Measles is on the rise in America, with over 700 new cases diagnosed in 2019 according to the CDC.  Once thought to be eradicated in the US in the early 2000s, this disease is on the rise.

What you need to know:

  • If you were born prior to 1957 you should have natural immunity. However, you can get an antibody test to see if you are immune. If you are not, then you can get a booster.
  • If you received a measles vaccine in the 1960s, you may still need to be revaccinated:
    • People who have documentation of receiving LIVE measles vaccine in the 1960s do not need to be revaccinated.
    • People who were vaccinated prior to 1968 with either inactivated (killed) measles vaccine or measles vaccine of unknown type 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.
  • CDC recommends all children get two doses of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Children can receive the second dose earlier as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.
  • Students at post-high school educational institutions who do not have evidence of immunityneed two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.
  • Adults who do not have evidence of immunityshould get at least one dose of MMR vaccine.
  • Evidence of immunity: Born before 1957 (except health care personnel), documentation of receipt of MMR, laboratory evidence of immunity or disease (diagnosis of disease without laboratory confirmation is not evidence of immunity. The lab test is an MMR IgG.
  • Women of childbearing age should check with their doctor to make sure they are vaccinated before they get pregnant. Women of childbearing age who are not pregnant and do not have evidence of immunity should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine.
  • It is safe for breastfeeding women to receive MMR vaccination. Breastfeeding does not interfere with the response to MMR vaccine, and the baby will not be affected by the vaccine through breast milk.
  • Have 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.
  • Are pregnant or think you 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.
  • Have a weakened immune system due to disease (such as cancer or HIV/AIDS) or medical treatments (such as radiation, immunotherapy, steroids, or chemotherapy).
  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with a history of immune system problems.
  • Have ever had a condition that makes them bruise or bleed easily.
  • Have recently had a blood transfusion or received other blood products. You might be advised to postpone MMR vaccination for 3 months or more.
  • Have tuberculosis.
  • Have gotten any other vaccines in the past 4 weeks. Live vaccines given too close together might not work as well.
  • Are 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.

Bottom line: schedule an immunization visit today with your provider to discuss if you need an MMR booster or any other age-appropriate immunization. 

Updating your immunizations protects you and your loved ones!