We had an adverse reaction to the MMR vaccine.

Last week, our son Ox had an adverse reaction to the MMR vaccine.  I’m glad, and I’m grateful.

First, the downside. Ox came home from daycare with a fever hovering around 100° F/38° C. That’s high enough to worry first-time parents, and it was persistent. By Friday night he’d been feverish for days and couldn’t sleep. When we measured him at 103°/39°, we finally called the pediatric nurse hotline at the local children’s hospital. The nurse was cool, calm, confident, and knowledgeable, just as you expect a nurse to be. She listened to a first-time dad ramble on about his boy’s fever and then let us know that it sounded like a reaction to the MMR vaccine he’d had the week before.

For his first birthday, Ox got a checkup, the MMR, and a flu shot.

It’s possible that he simply came down with a normal fever and the timing was a coincidence. A lot of reported adverse reactions to vaccines are coincidences. But his experience closely fits the profile of a known vaccine reaction.  Fevers are one of the most common adverse reactions to vaccines, affecting about ten percent of kids after their MMR shots. Our experience was worse than the typical fever; Ox spiked above the usual ceiling of 103° and it lasted a little longer than the standard two days.

Ox is fine today, but I don’t want to minimize the downside. Fevers can be dangerous, of course, leading to dehydration and other serious complications. And while Ox came through just fine, he suffered. He spent a few hot, cranky days unable to sleep or eat comfortably. That hit us, too. As new and first-time parents we don’t have a lot of perspective on what’s serious and what’s not; when the baby’s feverish for that long, it’s scary and upsetting. It also disrupts our lives; we’re very busy but Ox is our priority, so when he’s sick, it’s hard to keep all the other plates spinning efficiently.

Sick little boys get Star Wars stories.

But it’s good news, over all. Ox spiked a scary fever and spend a miserable few days waiting for it to break, and I’d have him do it again in a heartbeat. Because that fever is an indication that his immune system is responding to his MMR shot, which means he’s developing a powerful, natural immune response to dangerous diseases that could leave him deaf, sterile, or even dead.

Ox suffered an adverse reaction thanks to his pediatrician and the nurses, and I’m sincerely grateful for it. They gave him a shield against pathogens that evolved specifically to attack and ravage him, and that have seriously hurt unvaccinated kids in our community. And they helped make him into a shield in turn, protecting other children through communal immunity.

To Ox’s nurses and doctors and to all the doctors and nurses giving vaccines every day: thank you. You’re standing between our child and a world of suffering, and we’ll always be grateful—even when it causes a fever.




58 thoughts on “We had an adverse reaction to the MMR vaccine.

  1. Thomas Holm October 15, 2018 / 12:29 pm

    Good to hear that he came through safe and sound.

    I usually get a reaction to vaccinations too, a day of fever, chills, headaches.
    Still, I will always get my vaccines. Better one day than the full-blown disease.

    • jane mariouw October 16, 2018 / 10:26 pm

      2000-2011 in USA:
      1 death from wild measles
      120 deaths from MMR vaccine induced

      Physicians for Informed Consent . org

      • Colin October 16, 2018 / 10:42 pm

        Jane, that number is baloney. “Physicians for Informed Consent” isn’t a serious site; it’s a conspiracy theory site that spreads false information in order to scare people. You can read more about them here: https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/physicians-for-informed-consent-another-radical-anti-vaccine-group/

        If you want to test their reliability, see if you can figure out where that number originally comes from. It would be an interesting discussion. But just copying and pasting conspiracy theories isn’t a very productive conversation.

        • jane mariouw October 16, 2018 / 11:04 pm

          that’s not true. co founded by a legit scientist and parent.
          watch her utube lectures.
          very honest and humble person who questions… that is the true scientific method.

          • MaGaO October 17, 2018 / 12:38 am

            Your numbers have already been debunked. Real scientists that appeared in “Vaxxed” have already said that their words were edited out of context in order to make them say something different.
            You talk about US and UK statistics but forget that there is a world out there where sanitation wasn’t available to keep polio away. How do you (or your sources) explain polio mostly disappearing from, say, India or central Africa where sanitation is most often nonexistent?
            How do you (or they) explain that measles outbreaks in Netherlands have happened mostly in unvaccinated dutch communities? They have sanitation as the rest of the country.

        • toffles3344 March 1, 2020 / 6:24 pm

          Colin “Skeptical Raptor” are you kidding, that site is even worse than Physicians for informed consent. If that is where you get your information, I am worried about you. The author’s kid had a bad reaction to the MMR, how come the author did not go a step further?
          Does he think his kid had the worst reaction? Some kids have even worse reactions, some even die, like this little girl. https://nj.gov/health/cd/documents/antibody_titer_law.pdf Died from her second dose of mmr.

          I am not saying to not vaccinate, but I can understand if a parent does not want to. With 99% under-reporting of adverse events, we have no idea how many there are.
          Read the clinical trials on this vaccine, we have serious adverse events in the 1 in 50 range.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22622699-immunogenicity-and-safety-of-two-tetravalent-measles-mumps-rubella-varicella-vaccines-coadministered-with-hepatitis-a-and-pneumococcal-conjugate-vaccines-to-children-twelve-to-fourteen-months-of-age/

          • MaGaO March 1, 2020 / 6:37 pm

            Actually we don’t. Te study (searchable using 10.1097/INF.0b013e318259fc8a on Sci-Hub to get access) mentions two adverse effects:
            – localized measles/rubella-like rash (in one vaccine)
            – grade 3 fever
            Related to this last one, the study says
            “Febrile seizures occurring from days 0 to 42 were reported in 0.3% of subjects in each treatment
            group”. That’s 5 in 1600, actually.
            That’s an order of magnitude to 1 in 50.

          • doritmi March 1, 2020 / 6:42 pm

            The Skeptical Raptor article explains in detail what’s inaccurate in the Physicians for Informed Consent claims. You pointed to nothing inaccurate in it.

            Measles causes encephalitis in 1:1000. If MMR causes it at all – and the evidence is weak – it’s extremely rare, less than one per million.. MMR prevents encephalitis.

            We know a lot about vaccines risks. And note that the study you linked to found the MMR vaccines safe. If you concluded otherwise, you may have misunderstood it.

            • toffles3344 March 1, 2020 / 7:09 pm

              Last sentence of Results of the study I linked to says “The incidence of subjects experiencing at least 1 serious adverse event was 2.0%, 2.9% and 1.8% in the GSK+4C, GSK-20C and Merck-20C groups, respectively.”
              That is 1 on 50. And yes of course GSK will say that is safe. It is as safe as the vaccine they compared it to. Which shows how bad vaccine safety.
              I would give my kid a MMR, but not at 12 months like the US does, but wait until kid is 18 months old like much of Europe does, it is safer and will work better, and no my kid will not get measles waiting a few months. There is no measles where I live. And I would only get that vaccine and wait a month before I let him get another, none of this 3 shots in one visit nonsense. I have 12 studies that show it is safer to get them one at a time, even thought the CDC denys this.
              People should also see this, dont get mmr at 12 months.

              • MaGaO March 2, 2020 / 1:51 am

                That link studies the rate at which adverse effects happen if they happen.
                It doesn’t study how often they happen in the general population and it doesn’t seem to mention whether they are serious or not.
                Your previous “2%” link actually conflates rashes and high fever (0,3%). So its abstract is less informative than it should be.

                • toffles3344 March 2, 2020 / 11:43 am

                  https://academic.oup.com/jpids/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jpids/piz010/5372494#supplementary-data This study done by GSK says all good.
                  You have to dive deep into this study. To find the scary stuff. See the “Supplemental tables link table 6. Now it gets frightneing. 77″Serious” adverse events, or one in 64.

                  Then Look under “Methods” and study design, you see they exclude any kid who has had a reaction to a vaccine in the past, so study only has perfect kids, then once approved, vaccine is given to everyone, a standard clinical trial tactic and the ACIP lets them get away with it.

                  https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0027897 This study also shows a high rate of serious adverse events for mmr. A serious adverse event is one that requires hospitalization or worse. I am not saying to stop vaccinating, but maybe we can do it safer. Like follow Europes example and give the shot at 18 months, not 12 months old. And never give another shot at the same time. And if we admit there is a problem, maybe they will make a safer vaccine, but you have to admit there is a problem first.
                  And remember that VAERS has 99% under-reporting.

                • Chris March 2, 2020 / 11:57 am

                  There is still no comparison to the general incidence of those events. There is no data to show why there were in the emergency room. It could have been choking on food or another type of infection. So it is not relevant.

          • Chris March 2, 2020 / 11:41 am

            Wow, it took you over a year to come up with that, and still so wrong? Colin is a lawyer. He is not the Skeptical Raptor. And a law is not a scientific citation.

          • Chris March 2, 2020 / 12:00 pm

            I should also note the GSK mmr vaccine is not used in New Jersey. You need to realize different countries use different mmr vaccines, as well as have different schedules.

  2. RichCoulter October 15, 2018 / 12:32 pm

    Your experience is similar to my experience of measles in the very early 60s, and like me the vast majority of people who had measles came through it okay after “a few hot, cranky days”.

    Of course I understand that this doesn’t mean a very small percentage of people didn’t have that same few small hot cranky days as I did but I’m not sure you understand that for a few people, regardless of the differences between risk, their adverse reaction was far worse and they did not come through it okay but suffered permanent damage. It’s a small few, but I don’t think they’d be too understanding of your rather obvious, transparent attempt to belittle those who were permanently damaged from a more serious but rare adverse reaction to vaccines.

    • MaGaO October 15, 2018 / 1:01 pm

      Belittle? :-/

    • doritmi October 15, 2018 / 4:20 pm

      It actually was not “a very small percentage”. In recent outbreaks in the U.S. 20% of people were hospitalized. The same in Europe. Over 4% percentage of people with measles have pneumonia, 1:1000 encephalitis, 1:1000 dies. A high fever is the norm with measles; it’s 5-15% with MMR. MMR has nothing comparable to the risk profile with measles. I agree that the extraordinarily cases of people who suffer permanent damage from MMR – and it is extraordinarily rare – deserve sympathy. This story certainly doesn’t belittle that. I’m not sure how your read that in. It expresses sympathy to anyone who suffers.

      We should sympathize with anyone suffering. We should also support vaccines that reduce the level of people who suffer longterm harms.

      • jane mariouw October 16, 2018 / 10:31 pm

        USA 2000-2011
        1 death from wild measles
        120 deaths from MMR vaccine measles

        Physicians for Informed Consent. org

        US and UK govt stats:
        99% reduction in deaths from all infectious diseases, with reduction in numbers of cases
        following after
        BEFORE measles vaccine was started.
        CDC website states that improvements in sanitation,
        nutrition , working and living conditions were responsible.

        • Colin October 16, 2018 / 10:39 pm

          Jane, you seem to just be copying and pasting bits of conspiracy theories.

          It’s not true that there were 120 deaths from MMR, even if a website told you so. You can test this for yourself by digging deeper into their numbers. Where do they get that phony statistic, and why doesn’t it match the real numbers?

          And yes, sanitation is great. But sanitation didn’t make smallpox extinct. Vaccines did. And when measles comes back in mini-epidemics in the United States, it’s not because people in Kansas City and Los Angeles forgot how to take baths–it’s because vaccination rates dropped too far and preventable diseases started hurting kids again.

        • Chris October 17, 2018 / 3:28 pm

          That is just an indication of better hospital care, especially with respiratory support, starting with iron lungs. The most common cause of death from measles is pneumonia.

  3. Ernie Gordon October 15, 2018 / 1:30 pm

    We have five children, two had the same reaction as Ox did. Our youngest is now 24, oldest 31. Our 28 year old is a physician and is giving her daughter the recommended vaccines on schedule. Different vaccine, but my mom had polio as a 25 year old adult in 1950 and at 93 years old she is grateful that none of her grand kids or five great grand kids will suffer like she has all of her life.

    • jane mariouw October 16, 2018 / 10:37 pm

      i am 67. lived in 3 continents.
      know of only 3 cases if suspected polio in my family, friends and neighbors.
      back then people got together and talked, listened to the same radio and television, read the same paper. no one ever talked about any “ epidemics” of
      any childhood diseases. small pox was already pretty non existent.
      all infectious diseases of the 19th Cc were down in death rates by 99% before the 1950s and 1960s BEFORE mass vaccines were used. CDC website
      states that improved sanitation, indoor plumbing, better nutrition, working and living conditions were responsible.
      and CONTINUE to be the reason we are staying epidemic free. as long as we have goid hygiene, clean water, air, food and living conditions.

  4. Kathleen Burke October 15, 2018 / 4:12 pm

    Beautifully said, Colin!

  5. Kathleen Burke October 15, 2018 / 4:12 pm

    Beautifully said, Colin!

  6. doritmi October 15, 2018 / 4:22 pm

    I’m glad Ox is okay. I know it’s hard; and I’m glad he’s protected.

    And I can only imagine how new parents like you who see a fever and later see other problems – like autism – might be tempted to make the connection between the temporary fever and the child’s longterm issues.

  7. Anonymous October 15, 2018 / 5:09 pm

    Wow. A new, special kind of stupid. Imagine how happy she would be if he had died!

    • doritmi October 15, 2018 / 5:19 pm

      I get the impression you have not read the post in full. I recommend doing it. Your comment does not reflect its contents.

      • MaGaO October 15, 2018 / 5:22 pm

        It does reflect our nameless commentator’s mental biases though

      • jane mariouw October 16, 2018 / 10:43 pm

        ok “ Doritt”
        that comment was sarcastic
        because they apparently DID read the article.
        that parent comes off as uneducated about what natural immunity is. that parent seems to believe that only a vaccine will protect her
        the comment made was just carryied out to the absurd:
        “oh, she was happy he had a fever reaction, just think how
        ecstatic she would be if he died!”

        • MaGaO October 17, 2018 / 12:41 am

          Thanks, Captain Obvious.
          Are your anti ax comments sarcastic too?

  8. jane mariouw October 16, 2018 / 12:03 am

    from 2000-2011
    1 death from wild measles in USA
    120 deaths from MMR
    2003 MMR study showed 300% more autism in black male babies given MMR. the CDC hid it. in 2015,
    a whistleblower Dr. Thompson,
    admitted the cover-up.

    • Colin October 16, 2018 / 12:28 am

      I think your numbers are off. There have not been 120 deaths from the MMR in that time period. Did you get that number from the original data, or an internet conspiracy theorist?

      Nor did the Thompson study show that vaccines were causing autism in black babies, or any babies at all. Thompson was worried that the data showed that, but when anti-vaxers reviewed the original data they were unable to show either that the CDC hid real data or that the data showed any causative connection between vaccines and autism. Again, even anti-vaxers weren’t able to show any such connection.

      You can read a statistician’s analysis of the work anti-vaxers did trying to establish such a connection here: http://blog.minitab.com/blog/adventures-in-statistics-2/analysis-and-reanalysis3a-the-controversy-behind-mmr-vaccinations-and-autism2c-part-2

      You’ll see that it shows that they were deceptive but not successful.

      In the end, Dr. Thompson remains with the CDC and released a statement asking parents to vaccinate on-schedule because vaccines save lives. And they don’t cause autism.

      • doritmi October 16, 2018 / 9:11 am

        I would add that the main reason deaths from measles are low is because cases are low, thanks to still relatively high vaccines rates. A quick look at Europe teaches us that as vaccines rates drop and measles comes back, deaths do not stay low.

      • jane mariouw October 16, 2018 / 10:11 pm

        if any claims in the movie
        “ VAXXED” were untrue, the claims i understood and posted,
        then there would have been
        major lawsuits against the producers, writers and others.
        not one single lawsuit. why?
        because the facts in the movie are true.
        Congressman Bill Posey from Florida has been appealing to Congress for a hearing to subpeana Dr. William Thompson. Thompson gave thousands of hard copies of data to him.
        your attempt to literally white wash history and further hide the damage done to all those children is deplorable.

        • Colin October 16, 2018 / 10:31 pm

          Jane, have you ever in your life heard of someone suing a movie because it lied about the facts? I can’t think of any examples. That’s because libel laws don’t really work that way. Especially in the case of Vaxxed, because the government doesn’t sue people for defamation ever, under any circumstances. That’s why there were no lawsuits, even though the producers very definitely deceived audiences.

          I watched Vaxxed for myself, and can read more about that here: https://violentmetaphors.com/2016/06/13/vaxxed-reviewed-what-happened-inside-the-movie/

          I also interviewed Andrew Wakefield about the claims Vaxxed makes, and you can read that interview here: https://violentmetaphors.com/2016/02/15/an-interview-with-andrew-wakefield/

          You’ll see that he and the movie producers were very dishonest. They can do that with impunity, because no one would or even really could sue them for making a scaremongering documentary.

          The facts are the facts. Thompson didn’t need to hand over any documents because the CDC didn’t destroy any of the original study data. (The movie tries to convince people that it did, but they never found a single bit of study data that the CDC ever tried to destroy.) There’s a reason why Thompson’s final word on the subject was to ask parents to vaccinate. It’s because vaccines are safe and effective, no matter what the conspiracy theorists want you to believe.

      • jane mariouw October 16, 2018 / 10:19 pm

        the numbers are from
        Physicians for Informed Consent.org

      • jane mariouw October 16, 2018 / 10:45 pm

        Physicians for Informed Consent:

        from 2000-2011 in the USA
        1 death from wild measles
        120 deaths from
        vaccine induced measles

  9. Vaxxed Atlanta October 16, 2018 / 8:40 am

    Perfect example of astroturfing for big pharma.
    Complete with the obligatory fake comments applauding the OP.
    Desperate attempt to hold back the tide of changing perceptions of the hoax that is the vaccine program.

    • doritmi October 16, 2018 / 9:14 am

      It seems as if you find these parents experience and views threatening. But it is easy to check on who they are – they use their real names – and find that they do not work for big pharma. They are providing their experience, and adding fact-based, referenced information. I recommend reading it.

      All governments in the world support vaccines. They do so on the basis of data that comes from all around the world. To believe vaccine programs are a hoax, you have to assume tens of thousands of experts and health officials, all around the world, are either fooled or bought. That is not very realistic.

      • jane mariouw October 16, 2018 / 10:58 pm

        most of the drs are not taught anything about vaccines in medical school.
        most ER drs are not taught to report all adverse reactions to
        Vaccine Adverse Reactions Reporting System as part of the Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.
        most people grow up believing
        in vaccines.
        those same people become parents, doctors, politicians, drug reps,. medical research students are discouraged from finding out the truth. if they discover a cure for something it is scrapped. if their child is injured or dies right after a shot, no one in the medical field considers that a possibility.
        the number one reason that belief in vaccine theory is so strong is this:
        FEAR of DEATH by DISEASE.
        read Dr. Suzanne Humphries book, co-authored by Roman Bystrianyk,
        “ Dissolving Illusions… true history of vaccines”
        people call her a quack. she isn’t. read the book anyway.
        “ A SHOT IN THE DARK” co- authored by Barbara Loe Fischer. founder of the
        National Vaccine Information Center. org
        and follow the utube videos of
        Forrest MaReady, and read his book “ Crooked”, based on the work of the late Dr. Moulden.

        • MaGaO October 17, 2018 / 12:48 am

          “most of the drs are not taught anything about vaccines in medical school.”
          Did you even stop to check the curriculum at any university teaching medicine?
          Harvard teaches basic immunology to every one of its students.

    • MaGaO October 16, 2018 / 9:14 am

      Delusional paranoia is not good. You may want to talk to your physician.

    • MaGaO October 16, 2018 / 9:14 am

      Delusional paranoia is not good. You may want to talk to your physician.

  10. Mark October 16, 2018 / 3:01 pm

    Scary, upsetting and disruptive. Those describe the turmoil you’d go through if Ox came down with a bad case of mumps or measles…if you were lucky. Thanks for sharing your story and thanks for being health-conscious parents who vaccinate (not that there was much cause for doubt on that score). Welcome the the further adventures of parenting.

    • Stephen March 8, 2019 / 12:08 am

      99.9 percent of children who get measles experience it as a benign condition and are gifted lifelong immunity as a result.

      Please review characterizations of measles in children before the vaccine was created. It is most often more mild than the flu.
      The dots look awful but don’t even itch like chicken pox did!!

      • doritmi March 8, 2019 / 9:11 am

        I’m not sure where you get those numbers. In the Somali outbreak, over 20% of the children were hospitalized. A routine case of measles means high fever and suffering. You may be referring to the fact that with modern treatment death happens in 1:1000, but death is not the only potential harm – measles can cause deafness, blindness, and over 5% have pneumonia. https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/189/Supplement_1/S4/823958

        • doritmi March 8, 2019 / 9:13 am

          And really, a 1:1000 chance of dying is not something most parents would intentionally choose.

  11. jane mariouw October 16, 2018 / 9:56 pm

    fever and headache signal an inflammatory reaction. neurological
    reaction. fever is bodys’ attempt at fighting off an infection or toxin.
    baby can’t clearly say if he had headache or not.
    the natural measles, mumps, rubella
    would have primed the immune system in the same way… most likely at a later age when the babys’ innate immune system starts to develop. age 3.
    if baby is kept clean at home and breast fed, then it is not likely to get sick the first 6 months to a year.
    natural immunity through breast milk.
    especially if mother was not vaccinated, especially not during pregnancy. these well-known facts and more can be learned on utube lectures
    that Dr. Humphries gave in Sweden.

    • Colin October 16, 2018 / 10:36 pm

      The “natural measles, mumps, rubella” are dangerous diseases that could have seriously hurt or even killed my child. I don’t want that. I want him protected from disease, and I will happily accept a 10% chance of a fever in exchange for him not going deaf or becoming sterile or dying of measles, mumps, or rubella.

      Dr. Humphries is not an expert on vaccines, or even on diseases. She makes her money selling homeopathy and conspiracy theories; her lectures are designed to scare people, not inform them.

    • MaGaO October 17, 2018 / 12:51 am

      “fever and headache signal an inflammatory reaction. neurological
      Actually, they don’t necessarily signal that. Most headaches are caused by muscular tension. Oh, the brain itself lacks pain receptors so it can’t hurt.

  12. Stephen March 8, 2019 / 12:03 am

    With all due respect, it is highly possible that your beautiful child could have suffered the same number of days with the same level of discomfort and as a pay off, gained lifelong immunity and also a life free of allergies, eczema and asthma. He could then be a true and genuine piece of herd immunity as well.
    Instead, with his suffering, he gained temporary immunity and you will once again have to face the same immunization.

    • MaGaO March 8, 2019 / 3:41 pm

      Actually, no, it isn’t highly possible. In fact, sequels are more likely to occur when infected by a live virus.
      Also, the immune system can’t tell live viruses from atenuated or dead viruses. It responds to both in the same way.

Leave a Reply to Stephen Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s