May 22, 2018
The Question: Are there safety issues if the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) or MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella, varicella) vaccinations are given to babies younger than the recommended age?
The Study: In this retrospective study, researchers looked at data since January, 2014 from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System for cases of babies under nine months of age receiving either the MMR or the MMRV vaccination. They found 204 reports of adverse reactions. They rated severity of the reaction, the timing of the reaction to the shot, and other factors.
The Results: They found that 35 of the reports (17%) were for serious reactions. Of the remaining 169, 88 had no reaction. Non-serious reactions included fever, injection site reaction, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Of the 44 reported cases of fever, only four began within five to twelve days, the time span when it was most likely due to the vaccination.
Comment: The most common reason for giving the vaccine to babies younger than the recommended age of 12 to 15 months was either an error or because of a measles outbreak. The authors didn’t identify any major safety concerns.
Read More: The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 08/16