COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– The two dozen confirmed cases of measles in Franklin County have medical experts providing some insight into vaccine boosters for the virus.
“An MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) booster in adults is generally not needed if they have already received the two-dose schedule as a child and if they are not at high risk for exposure and transmission,” said Dr. Ben Bring, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital Program Director of Family Practice.
Getting the MMR vaccine at the appropriate time is the key to protecting yourself or your children against the virus, pediatricians say. The CDC recommends all children receive two doses of the MMR vaccine, with the first between 12 and 15 months old and the second at 4 through 6 years of age or at least 28 days after the first dose.
“I would encourage those who have been vaccinated to feel confident, comfortable knowing that they have excellent protection,” Licking County pediatrician Dr. Sean Gallagher told NBC4 last week. “The measles, mumps, rubella vaccine is a vaccine that works great. It’s incredibly safe. And it’s been around for 51 years. So the most important thing is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible.”
All 24 confirmed measles cases in Columbus are in children who are unvaccinated, Columbus Public Health confirmed Thursday. A high majority of the cases are in children younger than age 5 with one 6-year-old, and at least nine of those children have been hospitalized, CPH says.
If an adult is unsure whether they have been vaccinated or not, there are tests that can be done to check.
“Adults can also get antibody titers of past infection through blood work to show immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella if needed. If adults do not have a record of their MMR vaccine series, then we recommend they get vaccinated as it is safe, effective, and does not pose any additional risks even if you are already immune,” Dr. Bring added.
However, there are exceptions. Dr. Bring recommends talking to your doctor about getting a booster “if you are traveling to a high-risk area or have had a direct exposure to someone with measles, mumps, or rubella.”
CLICK HERE to learn more about and schedule an MMR vaccine in Columbus.