The MMR Vaccine: Can it Prevent Other Infections?
New research has revealed that children who receive an on-schedule measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination are less likely to be infected with other illnesses. In a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that the half a million Danish children they studied were less likely to be admitted to hospitals for respiratory infections or other general illnesses if they were vaccinated properly and received the regular scheduled vaccinations, including MMR. In addition to its protection against mumps, measles, and rubella, the study seems that the MMR vaccine may have a positive effect on a person’s immune system, enabling them to fight off these general infections, including those of the lower respiratory tract, which often require longer hospitalization periods.
However, there are still misconceptions about the effects of the MMR vaccine on children. This is due to a combination of misinformation and personal beliefs, even when studies such as these continue to highlight the importance of receiving the MMR vaccine on time.
What is the MMR Vaccine? Should I Get One?
The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella. The shot contains weakened, live versions of these viruses in order to promote immunity from them in the patient. Most children receive their first MMR vaccination between the ages of 12 and 15 months. A booster dose is administered between the ages of 4 to 6 years old. The child should ideally receive both doses before they start to attend school.
In the past, these diseases were responsible for a large number of infant, toddler and child deaths. For a good part of the 20th century, mumps, measles and rubella were under control thanks to dedicated vaccination efforts. Measles were even considered to be eradicated in the West. In recent years, misinformation about the MMR vaccine has made many parents decide against immunization for their children. These decisions have unfortunately resulted in a resurgence of diseases such as measles, pertussis, mumps and rubella.
If you were born after 1956 and you have not received an MMR immunization at any point in your life, then you should strongly consider visiting a health specialist for a consultation. He or she will talk to you about your medical history as well as the current state of your health. If you are traveling abroad in the near future, it is highly recommended that you make an appointment with a travel health specialist for a consultation and to receive a booster MMR vaccine. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant in the near future should not get the vaccine. People who are immuno-compromised are also discouraged from getting an MMR vaccination.
The MMR Vaccine: a Path to Lifelong Health
This exciting new research can be a great opportunity for specialists who want to help educate the public about the importance of vaccination. As the debate over vaccination continues, officials can hope that this study helps sway people toward getting themselves and their children immunized against these terrible diseases. Vaccination is one of the easiest ways to guarantee long-term health for children and adults alike.