As an outbreak of a virus many health experts believed was eradicated back in 2000 continues to spread across the U.S. The CDC is urging adults who received the vaccine between the years of 1963 and 1989 to consider going to the doctor for a second dose of the measles vaccine.
According to Reuters, the CDC has confirmed that 10 percent of the nearly 700 confirmed cases of measles across the U.S. occurred surrounded by people who received at least one dose of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
These numbers reveal that even vaccinated individuals can be at risk when a large group of people becomes exposed to the virus. For this reason, the CDC urges anyone who lives in or spends any time in an outbreak area to make a doctor’s appointment and check their medical records for their MMR status.
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, admits that digging up your MMR vaccine records from decades ago is far from an easy task as it can be nearly impossible to find medical records from that many years ago.
What medical experts do know is anyone vaccinated for the virus after 1989 would have received two doses of the MMR vaccine per federal guidelines. Adults receiving the vaccine between the years of 1963 and 1989 are considered to be at risk as they only received one dose.
Nearly two decades ago, the measles was declared eliminated in the United States, but there has been a recent upsurge of cases – including adults who thought they were already protected. https://t.co/AjizLFrkWJ— Lori Thompson (@LoriThompson13) April 23, 2019
Adults vaccinated between 1957 and 1963 are also considered to be at risk as they likely received a vaccine continuing an inactive version of the measles virus. Medical experts, however, do not believe Americans born before 1957 need to come in for a vaccine as they would be immune to the virus due to outbreak exposure.
As the only provider of the MMR vaccine in the United States, Merck & Co Inc. confirms taking necessary steps to “increase U.S. supply” to make sure the shot is available to anyone who needs one amid the outbreak.
Contrary to popular belief, the measles is not just a rash like the chicken pox. It is a highly contagious virus that can result in brain damage, blindness, deafness, and even death.
The CDC urges all adults to consider getting another dose of the MMR vaccine to protect themselves during the outbreak. The only exception would be for adults who have medical records confirming they received two doses of the vaccine or adults who were born before 1957.
A blood test can also be conducted to confirm whether you are immune to the measles virus.