Can You Get Measles After Being Vaccinated?

Measles is an extremely contagious viral infection which is seen mostly in children, although adults at times can also get this infection. The virus causing Measles can be spread by coming in physical contact with an infected individual, or coming in contact with droplets of mucous of the infected person when he or she coughs or sneezes. In some cases, an individual can get Measles just by being in the same room as the infected person.

The United States has seen a sudden increase in the cases of Measles since 2011 due to increased foreign travels especially to third world countries like those in Central Africa or Asia. This has prompted the FDA to issue a travel advisory for foreign travelers to get immunized with MMR vaccine before their scheduled travel to protect them from Measles.

The FDA has also issued an advisory to people born after 1957, college students, and healthcare professionals to get immunized with MMR vaccine to protect them from getting measles.

One question that is frequently asked to primary care physicians is whether an individual can get Measles despite vaccination. This article highlights this issue and gives information as to whether an individual can get Measles even after being vaccinated.

Can You Get Measles After Being Vaccinated?

Can You Get Measles After Being Vaccinated?

It is possible to get Measles even after being vaccinated, especially in the elderly population who have been vaccinated long back and the efficacy of their vaccination have worn out.

However, in children it is very unlikely that a child can get Measles after being vaccinated. About 94% of children get immunized from Measles after the first series of vaccination. After the second series about 99% of children get immunized.

The first dose of the measles vaccine is recommended when the infant is about 15 months old. The second series is normally given when the child is around 2-3 years old.
In cases of adults, it is recommended that they get in touch with their primary care providers and get a blood test done to check for immunity against Measles. If the blood test shows that the effect of the vaccine has worn out then they will have to get another round of vaccination, especially if they are frequent travelers to foreign countries to protect them from contracting Measles.

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