Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Measles Update & MMR Vaccine
2019 has seen the highest rates of measles cases in 25 years. The CDC recommends the vaccine for every American over one year old. Measles is a very contagious airborne disease caused by a virus and spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A cough, runny nose, red eyes, and fever are typically the first signs of infection, followed by a rash of tiny, red spots on your head/face and spreads quickly to the rest of the body. Measles can be prevented with the MMR vaccine which protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.
People who were vaccinated prior to 1968 or born before 1989:
If you were vaccinated with either inactivated (killed) measles vaccine or measles vaccine of unknown type, you should be revaccinated with at least one dose of live attenuated measles vaccine. This recommendation is intended to protect those who may have received killed measles vaccine, which was available in 1963-1967 and was not effective.
If you were born before 1989, many care providers were administering only one dose. Those people who received only one dose may be at risk of contracting measles and should talk to their Primary Care Provider about getting a second MMR vaccine.
If you received a LIVE measles vaccine in the early 1960s, you may not need to be revaccinated. People who have documentation of receiving LIVE measles vaccine in the early 1960s do not need to be revaccinated. If you do not know or cannot find documentation of your vaccination, you should contact your Primary Care Provider who may recommend that you get a simple blood test to see if you are fully immune. If you are fully immune, you do not need to be revaccinated.
If you are unsure what you should do to protect yourself against Measles or have questions about whether or not it is necessary for you to get the MMR vaccine, please consult with your Primary Care Provider to discuss options.
Who should NOT get the MMR vaccine?
Some people should not get MMR vaccine or should wait. Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:
- Has any severe, life-threatening allergies. A person who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of MMR vaccine, or has a severe allergy to any part of this vaccine, may be advised not to be vaccinated. Ask your health care provider if you want information about vaccine components.
- Is pregnant or thinks she might be pregnant. Pregnant women should wait to get MMR vaccine until after they are no longer pregnant. Women should avoid getting pregnant for at least 1 month after getting MMR vaccine.
- Has a weakened immune system due to disease (such as cancer or HIV/AIDS) or medical treatments (such as radiation, immunotherapy, steroids, or chemotherapy).
- Has a parent, brother, or sister with a history of immune system problems.
- Has ever had a condition that makes them bruise or bleed easily.
- Has recently had a blood transfusion or received other blood products. You might be advised to postpone MMR vaccination for 3 months or more.
- Has tuberculosis.
- Has gotten any other vaccines in the past 4 weeks. Live vaccines given too close together might not work as well.
- Is not feeling well. A mild illness, such as a cold, is usually not a reason to postpone a vaccination. Someone who is moderately or severely ill should probably wait. Your doctor can advise you.
Where can I get the MMR vaccine?
The MMR vaccine is available at no cost to you at Premise or Banner Clinics throughout our system. If you are not able to visit a Premise or Banner clinic, you should contact your Primary Care Provider or local Health Department for assistance.
Click the link below to find contact information for Premise and Banner Clinics:
For More Information about Measles, visit:
APFA National Health Chair