Medical services

Measles vaccination

Measles vaccination is a reliable way to protect against the virus, which before the invention of the vaccine caused a high mortality rate. Since then, namely since 1963, measles has gradually moved from the category of deadly and “universal” widespread to the category of well-controlled and relatively rare diseases. Therefore, all people need to have information about the correct and timely vaccination to protect themselves and their child from this disease.

What is measles vaccination?

Measles vaccination is a prophylactic immunization measure that is administered to people of different age groups to prevent infection. Currently, several live, attenuated vaccines are available in the form of monovalent (containing isolated measles) or polyvalent from measles with one or more types of pathogens, in particular rubella, mumps and varicella vaccines.

The measles / mumps / rubella or measles / rubella vaccine is available in many countries instead of the monovalent measles vaccine. The measles vaccines that are currently available internationally are safe and effective and can be used interchangeably in immunization programs. Every child should receive two doses of such a vaccine. The second dose can be assigned as early as 1 month after the first, depending on the local program and epidemiological situation.

Who should be vaccinated

In the first place - it is babies and young children. According to the current national preventive vaccination calendar, routine measles vaccination (simultaneously with rubella and mumps vaccination) is carried out twice: at the age of 12 months (when the maternal antibodies passed to them through the placenta usually disappear in infants) and at 6 years of age (before entering school) . For infants transported to countries where infection is widespread, the first dose of vaccine can be prescribed at the age of 6 months. However, children who receive the first vaccine between the ages of 6 and 8 months should receive two regular doses. Older children or adults who have not received two doses of the vaccine should be vaccinated against measles before traveling.

Also, vaccination is necessary for patients with HIV infection, because their immunity is extremely weakened and the risk of incidence of any infections, including measles, is extremely high. Given the serious and lengthy course of treatment in patients with advanced HIV infection, vaccination should be regularly administered to potentially susceptible, asymptomatic HIV-infected children and adults. Vaccination can be considered even in individuals with symptomatic HIV infection, provided that they are not subjected to severe immunization.

In cases where the risk of contracting an infection is low, doctors who can control the number of lymphocytes in HIV patients receiving antiretroviral treatment may prefer to delay vaccination until the white blood cell count exceeds 200.

After measles vaccination, no side effects were seen in children with HIV infection compared with HIV-negative children. Yet lower antibody levels can be detected in the first group.

It is necessary to be vaccinated for adults born in 1957 or later, who have not been vaccinated or have not had measles.

Students, teachers, medical staff, vendors, and international travelers are at increased risk of infection. All these categories of the population are recommended to be vaccinated regularly. And not only from measles, but also from other potentially dangerous infectious diseases. Vaccination is necessary for people of all age groups:

  • babies aged 12-13 months;
  • preschool children, schoolchildren;
  • students and people over this age;
  • pensioners.

Who is contraindicated for measles vaccination

Measles vaccines contain live viruses that have been weakened so that they stimulate the immune system but do not cause disease in healthy people. However, the vaccine should not be given to people who have a history of severe allergic reactions to aminoglycosides, to chicken or quail protein (depending on the type of specific vaccine, if it was made using chicken or quail eggs), suffering from primary immunodeficiency, malignant blood diseases and tumors that have a pronounced reaction (hyperthermia above 40 degrees C, hyperemia or edema more than 8 cm in diameter at the injection site) or a complication of the previous administration of measles vaccine HIV infection not a contraindication to vaccination.

Vaccination Effectiveness

The impact of mass immunization on the incidence of measles in the world is well documented, and a significant number of studies show the effectiveness of vaccination. If the patient has no contraindications for vaccination (of which there are very few), then it is extremely necessary to carry out this prevention.

Measles is extremely contagious - about 90% of those who come into contact with the infection become ill. The risk of death from measles is highest for adults and infants.

The spread and situation of measles infection in any country is associated with non-immunized immigrants who bring the infection from other countries. Before the introduction of the vaccine, the infection was extremely common.

Most people were infected with measles at some point in their lives, usually children. Despite the fact that many people survived without long-term consequences, others were left with serious disabilities, and some children died from complications of the disease.

Complications also include fatal pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Measles damages the immune system and makes people more vulnerable to other serious diseases. The vaccine does not work so well in children under the age of 1 year. Therefore, the effectiveness of vaccination can be noted only after 12-13 months of age.

Vaccination against measles is necessary at any age. There are practically no contraindications to vaccination, with the exception of rare cases. The vaccination procedure can prevent serious diseases of the ears, gastrointestinal tract and their complications.

Also, do not postpone vaccination if you are planning to travel to another country. The infection rate varies for each country, so you can be a potential victim. The effectiveness of this measles prevention method has been proven and tested over the years.

The author of the article:
Medvedeva Larisa Anatolevna

Specialty: therapist, nephrologist.

Total experience: 18 years.

Place of work: Novorossiysk, medical center "Nefros".

Education: 1994-2000 Stavropol State Medical Academy.


  1. 2014 - "Therapy" full-time advanced training courses on the basis of the State Budgetary Medical Educational Institution of Higher Professional Training "Kuban State Medical University".
  2. 2014 - "Nephrology" full-time refresher courses on the basis of the Stavropol State Medical University.
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Watch the video: Facts about the Measles MMR Vaccine. UCLA Health (January 2020).