According to a new study unvaccinated boys were 69 per cent more likely to die from something else within a year, in a 38,000-strong study. However, there was little change in risk for girls.
Researchers say reasons for the gender difference are unclear.
The study further showed deaths from any cause were lower when a child’s most recent jab was for measles.
Lead author Dr Paul Welaga, of the Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana, said that evaluations of immunisation programs are usually based on the assumption that vaccines only protect against specific diseases.
He further added, “Our new study adds to growing evidence that, when administered in the recommended sequence, measles vaccination helps to reduce child mortality through non specific effects as well.”
Measles kills about 140,000 people worldwide every year, but the millions of kids who have survived the disease aren't in the clear.
Previous research has shown they remain susceptible to other infections for more than two years, much longer than researchers anticipated.
Researchers have earlier inferred that measles inhibits the immune system, but they generally thought this effect wore off after a few months at the most.
But earlier studies of children in developing countries, where most cases occur, found that measles vaccination reduces the overall death rate from infections for up to five years, suggesting that preventing the disease somehow provides protection against other illnesses as well....