The CDC recommends that children receive the DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Hemophilus influenza type b) at 3, 5, and 12 months and the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) at 15 months. However, some children either do not get the MMR vaccine at all, or do not follow the recommendations of the CDC regarding sequence of the vaccines.
Researchers from the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen led by Dr. Signe Sorup looked at data regarding vaccination status and hospital admissions from about 480,000 Danish children born between 1997 and 2006. They followed them for about a year. The majority of those children had received their vaccinations in the recommended order. Compared to those who deviated from the CDC recommended order, those who received the MMR vaccine following the DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine had lower hospital admission rates.
According to researchers, these findings are consistent with studies in the developing world that have demonstrated a lower risk of mortality and morbidity associated with live vaccines.
However, these benefits are only seen if children are actually vaccinated, and surprisingly, there may be problems getting children vaccinated in Europe, where the MMR vaccine is not mandated. The major reasons for low vaccination rates are lack of information regarding vaccinations, as well as limited access to health care. And many parents still incorrectly believe that the MMR vaccine is linked to autism or gastrointestinal disease. And this is taking a toll on the European population. In fact, there were about 25,600 cases of measles and 7000 cases of rubella reported in Europe between July of 2012 and June of 2013. That s compared to only about 150 cases of measles in the United States.
ACSH s Dr. Gil Ross had this perspective: The order of getting your kids vaccinated against MMR, polio and DTaP-Hib was found to be surprisingly important in terms of preventing severe infections: that study seems quite reliable. But when we here at ACSH decided to do a little digging, we came across a secret: just across the Atlantic exists endemic childhood contagion the likes of which I for one had thought no longer existed since effective vaccines came onto the scene around forty years ago. It is truly sad to contemplate the state of European science these days: healthcare advocates trumpet their systems as compared to ours, yet why do the ravages of measles and rubella still lay low so many over there? Surely parents love their kids as much there as we do here so why don t they protect them with safe, effective vaccines? Europe has become a black hole of superstition and anti-science fears.