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My pediatrician allowed my baby to get the MMR vaccine for measles early, but I had to ask for it. Why don’t doctors recommend getting it early with this outbreak?

Bella May

Answered 14h ago

Early vaccination is not widely recommended due to the ineffectiveness of the measles vaccine in infants. Children that receive an early first dose of measles vaccine develop subpar immunity to measles virus even after receiving additional measles vaccine doses. In this instance infants assume all the risks of the measles vaccine product while receiving little to no benefit.

“The results suggest that early administration of measles vaccine may produce a cohort of children with inadequate immunity who cannot be fully immunized by revaccination. Approximately 1½ years after the initial vaccination, 46% of the uninfected children maintained very low levels of neutralizing antibody, but did not have a measurable haemagglutination-inhibition titre. Revaccination did not elicit an IgM response in most children, but stimulated anti-measles IgG production in all of them. In 36% of the children, the IgG titres fell again within three months to levels that may permit reinfection.” – “Inadequate immunity to measles in children vaccinated at an early age: effect of revaccination”.…

“Measles immunity was studied in children in a private pediatric practice who had been revaccinated because they had received their primary measles vaccination before 1 year of age. Antibody was measured in 72 of these children who had received the first injection of live measles virus vaccine at less than 10 months of age, and the second at greater than 1 year of age. Of the 72 children, 29 (40%) had no detectable antibody and the geometric mean titer for the group was approximately 1:4. Of the children with low antibody titers, 15 were given a third injection of measles vaccine and five (33%) still did not respond. Cell-mediated immunity as indicated by lymphocyte transformation to measles antigen was measured in 11 of the children. Five (45%) had responses to measles antigen, but the responses did not correlate with the presence or absence of antibody. This study confirms the observation that revaccination is unsuccessful in many children who received measles vaccine in the first year of life, and shows that even a third injection of vaccine may fail to produce a significant antibody response.” –Measles immunity after revaccination: results in children vaccinated before 10 months of age.

“Early measles vaccination provides immediate protection in the majority of infants, but long-term neutralizing antibody responses are reduced compared to infants vaccinated at a later age. Additional vaccination at 14 months of age does not improve this. Long-term, this may result in an increasing number of children susceptible to measles.” Early measles vaccination during an outbreak in The Netherlands: reduced short and long-term antibody responses in children vaccinated before 12 mo… – PubMed – NCBI


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