Is Your Childhood Measles Vaccination Still Protecting You?
Whether you're for or against vaccinations, there is no denying that the United States is undergoing a measles outbreak. Before a vaccine became available in 1963, the measles did a lot of damage. From the CDC website:
"3 to 4 million people in the United States were infected each year. Among reported cases, an estimated 400 to 500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles."
As of 2000, measles had been eradicated because of an aggressive campaign by government officials to get children vaccinated. But what if you didn't get vaccinated as a child or only got one measles vaccine? Should you get a booster shot? Is it safe? According to the CDC:
1. If you were born before 1957, you are considered protected from the measles.
2. If you were born after 1957, you need at least one dose of measles vaccine or it is confirmed that you had past measles infection or are immune to measles. Certain adults may need 2 doses. You can click here to find out if you need those doses.
3. If you got the killed measles vaccine in the 1960s, you should talk to your doctor about getting revaccinated with the current, live measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Click here to find out if you need to do that.
These answers might scare you, but you can either go to the CDC website by clicking here, or you can always go to your doctor and discuss whether you need to get a booster.