarely escalating to severe complications. The most common side effects of MMR vaccine experienced by vaccinated children are low grade fever and malaise. Cough and runny nose can also be present. About 10% of the vaccinated children experience a skin rash after 5 to 20 days since the inoculation. Joint swelling and pain can also occur, but generally in vaccinated adults not children.

As you can see, all the side effects of the MMR vaccine mentioned above figure on the lists of symptoms of the 3 diseases.

In rare cases, children vaccinated with MMR can actually fully develop one of the diseases and have to be treated accordingly.

There’s also one more side effect that must be mentioned here. Although rare, severe allergic reactions to the vaccine can occur featuring bronchospasm and even anaphylaxis. This side effect is actually related to a specific egg protein found in the vaccine, due to its growth in chicken embryos. In other words, the selected individual is allergic to eggs. The personnel that inoculates the vaccine is usually trained to deal with the case and will take the necessary precautions and measures in case this occurs.

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