In a fight against the novel Coronavirus, scientists have now claimed that MMR vaccine which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, may also protect some people against severe Covid-19 symptoms.
The study, published in the journal mBio, found a statistically significant inverse correlation between mumps titer levels and Covid-19 severity in people under age 42 who have had MMR II vaccinations.
"This adds to other associations demonstrating that the MMR vaccine may be protective against Covid-19. It also may explain why children have a much lower Covid-19 case rate than adults, as well as a much lower death rate," said study author Jeffrey E. Gold from the University of Georgia in the US.
"The majority of children get their first MMR vaccination around 12 to 15 months of age and a second one from 4 to 6 years of age," Gold added. In the new study, the researchers divided 80 participants into 2 groups. The MMR II group consisted of 50 US-born participants who would primarily have MMR antibodies from the MMR II vaccine.
MMR II vaccinations
A comparison group of 30 participants had no record of MMR II vaccinations, and would primarily have MMR antibodies from other sources, including prior measles, mumps, and/or rubella illnesses. The researchers found a significant inverse correlation between mumps titers and Covid-19 severity within the MMR II group.
There were no significant correlations between mumps titers and disease severity in the comparison group, between mumps titers and age in the MMR II group, or between severity and measles or rubella titers in either group.
This is the first immunological study to evaluate the relationship between the MMR II vaccine and COVID-19. The statistically significant inverse correlation between mumps titers and Cpvod-19 indicates that there is a relationship involved that warrants further investigation," said study co-author David J. Hurley.
The MMR II vaccine is considered a safe vaccine with very few side effects. "If it has the ultimate benefit of preventing infection from Covid-19, preventing the spread of Covid-19, reducing the severity of it, or a combination of any or all of those, it is a very high reward low-risk ratio intervention," the authors wrote.