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From Michigan, USA:

My daughter came down with IDDM one year ago at age 16. She had received a MMR [mumps, measles, and rubella] booster shot about 11 months before coming down with IDDM. Now one other student in her class has come down with IDDM, and he also had the MMR booster recently. We were told that the MMR vaccination in the early 1980's was weak and that all students their age had to have these booster shots. My question is, could the MMR vaccination have caused the destruction of the islet cells in her pancreas, resulting in IDDM?


It is exceedingly improbable that the MMR booster shot had anything to do with causing your daughter's diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is now known to be a disorder of the immune system which starts many years before it is clinically detected.

The occurrence of another case of diabetes in the same class is again almost certainly chance, albeit rare. Type 1 Diabetes is after all not that uncommon.

If there are any younger siblings in the family it would be worth discussing with their doctor whether they should be tested for antibodies. These can indicate if there is a probability of getting diabetes in the future, and there is a possibility that preventive action can be taken. The chances of other siblings being affected is small however, less than 5%.


Original posting 10 May 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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