Fw: MMR Vaccine Linked to Blood Disorder
- Just fyi
MMR Vaccine Linked to Blood Disorder
Updated: Thu, Feb 22 07:01 PM EST
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - British researchers have confirmed that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine can cause a rare bleeding disorder in children.
But they stress that children remain at much higher disease risk from measles, mumps or rubella if they forego vaccination, than they are from the vaccine-linked bleeding condition, called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).
People with ITP bleed under the skin, causing a kind of purple bruise to spread across the body. Other symptoms can include tiny red spots on the skin and nosebleeds. The condition is mild in the majority of cases.
The reaction, caused by the destruction of the platelets that help blood clot, seems to occur most often within the first 2 or 3 weeks of receipt of the vaccine according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. In their "Red Book" of childhood diseases, they describe the thrombocytopenia caused by the MMR vaccine as "transient and benign."
The vaccine has been linked to the disease for years, although evidence supporting the association has been limited.
In the current study, published in the March issue of the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, researchers evaluated records at two hospitals in England between 1991 and 1994.
They verified records for 21 children between 12 and 23 months admitted with ITP, of whom nine were admitted within 6 weeks of having the MMR vaccine.
Based on this, Dr. Elizabeth Miller of the Communicable Disease Surveillance Center in London and colleagues calculated that "the absolute risk (of hospitalization for ITP) within six weeks of immunization was 1 in 22,300 doses."
ITP can occur in children following a viral infection. Miller and colleagues note that the vaccine-related risk is quite low when compared to ITP that occurs after catching measles, rubella or mumps. For instance, one case of ITP occurs for about every 3000 rubella infections.
Cases linked to the vaccine were also milder than those resulting from the viral diseases, and resulted in shorter stays in hospital, Miller's group reports.SOURCE: Archives of Disease in Childhood 2001; 84: 227-229.
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