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On-time Use of Routine Vaccine Keeps Kids Out of Hospital

TUESDAY Feb. 25, 2014, 2014 -- Children who receive the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine according to schedule are less likely to end up in the hospital with any type of infection, a large new study from Denmark shows.

The study appeared in the Feb. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. It looked at the order in which two types of childhood vaccines were given.

Under the recommended vaccination schedule, children should receive DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccination at about ages 3 months, 5 months and 12 months, according to a journal news release.

The vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b, a bacterium that causes meningitis, pneumonia and other serious infections.

Children are then supposed to be given the MMR vaccine at age 15 months, noted researcher Signe Sorup, of the Statens Serum Institute, and colleagues.

In this study, they looked at data from nearly 496,000 children in Denmark who were followed from ages 11 months to 2 years. During the follow-up, the children had nearly 57,000 hospital admissions for any type of infection.

Children who received the MMR vaccine after the DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine had a lower rate of hospital admissions for any type of infection -- particularly for lower respiratory tract infections -- compared to those who received the MMR vaccine before the DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine.

About 50 percent of the children in the study were not given MMR vaccination on time, and doctors need to encourage parents to have their youngsters receive the vaccine on time and in proper sequence, the authors said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on childhood vaccinations.

Posted: February 2014


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