Immunogenicity and persistence of trivalent measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Review of 62 studies provides estimates of primary and secondary vaccine failure, which are required to understand and predict the occurrence of future measles, mumps, and rubella outbreaks in countries with high vaccine uptake.

SPS commentary:

According to a commentary, this research appears to be the first of its kind, on the overall data related to the immunogenicity and antibody persistence after immunisation with trivalent MMR vaccines. The results show that antibody levels are high (>91%) soon after immunisation, but they decline over time. These data could be very useful for the future assessment of MMR immunisation strategies and their effectiveness. Thus, continuing to vaccinate is imperative, but it must be kept in mind that primary and secondary vaccine failure can sometimes occur.

It notes that in the past 10 years, vaccine hesitancy has led to a decrease in the uptake of the MMR vaccine and a further issue to consider at present is the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on vaccination. During this emergency, a general reduction of immunisation coverage is expected worldwide, as shown by preliminary data registered in the USA. In the near future, if these negative trends are confirmed, there is likely to be an increase in vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. This concern should be kept in mind when planning future catch-up campaigns to immunise individuals who missed vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.


It concludes that, because of the aforementioned issues, effective organisation of public health initiatives becomes much more important in each country, to protect susceptible individuals and difficult-to-reach populations. In particular, health-care workers should ensure that they correctly communicate the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine to the general population.


The Lancet Infectious Diseases

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