Monday, June 1, 2009

Lowering the age of the MMR vaccine in the UK

"Baby Measles Immune Boost Call"

With measles cases rates up by 36% in England and Wales, there is currently a call for an earlier MMR booster to be given to newborns. Appropriate herd immunity for measles is somewhere around 95%, and after the first and second MMR boosters in the UK, herd immunity levels were only at 85%. Measles is especially dangerous and can cause severe complications in very young babies, especially today- newborns used to gain temporary protection from antibodies passed from their mothers in the late stages of pregnancy, but because mohters now "have vaccine-mediated immunity rather than natural immunity against measles, that protection in babies is less than it was.". Because of this change in immunity status for newborns, there is a call for an immune booster shot for any baby that has been in recent contact with any measles-infected person.

With the rates of unvaccinated children growing because of either unfounded concerns about risks of autism, or religious sanctions, a public health risk is being presented to the whole population. This article is just one of the many trumpeting an increase in vaccination procedures, and with newborns put at risk by this lack of prevention efforts, perhaps this will get the ball moving.



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