Measles Outbreaks Return in 2022
The latest measles outbreak information shows that while very few measles cases were observed during the COVID-19 pandemic, measles cases are now being reported by countries that had previously eliminated or interrupted endemic measles transmission.
The World Health Organization reported worldwide measles cases increased by 79% in the first two months of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reported on June 10, 2022, that during the past two weeks, eighteen new cases had been reported by seven European countries: Bulgaria (1), Germany (8), Hungary (1), Ireland (1), Poland (3), Romania (3) and Spain (1).
And as of June 13, 2022, the U.S. CDC's latest ranking indicates India (5,874) and Nigeria (17,794) have reported the most measles cases in 2022.
And about 41 countries delayed their measles vaccination campaigns for 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, in 2020, 23 million children missed out on essential childhood vaccines through routine health services.
Unfortunately, this data indicates potential measles outbreaks may occur in late 2022.
The CDC also confirmed some good news.
As of June 3, 2022, only three measles cases were reported by two jurisdictions this year. This improvement from 2021, when five jurisdictions reported 49 measles cases.
Although measles was declared eliminated in the USA in 2000, almost 1,282 cases were reported in 2019. This measles outbreak was linked to travel-related cases that reached at-risk populations (un or under-vaccinated against measles) in the USA.
Since measles is a vaccine-preventable disease, the CDC says, ‘make sure you are vaccinated against measles before traveling internationally.’
You should plan to be fully vaccinated at least two weeks before you depart. If your trip is sooner and you’re not protected against measles, you should still get a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
The CDC says that two doses of MMR vaccine provide 97% protection against measles; one dose provides 93% protection.
The CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age and the second dose at four through 6 years of age. Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination.
For the 2020–21 school year, MMR coverage was approximately 94%.
In addition to the M-M-R II and Proquad vaccines, on June 6, 2022, the U.S. FDA approved GSK’s Priorix vaccine for active immunization to prevent MMR in individuals 12 months of age and older in the USA.
Priorix is already licensed in over 100 countries, according to a 1- or 2-dose schedule, depending on the country.
“Outbreaks of measles in recent years demonstrate how quickly diseases can return without widespread immunization.”
“Missed vaccinations during the pandemic make children even more vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases like measles,” said Temi Folaranmi, MD, Vice President and Vaccines Therapeutic Area Head, US Medical Affairs GSK, in a related press release.
“Making Priorix available to patients in the US will ensure health care professionals have more than one option for this critical vaccine as they work to catch their patients up on recommended vaccinations.”
MMR vaccines are generally available in the USA at local pharmacies and clinics.
Additional measles vaccination news is posted at this link.
PrecisionVaccinations publishes fact-checked, research-based vaccine news curated for mobile readership.
- ECDC: Communicable Disease Threats June 5-11 2022
- GSK announces US FDA approval of Priorix for the prevention of measles, mumps and rubella in individuals 12 months of age and ol
- CDC: Top 10 Countries with Global Measles Outbreaks
- UNICEF and WHO warn of perfect storm of conditions for measles outbreaks, affecting children
- CDC: Immunization Schedules