Rubella is one of the major causes of deafblindness and immunisation is the only way to protect unborn children from it’s dangers. In order to protect pregnant women and to ensure the virus isn’t able to circulate the best method is to immunise young children with two doses of MMR. Although immunisation is usually scheduled for one dose at 12 to 15 months and another at pre-school, it’s possible to have catch up vaccinations if these are missed for any reason. Even if your child reaches their teens without having an MMR immunisation, it’s not too late to catch up on vaccinations. The idea behind this widespread vaccination is to stop the circulation of rubella and the deafblindness which can potentially be caused by congenital rubella syndrome.
Before widespread immunisation the rubella virus was free to circulate amongst the population and was one of the leading causes of deafblindness. During the 1960’s the vaccine was developed and was offered initially to schoolgirls and later women of childbearing age. As time went by, although cases of rubella still occurted, it was at a severely reduced rate and in 1988 MMR was introduced for all children. This widespread immunisation has been highly successful and now only a handful of rubella births occur each year.
The risks of Vaccination
Although the MMR vaccine has been shown to be highly effective and has an outstanding safety record there are select people who can’t be immunised for one reason or another. These include;
Those suffering from a suppressed immune system
Children suffering from serious illness
Those who have had a reaction to neomycin or kanamycin in the past
Those who have had a reaction to MMR previously.
In some cases mild symptoms of the disease may present themselves, this is due to the body creating antibodies in a reaction to the immunisation. These antibodies will develop and protect the body against the effects of the disease.