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Is it necessary to give the measles vaccine before giving the MMR vaccine to a child?

Q: My daughter is eight and a half months old. We have already given her vaccine of BCG, hepatitis B, DTP, Polio. Now she is due for measles. But as per your website we can give MMR and measles vaccine. MMR is to be given on 15-18 months (IAP schedule). MMR includes measles as well. Is it necessary to give measles vaccine now (9 months), if we also go for MMR when she becomes 15 months? Or MMR will protect my daughter from measles as well. My daughter is very aggressive now. No teeth have erupted as yet. She keeps on spitting while eating and otherwise also. She doesn’t like eating now, even doesn’t prefer mother’s feed. Please advise what we should do to keep her healthy.

A:Measles is less common in children under 8-9 months of age due to protection that gets transferred to them from their mother at the time of birth. However, after this time they get increasingly susceptible to this infection. MMR vaccine no doubt protects against measles along with mumps and rubella, but it should not be given before 15-18 months of age since it is ineffective before this period. Therefore, you should immunise your child with measles vaccine at 9 months and further give MMR at the right age. This dose of MMR shall further enhance the protection against measles infection. Weaning can be a difficult period for parents. Remember that a child is just used to milk feeds prior to this. It takes time for a baby to get adjusted to semisolid food in both taste and texture. Be patient. Offer new foods when the child is hungry, but not extremely so, since at that time she may not have the patience to try anything new. It is natural for her to spit out new food initially. Try to put the food a little behind rather than on the tip of the tongue. Offer one food every day for a few days till the child gets used to it before introducing another new food. The amount may be gradually increased till it replaces a complete milk feed. If a baby does not like a particular food after repeated offerings, don’t persist. Try something else. Let him develop his own taste preferences. Most importantly, be relaxed while feeding. Do not over-feed. Feeding times should be fun for both baby and the parent or caretaker. All babies have their moods and phases and will accept solids sooner or later.

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