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Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine May Protect Against COVID-19, Says Study

According to researchers, if MMR vaccine has the benefit of preventing infection from COVID-19, preventing the spread of COVID-19, reducing the severity of it, or a combination of any or all of those, it is a very high-reward low-risk intervention

Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine May Protect Against COVID-19, Says Study
Highlights
  • This is the 1st study to evaluate relation between MMR vaccine and COVID-19
  • Many children get their first MMR vaccination around 12 to 15 months of age
  • The MMR II vaccine is considered a safe vaccine with very few side effects

Washington: The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine may provide protection against COVID-19, according to a study that could also explain why children have a much lower case rate and death rate of the disease than adults. The MMR vaccine has been theorised to provide protection against COVID-19, and now the study, published in the journal mBio, provides further proof of this by showing that mumps IgG titers, or levels of IgG antibody, are inversely correlated with severity in recovered COVID-19 patients previously vaccinated with the MMR II vaccine.

Also Read: Pfizer, BioNtech To Submit To FDA For Emergency Use Authorisation For Their COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate

MMR II contains the Edmonston strain of measles, the Jeryl Lynn (B-level) strain of mumps, and the Wistar RA 27/3 strain of rubella, the researchers said. Lead study author Jeffrey E. Gold, president of World Organization in Georgia, US said,

We found a statistically significant inverse correlation between mumps titer levels and COVID-19 severity in people under age 42 who have had MMR II vaccinations. This adds to other associations demonstrating that the MMR vaccine may be protective against COVID-19. It also may explain why children have a much lower COVID-19 case rate than adults, as well as a much lower death rate.

He added that the majority of children get their first MMR vaccination around 12 to 15 months of age and a second one from 4 to 6 years of age. The researchers divided 80 subjects into 2 groups. The MMR II group consisted of 50 U.S. born subjects who would primarily have MMR antibodies from the MMR II vaccine.

A comparison group of 30 subjects had no record of MMR II vaccinations, and would primarily have MMR antibodies from other sources, including prior measles, mumps, and/or rubella illnesses. The researchers found a significant inverse correlation between mumps titers and COVID-19 severity within the MMR II group.

Also Read: India Should Aim At Zero Transmission Of COVID-19 To Healthcare Workers While Handling Samples: Health Experts

There were no significant correlations between mumps titers and disease severity in the comparison group, between mumps titers and age in the MMR II group, or between severity and measles or rubella titers in either group, they said. Within the MMR II group, mumps titers of 134 to 300 AU/ml were only found in those who were functionally immune or asymptomatic, according to the researchers.

All with mild COVID-19 symptoms had mumps titers below 134 AU/ml. All with moderate symptoms had mumps titers below 75 AU/ml. All who had been hospitalised and required oxygen had mumps titers below 32 AU/ml. Study co-author David J. Hurley, professor and molecular microbiologist at the University of Georgia said,

This is the first immunological study to evaluate the relationship between the MMR II vaccine and COVID-19. The statistically significant inverse correlation between mumps titers and COVID-19 indicates that there is a relationship involved that warrants further investigation. The MMR II vaccine is considered a safe vaccine with very few side effects. If it has the ultimate benefit of preventing infection from COVID-19, preventing the spread of COVID-19, reducing the severity of it, or a combination of any or all of those, it is a very high reward low risk ratio intervention. Maximum seropositivity is achieved through two vaccinations at least 28 days apart. Based upon our study, it would be prudent to vaccinate those over 40 regardless of whether or not they already have high serum MMR titers.

Also Read: Officials Should Be Alert And Ready For Second COVID-19 Wave: Telangana Chief Minister

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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