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Measles Vaccine Effective in Children Against Covid-19, Finds Study by Pune Researchers

Representational image.

Representational image.

The study found the vaccine with MCVs to be 87.5% effective against SARS-CoV-2. It also found that the vaccinated participants experienced less severe symptoms than those that had not been vaccinated.

Amid fears of an impeding third wave of Covid-19 that may affect children, a team of researchers from Pune have said measles-containing vaccines (MCVs) might offer children some protection against the virus.

The researchers in a study analysed 548 participants aged between 1 and 17, the Times of India reported. These participants were split into two groups — those who tested positive for Covid (via RT-PCR) and those who did not.

The study found the vaccine with MCVs to be 87.5% effective against SARS-CoV-2. It also found that the vaccinated participants experienced less severe symptoms than those that had not been vaccinated.

“This is the world’s first such study. We focused on MMR vaccines for the study since the amino acid sequence of SARS-CoV-2 is nearly 30 per cent similar to that of rubella virus. The spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 is also similar to the hemagglutinin protein of the Measles virus. That is why we did the study and the results are promising," paediatrician Dr Nilesh Gujar, the study’s lead investigator, was quoted as saying by India Today.

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Several experts have warned that the third wave will likely affect children, as Singapore has already reported.

Virologist Dr V Ravi told the Hindustan Times that it was common sense that the virus will attack people who are not immune. “You can get immunity from this virus either through infection or through vaccination. If not, the virus will definitely catch you. Adults, more people are getting infected — most in the first wave and second wave. Adults have vaccine so they are getting vaccinated. Children in the first wave we had only 4% (infection) across the country, in the second wave 10-15%”

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first published:June 23, 2021, 16:18 IST