An investigation by the World Health Organization suggests that MMR vaccines may help protect adults over 50 from COVID-19.
The experts pointed out that there have been only 4 deaths from COVID-19 reported in Hong Kong, a city in close proximity to China.
Hong Kong started giving out free MMR vaccines adults in 2019 and continued this program into 2020. Hong Kong has also had a mass-immunization program to give MMR vaccines to everyone under 19 years old since 1997.
Hong Kong has nearly the same population as New York City. The difference is that there have been over 12,500 deaths from COVID-19 in New York City, where MMR vaccines are only given to children.
Furthermore, a recent study by neuroscientists at the University of Cambridge found similarities between the viruses in the MMR vaccine and COVID-19, which could provide protection against infections.
Most interestingly, the scientists identified a 29% homology between the rubella virus in the MMR vaccine and the COVID-19 virus.
The neuroscientists suggested vaccinating “at risk” age groups with an MMR vaccine merits further consideration as quick way to slow the wave of COVID-19 illnesses and death for older adults.
The MMR vaccine was introduced in 1971. It is given as a childhood vaccine in the U.S., which is why most adults over the age of 50 have not received it.
Coronavirus is far more likely to kill adults over 50 years old in the U.S. — but in countries that have created vaccination “catch up” programs where MMR vaccines are commonly given to adults, there appears to be a far lower death-rate from COVID-19.
One small country in Asia — Bhutan — with zero COVID-19 deaths, has vaccinated nearly its entire population of both children and adults with the MMR vaccine.