Combination Vaccine Raises Risk of Seizures

Julie Ryan Evans

Baby at DoctorA new study has found the risk of febrile seizures is doubled when a combination vaccine is given for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), and chickenpox instead of being given as two separate shots.

In the study of children between 12 to 23 months old by Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center, the combination shot was found to cause one extra seizure for every 2,300 doses in the 7 to 10 days after the shot is given.

Researchers cautioned that the risk is low and that febrile seizures aren't dangerous and don't lead to epilepsy or cause any permanent damage.

"What's important for parents to understand is that even though there's a doubling of the risk for the combination vaccine, the overall risk of seizure to any one child with any measles-containing vaccine is still less than one in 1,000 doses," said researcher Dr. Nicola Klein.

But still, they are scary.

My children have never had a febrile seizure, but I have friends and family whose children have, and they are terrifying. No one wants to see their children go through something like this. So if there's even a slight increased risk for them, then a second shot seems sensible.

Has your child ever had a febrile seizure?


Read More