Vaccine Hero
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A baby getting a shotOf the list of vaccines you or your child got, one of the most important is the MMR. It protected you against measles, mumps and rubella, but all along it may have been shielding you from even more diseases. This is because once a child is infected with measles, even after they recover, the immune system is compromised so that they’re more susceptible to other illnesses. When the highly contagious measles virus infects someone, various cells, even immune cells are killed. One type are cells that provide immunological memory.

Memory immune cells provide long term protection because when the person is re-exposed to the same virus, they destroy the invaders before the disease can be established. So people who’ve had a measles infection end up with immunological amnesia.

In a recent study in Europe, scientists data mined medical records of children before the measles vaccine was available. It confirmed children’s immune systems remained compromised on average for two and a half years after recovery. And nearly half of childhood deaths from other diseases happened during that window.

To test the findings, researchers compared the measles cases to kids who recovered from whooping cough. Whooping cough does not kill memory immune cells, and these children were not found to be at a greater risk for other childhood diseases.

It’s ironic the measles vaccine may be even more positive than we knew despite some who continue to wrongly link the MMR to autism. We believe this is one more reason for you to vaccinate your children. As the measles outbreak in Disneyland has shown us… not doing so can be deadly and irresponsible.