Measles is a contagious viral infection that spreads through the air when an infected individual sneezes or coughs. Even though skin rash is a telltale sign of measles, it often starts with fever, runny nose, cough, and red eyes before tiny red spots break out.
The first signs of rash appear at the head and then spread to the rest of the infected person’s body. Every year, measles contributes to thousands of deaths, but the terrible aftermath can be easily avoided with safe and effective vaccination.
In order to raise awareness about the measles vaccine and save innumerable deaths, we have crafted content so you know when to give your child the measles vaccination shield. Read on to learn more about Measles vaccines.
Measles Vaccines: MMR and MMRV Vaccines
For both adults and children, measles can be easily prevented with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine – effective against measles, mumps, and rubella.
For each vaccination, 0.5 ml of the vaccine should be administered subcutaneously, preferably into the upper arm. Children may alternatively get the MMRV vaccine, which protects against all the aforementioned diseases and varicella, commonly known as chickenpox.
When to Take the Measles Vaccine
Ideally, babies should receive the first dose of the MMR vaccine between 12 – 15 months. The second dose of MMR is recommended between 4 and 6 years of age.
Babies can be given an extra dose of MMR at 6 to 11 months in case of a measles outbreak or international travel. MMRC vaccine is limited to its standard two dosages.
Teenagers and adults with no evidence of measles immunity must take the first dose of MMR or MMRV as soon as possible, and there is no need for a second dose.
Effectiveness of the Measles Vaccine
The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Administering one dose of the measles vaccine is about 97% effective while two doses offer about 99% effectiveness.
If an individual has received two doses of the vaccine as children, he is considered protected from the disease for life and does not usually need a booster dose.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you need a booster dose, or are unsure whether you were vaccinated as a child. There is no harm in getting the vaccine again even if you already got vaccinated.
Side Effects of the Measles Vaccine
Like any medicine, there can be side effects to the measles vaccine, but the odds of experiencing any side effects are quite small. If any, reactions are often very mild.
Some children may experience a mild fever or rash but these reactions are not concerning or contagious as they subside on their own. Some teenagers or adults feel temporary stiffness and pain in the joints.
Though rarely, the measles vaccine can cause swelling in cheeks and neck, and a temporary low platelet count, which are not fatal and can be solved without any treatment.
Things To Know Before Receiving the Measles Vaccination
A sterile syringe should be used for each injection. A 25-gauge ⅝ inch needle is recommended. People who have had severe reactions to this vaccine or its components should not receive the vaccination. Women need to be up-to-date on the measles vaccine if they are planning to get pregnant.
Pregnant women cannot get the MMR vaccine. Others who cannot receive the MMR or MMRV vaccines include immunocompromised individuals including those with HIV or AIDS, and those undergoing cancer treatment.
Both the MMR and MMRV vaccines are life-saving drugs that can help deter not only measles but a handful of other ailments. However, it is critical to consult a professional and follow the recommended dosage. Additionally, It is essential to take note of who can and cannot receive the vaccines.