CareNow® - August 21, 2019

Measles, also known as rubeola, begins in the respiratory system.

Despite the fact that effective vaccines are available, it remains a significant cause of death throughout the world. In fact, in 2017, there were an estimated 110,000 global deaths, with most cases being children under the age of 5.

Because so many people are opting to skip vaccinations, the number of measles cases continue to increase in the U.S.

Measles Vaccine

The MMR vaccine can help protect against measles, mumps and rubella.

Because the vaccination can be less effective before the age of 1, most infants receive it later than some of the other childhood vaccines. Children typically receive the first dose of the vaccine between 12 and 15 months of age and the second dose between 4 and 6 years.

Before the measles vaccination was developed in 1963, 3 to 4 million people each year got the measles. Thanks to the vaccine, there has been more than a 99 percent reduction in measles cases compared to the pre-vaccine era.

Can You Die from Measles?

Measles is extremely serious and, unfortunately, can lead to complications and even death.

This illness is also very contagious, spread when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes. In fact, the measles is so contagious that up to 90 percent of the people who are around an infected person will become infected if they don’t take precautions.

Before the vaccine was created, 400 to 500 people each year died of the measles; however, those numbers have dropped significantly since.

MMR Vaccination and Autism

Many parents are skeptical about getting their child the MMR vaccination for fear it causes autism. There is no evidence that this is true and, in fact, quite a bit of proof that the vaccination does not cause autism.

A recent study tracked more than 650,000 Danish children and discovered that the MMR vaccine “does not increase the risk for autism, does not trigger autism in susceptible children, and is not associated with clustering of autism cases after vaccination.”

Can You Get Measles After Vaccine?

People often fear they’ll still get the measles after they’re vaccinated. While it is very unlikely, it can happen. As of April 2019, 626 people in the U.S. got the measles, with some of them claiming they had previously been vaccinated.

Despite these cases, getting vaccinated is the best way to contain a measles outbreak, which could result in preventable sickness and death. Just one dose of the MMR vaccine will give you 93 percent protection against the measles virus, while two doses will provide 97 percent protection.

Can You Get Measles from the Vaccine?

Some people worry that they will get the measles from the vaccine, but this is not possible. While the MMR vaccine is made from a live virus, the virus is weakened to prevent it from causing the disease. The live virus in the vaccine will cause your immune system to recognize the virus and develop an immunity to it.

When you receive the vaccination, your immune system works hard and you may experience some mild symptoms, like a fever or rash, but it is not the measles.

Can the Measles Vaccine be Deadly?

For healthy people, there is no risk of death due to the measles vaccine.

There have been a few very rare fatal situations when a child with a compromised immune system had an adverse reaction to the vaccination. For this reason, it is recommended that children with weakened immune systems not receive the vaccine.

This is also why it’s so important that children who are healthy get vaccinated so they don’t spread the disease to those who cannot be vaccinated.

It is possible that people who get the vaccine will experience soreness where the shot was given, fever, mild rash, temporary pain and, in very rare cases, seizures or an allergic reaction.

How Long Does Measles Vaccine Last?

Getting two doses of the MMR vaccination will protect more than 99 percent of people.

Fortunately, if you received the vaccination as a child (or adult), you do not need to get it again. According to the CDC, anyone who received two doses of the MMR vaccine as a child is protected for life and does not need a booster dose.

If you’re not sure whether you’ve been vaccinated, it’s usually safe to opt for a shot since there is no downside to getting another dose of the measles vaccine.

Can You Get the Measles Twice?

Much like the chickenpox, you cannot get the measles more than once. Once you’ve had the virus, you develop immunity for life.

This is often helpful for parents whose little ones develop the illness as they are able to take care of their children without the risk of getting sick themselves.

How Long After MMR Vaccine Are You Immune?

Within just a few days of getting vaccinated, detectable antibodies usually begin to appear. But because the body needs time to produce protective antibodies in response to the vaccine, it can take about two to three weeks to be fully protected.

If you are planning to travel internationally, it is a good idea to be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to your departure. If a last-minute international trip pops up, don’t worry—simply get a dose of MMR vaccine before you leave.

For unvaccinated children between the ages of 12 to 15 months or adults who have never been vaccinated, consider visiting your local CareNow® to ensure that you are up to date.

At CareNow®, we’ve got more than 100 locations throughout the United States, so we’re ready to serve you when and where you need it most.

Before you visit one of our clinics, be sure to use our Web Check-In® feature to avoid spending unnecessary time in the waiting room.

Disclaimer: Patient’s health can vary. While this content was approved for publishing by a board certified medical director, always consult with your personal medical professional first before deciding that any medical advice from the internet is right for you.