Porefection and mortality rates rise for men exposed to the measles vaccine
A surge in men who got the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine as teenagers has caused a spike in deaths from the virus in men and women ages 50 and older.
The CDC said Thursday that the number of people who died from the disease more than doubled in those 50 and over from 5,800 to more than 13,500 since the start of 2019.
The number of deaths from other illnesses has also increased.
The agency said the surge in deaths among men who had received the MMR vaccine as young teens has coincided with a nationwide decline in the number and rate of men dying from other diseases, including pneumonia, pneumonia-related deaths and deaths from heart attacks.
The increase in deaths has been particularly pronounced among older men.
Among men ages 50 to 69, the number had risen from 4,300 to more like 6,800, and among men ages 70 and older, it had risen to more about 7,000.
The surge in death rates has been especially pronounced among men in rural areas, with deaths from pneumonia and pneumonia- related deaths accounting for nearly 80 percent of all deaths among those ages 50-69 in 2019, according to the CDC.
The rise in deaths is particularly notable because the men who have been exposed to both the MMR and the DTaP vaccines were more likely to be vaccinated in school than the men with less exposure.CDC said it will continue to monitor the number, frequency and trends of deaths in men, especially among men of color, and will work with state health departments and health departments across the country to ensure that every man and woman is vaccinated against the virus.
The CDC also said the number is on track to surpass the number from previous outbreaks, which began in 2016.
The report did not say how many of the men were vaccinated as teenagers, but the CDC noted that nearly two-thirds of all men ages 20-49 received the measles vaccination.
Experts say the MMR-mortality rate is still below the CDC’s recommendation of 90 percent, but it is likely to rise in the coming months and years as men continue to get the vaccine and as more men get older.