According to an interesting new study, children and teens in Quebec who got their first dose of the measles vaccine later than they were supposed to, were, ironically, less likely to fall victim to last year’s measles outbreak. Could vaccinating kids later be better? While this news in still in abstract, non-published form, the results are still fascinating. As reported by Gaston de Serres, MD, PhD, of the Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec, kids who received their first measles vaccination after 14 months of age, which is later than government guidelines in both the U.S. and Canada, were much better protected from measles. Kids who got their measles vaccine at the right age, about 12 to 13 months of age, ended up being about six times more likely to come down with measles in 2011. According to preliminary results of the Quebec studies, vaccination at age 12-15 months may be too early in developed countries because measles is now rare enough to where the risk of fatal infection during infancy is slight.That said, both de Serres as well as the CDC’s Jane Seward, MBBS, said “The issue should be studied more thoroughly before pushing back the age of first vaccination.” They also noted that there needs to be a good “balance” between efficacy and early protection in order to make the right decision about when to give the first measles vaccination.
Lead image by CDC/ Judy Schmidt