Physicians should be prepared for questions about the safety of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, according to an article published by the American Medical Association (AMA). The AMA has offered advice for answering patient questions on vaccination
The issue of vaccinations has dominated the news in recent weeks. Patients are likely to be questioning the safety of the MMR vaccine and its possible link to autism. Reputable scientific studies have found no connection between the MMR vaccine and autism, with the original research to the contrary published in the The Lancet found to be the result of fabricated data. Since then, the research has been disproven, the article retracted, and the author discredited.
The AMA suggests that physicians provide their patients with the following information: (1) the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two doses of MMR to protect children against measles, mumps, and rubella; (2) MMR is safe, serious adverse reactions are rare, and serious allergic reactions occur less than once per 1,000,000 vaccine doses; (3) even though measles was declared eliminated in 2000, people still get measles, with the annual number ranging from a low of 37 people in 2004 to a high of 644 people in 2014; and (4) measles is highly contagious and can be spread through the air before a person is symptomatic.
"While any serious injury or death caused by vaccines is one too many, the benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risk, and many more injuries and deaths would occur without vaccines," according to the AMA.