Measles vaccines may provide partial protection against COVID-19



1 Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt

2 Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Mansoura University, Egypt


In December 2019 a new coronavirus COVID-19 was identified in China then spread all over the world. WHO defined China and Italy as the epicenters for COVID-19. Insufficient vaccine coverage has been identified as a key causative factor in the most epidemic outbreaks. Vaccines generally raise specific immune responses to a targeted pathogen, but measles vaccines have recently proved the increased ability of the immune system to fight off pathogens other than measles. COVID-19 is proven to have similarities with measles. Such similarities may cause cross-reactivity between measles vaccines and COVID-19. For instance, comparing China and Italy for COVID-19 case and the death rates from late 2019 until Mars 25, 2020, Italy showed higher ratio of COVID-19 cases/population and a higher death rate than China. In contrast, Italy showed lower measles vaccination coverage than China. In this review, we hypothesized that the bystander immunity induced by measles vaccines may provide partial protection against COVID-19, decreasing the virus’s ability to cause fatal symptoms and controlling the infection leading to full recovery. Accordingly, we suggest multi-center clinical trials to evaluate the possibility of induced partial protection by measles-containing vaccines against COVID-19.