(HealthDay News) — Receipt of live measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine on schedule and in correct sequence is associated with a lower rate of all infection-related hospital admissions for young children, according to a study published in the February 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Signe Sørup, PhD, from the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues evaluated data from a population-based cohort of 495,987 Danish children born between 1997–2006 and followed from ages 11 months–2 years. Data on vaccinations and hospital admissions were obtained from nationwide registries. Inactivated vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and Haemophilus influenza type b (DTaP-IPV-Hib) administered at ages 3, 5, and 12 months and MMR at age 15 months was the recommended schedule.

The researchers found that there were 56,889 hospital admissions for any type of infection over 509,427 person-years (rate, 11.2 per 100 person-years). There was a lower rate of hospital admissions for any infection with receipt of the live MMR vaccine after the inactivated DTaP-IPV-Hib-vaccine. However, in the 1981 children who received the third dose of DTaP-IPV-Hib after MMR, the incidence rate ratio (IRR) for hospital admissions for infection was significantly greater (adjusted IRR, 1.62). For children between the ages of 16–24 months, the risk of admission for an infection was 4.6% when receiving MMR on time and 5.1% when not receiving MMR on time. The number needed to vaccinate with MMR before age 16 months to prevent one infectious disease admission was 201.

“In a cohort of Danish children, receipt of live MMR versus inactivated DTaP-IPV-Hib as the most recent vaccine was associated with a lower rate of hospital admissions for any infections,” the authors write. “These findings require replication in other high-income populations.”

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