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Sticking to Vaccination Schedules Cuts Infection Risk — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
February 26, 2014

Sticking to Vaccination Schedules Cuts Infection Risk

By Amy Orciari Herman

Following the recommended vaccination schedules for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP-IPV-Hib) and measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) is associated with a reduction in hospitalizations for any infection, according to a Danish study in JAMA.

Using national registries, researchers studied nearly 500,000 children from ages 11 months to 2 years. The recommended vaccination schedule was DTaP-IPV-Hib at ages 3, 5, and 12 months, followed by MMR at 15 months. (See link below for U.S. schedule.)

Over 55,000 admissions for any infection occurred. Receiving MMR after the third dose of DTaP-IPV-Hib, as recommended, was associated with a 14% reduction in risk for admission for infection. Receiving DTaP-IPV-Hib after MMR, on the other hand, was associated with a 62% increase in risk.

Editorialists speculate on the mechanisms underlying the reduction in admissions, including "the mediation of the apparent effect by antibodies, T cells, or innate immunity."

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