Measles Vaccine Spray Could Boost Developing Countries
WebMD News Archive
The measles vaccine is usually given by injection as part of the combined
MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine between the ages of 12 to 15 months
old. A second "booster" dose of MMR is usually given when the child is
between ages 4 and 6, and starting school.
"We're a long way from recommending routine aerosol booster doses,"
says Marcuse. "While this delivery system was effective with one strain, it
clearly had difficulty with the other in the study. We need to understand why
Indian and African children had different response rates." He also notes
that giving the vaccine through an electric device, like those used in the
study, would restrict its use in rural areas.
- South African researchers say the aerosol form of a measles booster, which
they tested in more than 4,300 children, may one day be used to immunize
children in developing countries.
- The researchers say aerosol versions of the vaccine are easy for people to
administer, may work as well as injected versions without the needle's risk of
infection, and it is inexpensive.
- Observers note that this aerosol vaccine may not be appropriate in the U.S.
because the injected vaccines used in this trial are not those currently in
widespread use in the U.S. Also, experts say it will probably be a long time
before they can recommend aerosol boosters because there seem to be different
rates of effectiveness according to the race of the child receiving it and
which strain of vaccine is delivered.