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Solving COVID

MMR vaccine could boost immunity and mitigate coronavirus effects, researchers suggest

An everyday vaccine might help protect against COVID-19 infection and prevent some of its worst effects.

Researchers in Louisiana are currently looking into whether the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine — commonly known as MMR — could encourage resistance to the coronavirus as well. Their thinking is that the immunity boost that comes with the MMR vaccine could be effective against COVID-19 and train cells to fight off viruses in general, and early findings back up their hypothesis, CTVNews.ca reports.

As a live vaccine, the MMR booster gives people weakened versions of viruses to build immunity to them. But the vaccine also "stimulates an immune response that is broad and goes beyond the production of antibodies," CNN notes. And as Paul Fidel of Louisiana State University and Mairi Noverr of Tulane University write in the medical journal mBio, "mounting evidence" suggests live vaccines "provide nonspecific protection against lethal infections" as a whole — COVID-19 included. Specifically, they're hoping to mitigate the worst lung inflammation associated with the coronavirus, which is often the main contributor to death.

The best part? "I call it no harm, no foul," Fidel tells CTVNews.ca. If their research proves their hypothesis, these scientists will have discovered a groundbreaking and widely available preventative measure against COVID-19. "But if we're wrong — and we could be wrong — OK, you've got new antibodies to measles, mumps, and rubella," Fidel said. Read more at CTVNews.ca.