Measles vaccination stress by CDC and AMA amid surge in family international travel

Measles vaccination
Measles vaccination. Credit | Getty images

United States: Two of the US’s leading health organizations are stressing that along with the already known reasons for getting the measles vaccine, the significant worldwide increase in measles cases is also a reason for a family to get measles vaccination.

On Monday, both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association (a physician organization that represents all US doctors) renewed a call for everyone to get vaccinated.

Total known measles cases

According to the CDC, besides a total of 58 known cases of measles in the United States, “many countries, including travel destinations such as Austria, the Philippines, Romania, and the United Kingdom, are experiencing measles outbreaks,” as US News reported.

Moreover, ahead of summer travel season, “to prevent measles infection and reduce the risk of community transmission from importation, all U.S. residents traveling internationally, regardless of destination, should be current on their MMR [measles-mumps-rubella] vaccinations.”

More about Measles

Visual Representation – Measles Disease. Credit | Getty images

One of its biggest advantages is the fact that measles, one the most contagious diseases, is relatively easy to prevent with the help of vaccines. As per this estimation, an average of 90 percent or more of unvaccinated cases will pass the virus when they come in contact with another person.

However, containing cases of measles with the two-dose vaccination that causes immunity against measles has a 97 percent effectiveness, according to the CDC.

The AMA statement of their president, Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, states that the anti-vaxxer propaganda that has increased since 2019 has left more of the American population vulnerable to measles, a disease that was nearly eradicated in the United States, based on 2019 statistics.

He added, “As evident from the confirmed measles cases reported in 17 states so far this year when individuals are not immunized as a matter of personal preference or misinformation, they put themselves and others at risk of disease — including children too young to be vaccinated, cancer patients and other immunocompromised people,” as US News reported.

Moreover, “In fact, with lower vaccination coverage among kindergarteners during the 2022–23 school year, the CDC estimates that approximately 250,000 kindergartners are at risk for measles infection,” said Ehrenfeld.

About travel guidelines by officials

Children from households with no plans for international travel should get their first dose from between 12-15 months of age, and the second at least up to 4-6 years old , the CDC recommended.

For International travel, a separate list of recommendations is made –

As depicted by the CDC, Measles vaccine shot to be given to unvaccinated children of the family who will be traveling internationals befalls between 6 months to 11 months before their travel.

According to the agency, those infants who have been immunized with the first vaccines before their first birthday also deserve to have two more MMR doses. The first one must be received when the child is between 12 through 15 months of age and the subsequent one must be administered a month after.

Children aged one year and older or even most adults who did not receive MMR shots two years apart should be vaccinated with two doses of MMR and with at least an interval of 28 days.

Two doses of MMR vaccine of which the first one is administered to adolescents and adults who are not experiencing any presence of immunity against measles symptoms should be given. The immunity should be achieved at least 28 days after administration of the vaccination.