Health officials warn: Make sure you got the right measles vaccination

Dan Wing
April 30, 2019 - 11:41 am
Vials of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The CDC says new measles cases have hit a 25-year high. There were 78 new cases reported last week, bringing the 2019 total to 704 cases. 

Health officials also warn that just because someone has been vaccinated, they may not be safe. They emphasize the importance of not just people getting vaccinated, but also making sure they got the right vaccine. 

The measels outbreak has now reached 22 states in the United States, with New York hit the hardest. Experts say that's mainly because of the large Orthodox Jewish community there, which tends to avoid having their children vaccinated due to misinformation. 

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, says most people who were born before 1957 or who received a two-shot vaccination (one as an infant, with a booster shot a few years later), are likely protected, but not everyone.

"There are many people who have been vaccinated with either a single vaccine, or were vaccinated back then with a form of the vaccine that is the killed vaccine as opposed to the live attenuated, which is not as good," Fauci said.

Fauci says the best thing people can do is check with their doctor to see exactly what kind of vaccine they received. And if they did not receive the two-shot measels vaccine or a live attenuated shot, they should see if it's possible to get a booster shot. He adds it's especially important that people living close to one of the outbreaks do this immediately.