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Febrile seizures rare with measles-containing vaccines

13th Apr 2012
Danny Rose   all articles by this author

A LARGE US study has found no link between administration of measles-containing vaccines and febrile seizures in children aged 4–6 years.

The researchers took in hospital admission as well as vaccine safety data accounting for 86,000 children given MMRV vaccination from 2006 to 2008.

They also reviewed cases of 67,000 children given a same-day but split administration of MMR and varicella  (MMR + V) vaccinations, from 2000 to 2008.

There was one case of febrile seizure among the MMRV group and zero cases in the MMR + V group during a 7- to 10-day window, though the review period extended to six weeks post-vaccination .

“These results provide reassuring evidence that neither MMRV or MMR + V appears to be associated with an increased risk of post-vaccination febrile seizures in this age group,” the authors said.

“At most, even if these vaccines were responsible for all febrile seizures that occur 7–10 days after immunisation, there would only be one febrile seizure for every 15,500 doses of MMR and one febrile seizure for every 18,000 doses of MMR + V administered.”

Earlier research has shown measles-containing vaccines do increase febrile seizure risk in one- to two-year-old children, although this risk was halved by split administration of MMR and varicella vaccines.

From 1 July 2013, the MMRV vaccine Priorix-Tetra (GlaxoSmithKline) will be added to the NIP replacing individual MMR and varicella vaccines.
Pediatrics 2012; online 2 April

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