Effect of an Early Dose of Measles Vaccine on Morbidity Between 18 Weeks and 9 Months of Age: A Randomized, Controlled Trial in Guinea-Bissau

Vu An Do, Sofie Biering-Sorensen, Ane Bærent Fisker, Carlito Balé, Stine Møller Rasmussen, Lone Damkjær Christensen, Kristoffer Jarlov Jensen, Cesário Martins, Peter Aaby, Christine Stabell Benn

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    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
    Issue number8
    Pages (from-to)1188-1196
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs licence.


    • Measles vaccine
    • Adverse events
    • Morbidity
    • Non-specific effects of vaccines
    • Heterologous immunity
    • Pediatric


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