HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 c1090W
Chris Ruane

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children have suffered(a) febrile convulsions and (b) other adverse effects within 14 days of receiving the MMR vaccine. [40687]

Ms Blears

Since 1987, there have been a total of 3,578 reports containing 5,932 suspected adverse reactions associated with MMR vaccines reported to the Medicines Control Agency. For 2,683 of these suspected reactions it is stated that the reaction occurred within 14 days. There have been 82 reports of suspected febrile convulsions associated with MMR vaccines in which the reporter has stated that the reaction occurred within 14 days. The onset time of a suspected reaction is not always provided by reporters.

Febrile convulsions are a recognised side effect of MMR vaccines and are listed as a side effect in their product information. A United Kingdom epidemiological study has suggested that the risk of febrile convulsions six to 11 days following MMR vaccines is around one case per 3,000 doses (Farrington et al. The Lancet 1995; 345:567–69).

It is important to note that the reporting of a suspected adverse reaction does not necessarily mean that the vaccine caused the reaction and other factors such as concomitant medication and underlying disease may provide an alternative explanation.