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Guidelines for measles vaccines

Children should get 2 doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine:

•  First Dose: 12-15 months of age. Some infants younger than 12 months should get a dose of MMR if they are traveling out of the country.

•  Second Dose: 4-6 years of age

•  If not given at these times, a two-dose series is needed for all school-age children and adolescents.

Adults born after 1956 should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine, unless they can show that they have either been vaccinated or had all three diseases.

Get Vaccines to Prevent Measles

In January 2015, CDC issued a health advisory to notify public health departments and healthcare facilities about a multi-state outbreak of measles. The outbreak started at Disneyland in Dec., 2014. During that entire year, the CDC reported a record number of measles in the U.S. with 644 cases from 27 states. This is the greatest number of cases since measles was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000.

Why the rise in measles?

•  The majority of the people who got measles did not receive vaccines.

•  Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa.

•  Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. Coughs and sneezes spread the virus through the air. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. A rash that spreads all over the body follows. About three out of 10 people who get measles will develop one or more serious problems including pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea. These problems are more common in adults and young children.

Image of boy with measles.

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