There's another twist to the vaccine controversey: US Health officials are backing away from a newer version of the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine that they started recommending last year. The new version, called MMRV, included protection for another common childhood disease -- Varicella.
The "classic" version, MMR, has been linked by some to an increase in Autism in recent years, placing it squarly in the center of the vaccinate-or-not debate. According to this March 6, 2008, Reuters
article, officials still say that there is no link between vaccines and Autism
, in spite of a recent ruling that awarded a 9-year-old Georgia girl compensation for damages linked to her childhood vaccinations, including some "Autistic symptoms."
U.S. health officials are no longer recommending the combination MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella and varicella) vaccine over the MMR vaccine and a separate varicella vaccine for kids.
The change comes after new data show that the MMRV shot increases the risk for febrile seizure in children aged 12 to 23 months. Preliminary findings suggest there is a doubling in the relative increased risk in this age group within a week to 10 days after receiving the shot, according to a report in the March 14 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.