Written by Leah Campbell, Fact checked by Maria Gifford
February 3, 2020

- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common type of arthritis in children. Arthritis is a long-term condition characterized by stiffness, swelling, and pain in the joints.
The exact cause of JIA isn’t yet known. However, researchers believe it’s primarily an autoimmune disease.

- No links have been found between JIA and vaccinations of any kind.
My daughter was just 4 years old when she was first diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), an autoimmune condition that involves her immune system attacking her joints.

- As a child of Native descent, she already carried a greater riskTrusted Source for developing certain autoimmune conditions. She also had a suspected family history of this particular condition going back generations. And she hadn’t received a vaccination in almost a year before her symptoms developing.

But none of that stopped people who are opposed to vaccines from jumping on a story I had written about our experience and declaring vaccinations to blame for my daughter’s trauma.

It was frustrating. There I was, focused on getting my daughter healthy, while strangers on the internet were attempting to use her condition to push forward an agenda I in no way agreed with.

I’d done my research. I knew the truth. I never for one moment questioned the role of vaccinations in my daughter’s condition.

But others did. Again and again.

I wanted to know why.

The confusion regarding arthritis and vaccinations

In addition to anecdotal reports, one of the reasons people may think vaccines cause arthritis is because the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine insertTrusted Source lists arthritis as a possible side effect.

But it’s important to understand what that’s referring to before jumping to conclusions.

Arthritis can be a bit of a catch-all term in the medical community since the term itself simply means joint inflammation.