Measles vaccines are safe, study confirms


Two measles-containing vaccines are unlikely to result in adverse effects, a 12-year study has found.

Two measles-containing vaccines are unlikely to result in adverse effects, a 12-year cohort study has found.

Researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center evaluated the effects of 123,200 doses of measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV)vaccine and 584,987 doses of measles-mumps-rubella and varicella (MMR+V) vaccines (given separately on the same day) in children aged 12 to 23 months from 2000 to 2012 to determine whether MMRV posed more risk that MMR+V.

Risks for the 7 main study outcomes (anaphylaxis; immune thrombocytopenic purpura; ataxia; arthritis; meningitis and encephalitis; acute disseminated encephalomyelitis; and Kawasaki disease) didn’t differ significantly between MMRV and MMR+V, and several of the outcomes were associated with few or no postvaccination events. Researchers didn’t discover any new safety concerns for either vaccine course.

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In line with previous research, the study found that MMRV and MMR+V both slightly increase the risk of fever and febrile seizures in 1-year-old children within 7 to 10 days after vaccination and that MMRV carries a higher risk than MMR+V. Fewer than 1 febrile seizure occurs for every 1000 immunizations.

The researchers conclude that the study findings provide reassurance that the safety outcomes they evaluated are “extremely rate and unlikely after either vaccine.”

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