Measles Mumps Rubella Vaccine in Adults: CDC Reports Excellent Safety Record

Rachel Pryzby, MPH, CHES Health Communications Specialist Chenega Government Consulting Immunization Safety Office, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tom Shimabukuro, MD, MPH, MBA
Captain, U.S. Public Health Service
Deputy Director
Immunization Safety Office
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: CDC conducted a study looking at reports of adverse events (possible side effects) following measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination in adults. Researchers reviewed the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database for U.S. reports of adults aged 19 years and older who received MMR vaccine from January 1, 2003 to July 31, 2013. During this period, VAERS received 3,175 U.S. reports after MMR vaccine in adults. The most common signs and symptoms for all reports were fever (19%), rash (17%), pain (13%), and joint pain (13%).

The study included adults only, a population for which there is limited safety data for this vaccine. This study further supports the MMR vaccine’s safety.  Researchers did not find any new or unexpected safety concerns.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: The safety record of the MMR vaccine is excellent.  Most children and adults who get the vaccine do not have any problems.

There is room for improved vaccine administration among adults. Providers should be following the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for vaccination. The study found that MMR vaccine was given to pregnant women even though it is not recommended for this group.

Additionally, measles outbreaks are occurring in under-vaccinated populations and providers should take the opportunity to vaccinate those adults who have not yet been vaccinated or require a second dose of the MMR vaccine.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: VAERS data cannot calculate the rates of adverse events following immunization, and future research should be done to gather this information. Also, future research should explore why some pregnant women are receiving the vaccine even though it is not recommended.

Citation:

Lakshmi Sukumaran, Michael M. McNeil, Pedro L. Moro, Paige W. Lewis, Scott K. Winiecki, and Tom T. Shimabukuro

Adverse events following measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine in adults reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), 2003-2013 Clin Infect Dis. first published online January 30, 2015 doi:10.1093/cid/civ061

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Rachel Pryzby, MPH, CHES (2015). Measles Mumps Rubella Vaccine in Adults: CDC Reports Excellent Safety Record MedicalResearch.com