The effect of time since measles vaccination and age at first dose on measles vaccine effectiveness - a systematic review

Hughes, Stephanie L., Bolotin, Shelly, Khan, Sumaiya, Li, Ye, Johnson, Caitlin, Friedman, Lindsay, Tricco, Andrea C., Hahne, Susan J.M., Heffernan, Jane M., Dabbagh, Alya, Durrheim, David N., Orenstein, Walter A., Moss, William J., Jit, Mark, and Crowcroft, Natasha S. (2020) The effect of time since measles vaccination and age at first dose on measles vaccine effectiveness - a systematic review. Vaccine, 38 (3). pp. 460-469.

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Background: In settings where measles has been eliminated, vaccine-derived immunity may in theory wane more rapidly due to a lack of immune boosting by circulating measles virus. We aimed to assess whether measles vaccine effectiveness (VE) waned over time, and if so, whether differentially in measles-eliminated and measles-endemic settings.

Methods: We performed a systematic literature review of studies that reported VE and time since vaccination with measles-containing vaccine (MCV). We extracted information on case definition (clinical symptoms and/or laboratory diagnosis), method of vaccination status ascertainment (medical record or vaccine registry), as well as any biases which may have arisen from cold chain issues and a lack of an age at first dose of MCV. We then used linear regression to evaluate VE as a function of age at first dose of MCV and time since MCV.

Results: After screening 14,782 citations, we identified three full-text articles from measles-eliminated settings and 33 articles from measles-endemic settings. In elimination settings, two-dose VE estimates increased as age at first dose of MCV increased and decreased as time since MCV increased; however, the small number of studies available limited interpretation. In measles-endemic settings, one-dose VE increased by 1.5% (95% CI 0.5, 2.5) for every month increase in age at first dose of MCV. We found no evidence of waning VE in endemic settings.

Conclusions: The paucity of data from measles-eliminated settings indicates that additional studies and approaches (such as studies using proxies including laboratory correlates of protection) are needed to answer the question of whether VE in measles-eliminated settings wanes. Age at first dose of MCV was the most important factor in determining VE. More VE studies need to be conducted in elimination settings, and standards should be developed for information collected and reported in such studies.

Item ID: 62321
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2518
Keywords: Measles, Vaccine effectiveness, Waning immunity, Eliminated, Endemic, Immunisation
Copyright Information: Crown Copyright © 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Funders: World Health Organisation (WHO)
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2020 07:30
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420605 Preventative health care @ 50%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320211 Infectious diseases @ 50%
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