Science and Medicine

To eliminate measles quicker we should vaccinate adults as well

4 September 2019 | Written by La redazione

According to a study this strategy could prove to be effective in helping to contain measles in Italy

In Italy most cases of measles affect adults over the age of 20 so that the average age of those in Italy who contract this disease is 27 years. A particular situation typical of the most developed countries: “current vaccination policies – explains Valentina Marziano, researcher of the Bruno Kessler Foundation (FBK) – focus on children and adolescents, leaving a large part of the population that had not been vaccinated in passed at risk of contracting the disease “.

To contain the spread of measles, the Foundation, in collaboration with the Bocconi University of Milan and the Northeastern University of Boston have studied what solutions could be adopted to stop the spread of the disease and have studied the different possible scenarios in the near future through mathematical models.


The study shows that continuing with the current provisions on the vaccination of children in Italy will not eliminate measles before 2045. If instead they were also vaccinated adults who never took measles, it could be defeated more quickly. The researchers’ work took into consideration in particular parents who have not yet contracted the disease and who had not been vaccinated in the past, who could be offered vaccinations together with their children. In this way, it could be possible to anticipate the elimination of measles in Italy by at least 5-15 years.


Adults at risk. “Other actions to involve adults in general – underlined Stefano Merler who coordinated the study – could be equally effective and further studies to verify the economic sustainability of these solutions should be carried out, but vaccination of parents seems to represent a particularly promising solution. Adults represent a population group that is notoriously difficult to reach with vaccination campaigns, but in this case a specific strategy would not be needed since parents could be invited to vaccinate with their children ”.

La redazione
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