Research in Bangladesh has found that a quarter of children need more than single doses of the measles vaccine to be protected against the disease. This research supports the country’s recent move to a double-dose approach.
Measles affects 20 million people and kills about 242,000 people worldwide each year. It is the fifth largest cause of death globally among children below five years of age and, in the absence of proper immunization, it spreads quickly in a population. In 2005, the number of measles cases in Bangladesh was about 25,935. This decreased to approximately 2,660 cases in 2008 after the Measles Catch-up Campaign. But research in Bangladesh has shown that immunization programmes based on single doses of the vaccine are not sufficient.
Research carried out by Dr Sharmin Sultana, Medical Officer at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Bangladesh, and her colleagues found that about one quarter of the children who had just a single dose of the measles vaccine had not been totally immunized from the disease.
The research published in Bangladesh Journal of Medical Biology found that, although children were vaccinated against measles, many of them had not developed antibody response.
“In my research, I found that children had not been fully immunized by the single dose of the measles vaccine and that they required a second dose of vaccination to be better immunized,” says Dr Sultana.
Fortunately, Bangladesh already made second dose of measles vaccination compulsory in 2012, according to Dr Sultana, who added that, with the introduction of the second dose of the measles vaccine, Bangladesh stands a better chance of achieving the target of eliminating measles by the year 2020. Dr Sultana plans to conduct follow-up research soon to assess the efficacy of the vaccination after the administration of a second dose of the measles vaccine.
The research was conducted among 77 children of different age groups who had been administered with a single dose of the measles vaccine.