Generally speaking, the MMR vaccine is safe for children. And being protected against measles, mumps, and rubella (which before the advent of the vaccine were notoriously awful diseases) is often worth the tiny risk associated with vaccine. But, like with other vaccines, in rare instances the MMR can cause an immune system overreaction that can lead to dangerous conditions.
Two of these conditions are encephalopathy and encephalitis. Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain, and encephalopathy (which can be brought on by encephalitis) is a change in mental status or consciousness.
Although the MMR vaccine rarely causes encephalopathy or encephalitis, they happen often enough that the National Vaccine Injury Program considers them to be “table injuries” if they manifest between 5 and 15 days after vaccine administration. A “table injury” is one which the Program presumes the vaccine caused (if certain criteria are met) unless proved otherwise.
Other Associated Reactions/Injuries
Other table injuries associated with the MMR vaccine include anaphylaxis, vasovagal syncope, chronic arthritis, and thrombocytopenic purpura. If you or loved one has been diagnosed with any of these conditions following an MMR vaccine, one of our experienced lawyers can help determine whether you are entitled to compensation.
Autism is also a topic that arises with the MMR vaccine, due primarily to an article in Lancet in 1998 (since retracted) that suggested a link. But due to its small sample size and questionable methodology its conclusions have been largely discredited by the scientific community. This being said, a severe case of encephalitis can lead to brain damage and autism-like symptoms in some individuals.
To view one of our MMR-related case results, please click here.