Adults vaccinated as kids may not be protected against the measles now

Updated: Feb. 26, 2019 at 3:54 PM CST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Pam Baron, of Rocky River, was recently shocked to find out that all of the immunizations she had received as a child were no longer in her system - including anything that would protect her from the measles.

“I was going to be a volunteer at one of the area hospitals and it was going to be in the neonatal section of the hospital, and before I walked in, I was asked if I had had recent immunizations. And I looked at her and thought, ‘Huh? Just in childhood.’ And she goes, ‘Well, do you know that they don’t last?’ And I said, ‘No, I didn’t,’” said Baron.

Baron said she decided to go through the entire grouping of immunizations that you usually get when you are a child.

With recent measles outbreaks around the country, University Hospitals’ Dr. Roy Buchinsky said that every adult born between 1957 and the early 70s may need to be re-vaccinated for measles because the vaccine given at that time was not as effective as the vaccine given for measles today.

“So, we now recommend to people that are traveling abroad that are born in this time period of ’57 to early ’70s that they should be re-vaccinated when traveling overseas to areas that may have more measles,” said Buchinsky.

If you are traveling to a part of the U.S. where there has been a measles outbreak, you also may want to consider getting re-vaccinated.

An outbreak is defined as three or more cases. In 2019, so far, there have been three outbreaks in New York state, an outbreak in Washington state, Texas and Illinois.

Baron is glad she's now protected.

“What if you were in the hospital for a surgical procedure and someone is in the room, or someone is with you that hasn’t had their shots? That was enough for me to make sure I had them again,” added Baron.

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the latest measles outbreak information.

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