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Vaccine. 2003 Jun 20;21(21-22):2948-53.

Immunity against measles in populations of women and infants in Poland.

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Department of Sera and Vaccine Evaluation, National Institute of Hygiene, Chocimska 24, Warsaw, Poland.


During the 1997-1998 measles epidemic in Poland a high attack rate occurred in infants up to 1 year of age (24.6/100,000 in comparison with 5.5/100,000 in total population). Routine vaccination against measles for infants aged 13-15 months was introduced in Poland in 1975, and a second dose added in 1991. The recommended age for measles vaccination was based on information gathered in years when most mothers had a natural measles. Nowadays, many mothers have received measles vaccine. Early loss of passively acquired measles antibody may occur in infants of women who received measles vaccine, because measles vaccine induces lower antibody titres than does natural infection. Therefore, measles-specific antibody titres were determined among vaccinated and unvaccinated women as well as among infants, whose mothers were born after 1976 and likely were vaccinated (Group 1), and those, whose mothers were born before 1969 and likely have had a natural measles (Group 2). All women that were born in prevaccination era had significantly higher geometric mean titre (GMT) of measles antibody than those who were vaccinated (P<0.001). Also infants from Group 2 at every age had higher GMT of measles antibody than those of Group 1. The antibody decay was significantly faster among infants whose mothers acquired immunity by measles vaccination. Because nowadays the majority of women in childbearing age are vaccinated against measles, earlier vaccination in the infants should be considered.

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