Nordic study shines light on broader benefits


In a latest research revealed within the journal Vaccine, a group of researchers evaluated whether or not the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine administered to kids beneath the age of two after three doses of diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine supplied any non-specific useful results in decreasing the general variety of antibiotic therapies.

Research: Is vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella associated with reduced rates of antibiotic treatments among children below the age of 2 years? Nationwide register-based study from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Picture Credit score: Rohane Hamilton / Shutterstock


The MMR vaccine towards measles, mumps, and rubella is a stay vaccine, which usually consists of attenuated types of the viruses inflicting the three ailments. This vaccine is run to kids as early as 9 months and is understood to offer non-specific protecting results towards infections aside from these three ailments. Research from high-income international locations have reported that the MMR vaccine has decreased the speed of hospitalizations on account of infections not focused by the vaccine.

In comparison with non-live vaccines, comparable to those used to vaccinate towards diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, the MMR vaccine appears to be simpler at stopping hospitalizations on account of non-target ailments. Nevertheless, most research investigating the non-specific advantages of the MMR vaccine have centered on ailments or infections extreme sufficient to require hospitalization.

On condition that widespread non-severe infections throughout childhood are sometimes handled with antibiotics with out the necessity for hospitalization, and decreasing the non-vital use of antibiotics is useful in reducing the chance of antibiotic resistance, it is important to grasp the efficacy of the MMR vaccine in reducing antibiotic therapy charges related to non-specific infections.

Concerning the research

The current research investigated whether or not the administration of the MMR vaccine after three doses of the DTaP vaccine was simpler in decreasing the antibiotic therapy charges amongst kids beneath the age of two years as in comparison with administering simply three doses of the DTaP vaccine. This research was performed in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. It included delivery cohorts with registered knowledge on kids as much as the age of two, indicating the inclusion of pneumococcal conjugate and DTaP vaccine within the immunization packages.

The information was obtained from a undertaking that coated sociodemographic and well being knowledge from nationwide registries of those Nordic international locations. The vaccination knowledge included the date of immunization and the kind of vaccine. The data on antibiotic therapies was gathered from prescription data. Moreover, components comparable to delivery weight, season of delivery, supply mode, whether or not the mom smoked through the being pregnant, maternal age, singleton delivery, family earnings, schooling degree of mom, and single parenthood had been thought-about as covariates.

The research adopted the youngsters from the age of the advisable MMR vaccine to the age of two years. Moreover, age was used because the underlying timescale, whereas vaccination standing was thought-about the time-varying publicity in calculating the hazard ratios of antibiotic therapies.


The outcomes confirmed that administration of the MMR vaccine after the third dose of the DTaP vaccine lowered the antibiotic therapy price by 11% on common throughout the 4 Nordic international locations. Norway confirmed the best (16%) discount in antibiotic use after the administration of the MMR vaccine in kids beneath two years of age with three DTaP vaccine doses. Finland and Denmark reported a discount of 8%, whereas Sweden noticed a 13% discount in antibiotic use.

The outcomes didn’t differ based on the kid’s intercourse. Nevertheless, the adjusted hazard ratios had been discovered to differ considerably with time, with the non-specific useful results of the MMR vaccine being increased in the direction of the start of the follow-up and reducing in the direction of the tip. The research additionally discovered that the third dose of the DTaP vaccine decreased the antibiotic therapy charges greater than the second dose.

The researchers discovered that the distinction within the outcomes between Norway and Sweden, on the one hand, and Finland and Denmark, then again, was as a result of Norway and Sweden reported extra well timed and better charges of MMR vaccinations than the opposite two international locations.

The research additionally mentioned potential mechanisms by way of which the MMR vaccine supplied non-specific safety towards non-severe infections. The researchers imagine that the long-term reprogramming of practical immunity that happens as a result of stimulation of the innate immune system by the stay viruses additionally triggers immune responses towards different antigens or stimuli.


General, the findings reported that administration of the MMR vaccine in kids beneath two years of age, after immunization with the third dose of the DTaP vaccine, considerably lowered antibiotic use by defending towards non-specific, non-severe infections. Nevertheless, comparable outcomes had been noticed in kids who obtained three doses of the DTaP vaccine alone, indicating the necessity for additional research to higher perceive the non-specific results of MMR vaccines.

Journal reference:

  • Gehrt, L., Englund, H., Laake, I., Nieminen, H., Möller, S., Feiring, B., Lahdenkari, M., Trogstad, L., Benn, C.S. and Sørup, S. (2024). Is vaccination towards measles, mumps, and rubella related to decreased charges of antibiotic therapies amongst kids beneath the age of two years? Nationwide register-based research from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Vaccine. DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2024.03.026,
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