Does the measles vaccine protect against more than just measles?

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In a recent study in Ghana – the biggest of its kind to date – results demonstrate that the order in which a measles vaccine appears in a child’s overall vaccination program can have a great impact on survival rates beyond measles immunization.

According to the WHO, measles is one of the six ‘killer diseases’ in childhood for which mass immunization programs have been deployed, along with tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and poliomyelitis.

Previous studies have suggested the additional benefits of these routine vaccinations in addition to suggesting how the order of immunization could be of importance. Of particular interest was how child mortality rates decreased after WHO recommended the measles vaccine be administered last, after the third diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) vaccination, as opposed to given before or in conjunction with DTP.

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