On Measles And The MMR Vaccine: A Conversation With Vaccine Researcher Gregory Poland

February 5, 2015 3:49 PM

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While public health officials scramble to keep up with more than 100 measles cases across 14 states now, some vaccine researchers have been calling for a solution to this problem before it arrived. Gregory Poland, editor in chief of the scientific journal Vaccine, founded and heads the Vaccine Research Group at Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. A major focus of his team’s research is learning how genetics play a role in how individuals respond to vaccines and whether they experience any adverse events – and measles is among the main disease the center studies.

Poland said he became seriously interested in measles and the vaccine during the 1989-91 outbreak, which killed 123 people and hospitalized thousands. But anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of the cases occurred in people who had received one or two measles vaccines, leading to the recommendation of a s...

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