By Pat Hagan for MailOnline
Published: 10:08 BST, 15 May 2019 | Updated: 10:09 BST, 15 May 2019
The MMR jab given to thousands of children every year could slash severe asthma attacks by more than a quarter, a study shows.
Hospital admissions for potentially life-threatening asthma episodes were 27 per cent lower in vaccinated youngsters than those not given the jab.
The vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, also reduces the number of children who develop asthma in the first place by about 10 per cent, researchers found.
The MMR jab could slash asthma attacks by 27 per cent and prevent one in ten children ever developing the condition, research suggests
A team of experts at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, in one of the biggest studies of its kind, analysed data from more than 300,000 children born between 1999 and 2006.
They looked at how many youngsters went on to develop asthma and compared the results with whether they'd been immunised against measles.
The findings, in the International Journal of Epidemiology, showed the vaccine appeared to reduce overall asthma rates by about 10 per cent and the number of cases of severe asthma that resulted in emergency hospital treatment by 27 per cent.
However, the benefits were only seen in boys and not girls – a result scientists are at a loss to explain.
Vaccinations for various unpleasant and deadly diseases are given free on the NHS to children and teenagers.
Here is a list of all the jabs someone should have by the age of 18 to make sure they and others across the country are protected:
Eight weeks old6-in-1 vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and hepatitis B. Pneumococcal (PCV) Rotavirus Meningitis B
12 weeks oldSecond doses of 6-in-1 and Rotavirus
16 weeks oldThird dose of 6-in-1 Second doses of PCV and men. B
One year oldHib/meningitis C Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) Third dose of PCV and meningitis B
Two to eight years oldAnnual children's flu vaccine
Three years, four months oldSecond dose of MMR 4-in-1 pre-school booster for diptheria, tetanus, polio and whooping cough
12-13 years old (girls)HPV (two doses within a year)
14 years old3-in-1 teenage booster for diptheria, tetanus and polio MenACWY
Source: NHS Choices
Researchers admit they do not yet know why the jab seems to have a protective effect for the lungs.
However, some previous studies have suggested catching measles itself can reduce the chances of getting asthma.
Since the MMR vaccine contains a small amount of the live measles virus, it is possible it is mimicking the effects of the disease itself.
In a report on the findings researchers said: 'Live vaccines may have beneficial effects.