Life

In My View… MMR may protect against Covid, so I've had the jab

The MMR is created from live attenuated viruses
Dr Martin Scurr

EMERGING evidence suggests that certain vaccines don't just protect against the illness they were developed to fight off, but may in fact have additional benefits, too.

What we're talking about here are live attenuated vaccines. These contain a dose of the virus, which is modified so as not to result in illness. This causes the body to produce antibodies which fight off that infection if we encounter it later.

An example of the added protection vaccines may offer was identified following an outbreak of Covid-19 on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.

More than 1,000 sailors on board tested positive but, astonishingly, only nine were hospitalised. Among their age group normally 14 per cent would be hospitalised – in this case, more than 140 people.

It turned out that the crew had recently received an MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine – all serving members of the military are given the jab irrespective of their vaccination history.

The MMR is created from live attenuated viruses, and that may be why so many were spared severe illness, reported the journal mBio.

This theory may help explain why children (who have generally had these vaccines more recently than adults) have not been severely affected during the pandemic, so further trials are now proposed.

As giving an MMR vaccine to an otherwise healthy adult is safe (though there are exceptions), it may well be a sensible precaution for those involved in healthcare or at added risk, even before we have that further proof.

I've just had the vaccine – I was born too long ago to have had the jab and, although I had measles aged six, and rubella later, I've never had mumps – to possibly ginger up my immunity.

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