Background: Children in Guinea-Bissau receive measles vaccine (MV) at 9 months of age, but studies have shown that an additional dose before 9 months of age might have beneficial nonspecific effects. Within a randomized trial designed to examine nonspecific effects of early MV receipt on mortality, we conducted a substudy to investigate the effect of early MV receipt on morbidity. Methods: Children were randomly assigned at a ratio of 2: 1 to receive 2 doses of MVat 18 weeks and age 9 months (intervention group) or 1 dose of MV at age 9 months, in accordance with current practice (control group). Children were visited weekly from enrollment to age 9 months; the mother reported morbidity, and the field assistants examined the children. Using Cox and binomial regression models, we compared the 2 randomization groups. Results: Among the 1592 children, early measles vaccination was not associated with a higher risk of the well-known adverse events of fever, rash, and convulsions within the first 14 days. From 15 days after randomization to age 9 months, early measles vaccination was associated with reductions in maternally reported diarrhea (hazard ratio [HR], 0.89; 95% confidence interval [CI],.82-. 97), vomiting (HR, 0.86; 95% CI,.75-. 98), and fever (HR, 0.93; 95% CI,.87-1.00).Conclusion. Early MV receipt was associated with reduced general morbidity in the following months, supporting that early MV receipt may improve the general health of children.
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- Measles vaccine
- Adverse events
- Non-specific effects of vaccines
- Heterologous immunity