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November 13, 2000

Research: Causes and Prevention

Question from Scarsdale, New York, USA:

My four year old daughter is a twin with type 1. She contracted it one week after receiving the MMR vaccine when she was one. My son is coming up for his second MMR vaccine, and naturally we are concerned. Can the MMR vacination precipitate diabetes?


From: DTeam Staff

The process of autoimmune destruction of the insulin producing islet cells in the pancreas starts months or years before insulin dependence develops. In the case of your daughter, the most that the MMR vaccination might have done would have been to prod the very last stages of this process. In your son’s case, I think you should most certainly go ahead with the vaccination unless he shows other symptoms of diabetes. In any case it is necessary to distinguish between ‘precipitate’, which any stress can do, and ’cause’, which has been claimed, but thoroughly refuted.