Some adults may need measles vaccine
May 03, 2019 07:12 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- As more people are diagnosed with measles across the U.S., many are wondering whether they are protected.
Doctor Melissa Martinez, professor of internal medicine at the University of New Mexico, says one group of adults should be in the clear due to them being exposed to the virus in the past.
“Adults that were born before 1957 were likely exposed to measles when they were children and probably had a case in which they don't remember getting real, real sick, but they likely had it and already have lifelong immunity,” Martinez said.
That's right, according to the Mayo Clinic, people who had measles in the past have built up their immune system to fight the infection, therefore they can't get measles again.
But, Dr. Martinez says people born in the 1960s could be at risk due to vaccinations not being as effective back then.
“From 1960-1968, they might have gotten a vaccine that wasn't as effective as the vaccine that we have now,” Martinez said. “They may want to get a second MMR immunization or their doctor can do something called titer where they look at their level of antibodies to see if they're actually immune.”
Martinez says adults born after 1968 are likely immune.
“Anybody that got the vaccine, one or two doses of the vaccine after that period of time is likely already immune,” Martinez said.
People who aren't sure whether they have been vaccinated should check their health records. That can be done through contacting the health department from their place of birth.
If all else fails, primary physicians can draw blood to determine whether a patient is protected.
Updated: May 03, 2019 07:12 AM
Created: May 02, 2019 04:28 PM
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