MMR vaccine linked to lower rate of infection-related hospital admissions

February 25, 2014

In a nationwide group of Danish children, receipt of the live measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine on schedule after vaccination for other common infections was associated with a lower rate of hospital admissions for any infections, but particularly for lower respiratory tract infections, according to a study in the February 26 issue of JAMA.

Childhood vaccines are recommended worldwide, based on their protective effect against the targeted diseases. However, studies from low-income countries show that vaccines may have nonspecific effects that reduce illness and death from non-targeted diseases, according to background information in the study. Such nonspecific effects of vaccines might also be important for the health of children in high-income settings.

Signe Sorup, Ph.D., of the Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues examined whether the live MMR vaccine was associated with lower rates of for infections among children in a higher-income setting (Denmark). The study included children 495,987 born 1997-2006 and followed from ages 11 months to 2 years. The recommended vaccination schedule was inactivated vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP-IPV-Hib) administered at ages 3, 5, and 12 months; and MMR at age 15 months.

There were 56,889 hospital admissions for any type of infection among the children in the study. The researchers found that receiving the live MMR vaccine after the inactivated DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine was associated with a lower rate of hospital admissions for any infection. The association was particularly strong for lower and for longer hospital admissions. Children who received DTaP-IPV-Hib after MMR had a higher rate of infectious disease admission.

"The coverage with MMR is suboptimal in many high-income countries; in the present study, about 50 percent of children were not vaccinated on time. Physicians should encourage parents to have children vaccinated on time with MMR and avoid giving vaccinations out of sequence, because the present study suggests that timely MMR vaccination averted a considerable number of hospital admissions for any infection between ages 16 and 24 months," the authors write.

Explore further: Study: No significant rise in seizure risk from common kids' vaccine

More information: JAMA DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.470

Related Stories

Third MMR vaccine dose can curtail mumps outbreak

November 5, 2012

(HealthDay)—Administering a third dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine reduced the village-wide attack rate by about 75 percent in a community experiencing a large mumps outbreak despite a high rate of previous ...

Recommended for you

Cellphone data can track infectious diseases

August 20, 2015

Tracking mobile phone data is often associated with privacy issues, but these vast datasets could be the key to understanding how infectious diseases are spread seasonally, according to a study published in the Proceedings ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.