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UHS is actively monitoring the measles outbreak. As it continues to spread across the country, all of us are being urged to ensure we are vaccinated. So far in 2019 alone, 1,234 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 31 states, which is the greatest number of reported cases in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. Oklahoma's first case was confirmed in Okmulgee County May 15, 2019.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the MMR vaccine is very effective in protecting people against measles, mumps and rubella, and preventing the complications caused by these diseases. People who received two doses of the MMR vaccine as children, according to the U.S. vaccination schedule, are usually considered protected for life and do not need a booster dose.
However, a new study released by the CDC shows adults born between 1963 and 1989 may be at risk for measles even if they were vaccinated. They were probably given only one dose of the vaccine instead of the currently mandated two doses. There is particular concern with the years of 1963-1967 where the “inactivated” version of the measles vaccine given has been deemed ineffective in creating immunity, according to the CDC. Those born before 1957 were most likely exposed to at least two major measles outbreaks. Once a person has had the measles virus, he or she are immune for life.
The MMR vaccination is covered at 100 percent as part of the university BlueCross BlueShield of Oklahoma health plan. Eligible employees and dependents can be immunized at no cost. If you don’t know your immunization status or are worried about waning immunity or ineffectiveness of previous vaccinations against measles, mumps and rubella, UHS can provide resources and assistance in getting properly vaccinated. Visit uhs.okstate.edu, or call 744-CARE (employees) or 744-7665 (students) to make an appointment and for more information.
To stay up to date on the measles outbreak, visit the CDC webpage at https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html.