Research Suggests Maternal Measles Antibodies May Only Protect Babies For A Few Months Or Less

NBC News (11/21) reports, “Doctors have known that mothers pass on measles immunity to their babies…leading to the belief that infants are protected against the disease for most of their first year of life.” Meanwhile, a study of blood samples from 200 babies “found insufficient levels” of measles antibodies “in 20 percent of newborns, 92 percent of 3-month-olds and all of the 6-month-olds.” The study results were published in Pediatrics.

        STAT (11/21) reports, “The authors say their findings underscore the importance of widespread immunization against measles, which produces a phenomenon known as ‘herd immunity’ – whereby measles viruses brought into the country by sick travelers can’t get to the vulnerable because so many people are protected. In the case of measles, that’s particularly important for infants; in babies, the risk of complications from the illness and of death is higher than in older children.”

Read research article here.