Health Officials: Measles Vaccine Effective

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)

By: Riely, Kaitlynn


The number of U.S. measles cases is rising, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that most of the 288 measles cases recorded from Jan. 1 to May 23 were associated with unvaccinated people. In Allegheny County, Pa., however, two reported cases both involved people who said they had been vaccinated. Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department, said that immunity can wane over time. She noted that most people who received the recommended two doses of the MMR vaccine will be protected. The 288 measles cases reported by the CDC represent the highest five-month total of cases in the United States since 1994. Because measles is still relatively rare in the United States, people do not experience a “natural boosting” that also helps the body protect itself from the disease. This also may explain why the two vaccinated people in Allegheny County still developed measles. The CDC recommends two doses of the MMR vaccine, starting at age 12 months. While there is no risk in getting an additional dose, health officials are not recommending it.

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