How effective is the measles vaccine?

Updated: Jun 06, 2019
  • Author: Selina SP Chen, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Maternal antibodies play a significant role in protection against infection in infants younger than 1 year and may interfere with live-attenuated measles vaccination. A single dose of measles vaccine administered to a child older than 12 months induces protective immunity in 95% of recipients. Because measles virus is highly contagious, a 5% susceptible population is sufficient to sustain periodic outbreaks in otherwise highly vaccinated populations.


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