A 12-year study of two measles-containing vaccines found that seven main adverse outcomes were unlikely after either vaccine. The study, conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center, included children aged 12 to 23 months from January 2000 through June 2012 who received measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) or separately administered, same-day measles-mumps-rubella and varicella (MMR + V) vaccines. A total of 123,200 MMRV doses and 584,987 MMR + V doses were evaluated.
Comparing MMRV with MMR + V found no increased risk of seven main neurological, blood or immune system disorders (immune thrombocytopenia purpura, anaphylaxis, ataxia, arthritis, meningitis/encephalitis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, and Kawasaki disease). No new safety concerns were identified after either vaccine, and most outcomes studied were unlikely after either vaccine.
This study did not identify any new safety concerns comparing MMRV with MMR + V or after either the MMRV or the MMR + V vaccine. In fact, there were few or zero events for several outcomes following vaccination. These findings indicate that even if an increased risk for these outcomes exists, the risk is low and rare. The team state that this should reassure parents that these outcomes are unlikely after either vaccine.
The study also confirmed the findings from previous studies that MMRV and MMR + V are associated with fever and febrile seizure 7 to 10 days after vaccination among one-year-old children, and that MMRV versus MMR + V is associated with an increased risk of seizures during that interval.
While febrile seizures are the most common neurologic adverse events following immunization with measles-containing vaccines, the risk is small, with less than one febrile seizure per 1,000 injections. Other previous studies have not found any increased risk for fever or febrile seizures following either vaccine among 4- to 6-year-old children.
The team state that this level of safety monitoring for vaccines can give the public confidence that vaccine surveillance is ongoing and that if a safety problem existed, it would be detected.
The team summise that the findings offer reassurance that adverse outcomes of measles-containing vaccines are extremely rare and unlikely, and that parents of one-year-old children can choose MMR + V instead of MMRV vaccines to reduce the low risk of fever and febrile seizures.
Michelle Petersen is the founder of Healthinnovations, having worked in the health and science industry for over 21 years, which includes tenure within the NHS and Oxford University. Healthinnovations is a publication that has reported on, influenced, and researched current and future innovations in health for the past decade.
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Michelle Petersen’s copy was used in the highly successful marketing campaign for the mega-hit film ‘Jumanji: The Next Level, starring Jack Black, Karen Gilian, Kevin Hart and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Michelle Petersen’s copywriting was part of the film’s coverage by the Republic TV network. Republic TV is the most-watched English language TV channel in India since its inception in 2017.
An avid campaigner in the fight against child sex abuse and trafficking, Michelle is a passionate humanist striving for a better quality of life for all humans by helping to provide traction for new technologies and techniques within healthcare.