Over 62 Years Old? A Measles Vaccine Booster May Not Be Needed

If you contracted measles as a child you may have lifelong immunity

older man who does not need a MMR booster

With measles cases increasing in the USA and worldwide, many adults are asking if they should get a ‘measles vaccine booster.’ 

Dr. Melanie Mouzoon, who oversees immunization practices at Kelsey-Seybold in Houston, Texas, said in a University of Houston news release, ‘one decision variable is age.’ 

“For adults who were born before 1957, she said there’s no need to get a vaccine,” said Dr. Mouzoon. 

“If you were born before the modern vaccine era, then you contracted measles as a child.” 

“Which means, you have lifelong immunity.”   

And, people who have documentation of receiving LIVE measles vaccine in the 1960s do not need to be revaccinated, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

However, people who were vaccinated prior to 1968 with either inactivated (killed) measles vaccine or measles vaccine of unknown type, should be revaccinated with at least 1 dose of live attenuated measles vaccine. 

According to the CDC, the 1st dose of the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine is 93 percent protective, and a 2nd dose can boost that protection to 97 percent. 

Additionally, the CDC says:

  • Adults who do not have evidence of immunity should get at least 1 dose of MMR vaccine
  • Adults who intend to travel internationally, and do not have evidence of immunity against measles, should get 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days. 

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“It’s perfectly safe to get the vaccine if you’re not sure. So if you can’t find any records and you really don’t know, you should probably get 1 MMR vaccine dose,” said Dr. Mouzoon. 

As of May 1st, it appears the State of Texas has escaped the 2019 measles epidemic. 

During 2019, Harris County has reported 4 cases of measles and the entire state of Texas has confirmed just 15 cases. 

Unfortunately, the State of New York continues to report new measles cases each week, now confirming over 390 cases during 2019. 

And, the country of the Philippines has reported 31,056 cases during 2019. 

The CDC has issued numerous Level 1 Travel Alerts regarding measles outbreaks around the world. 

In the USA, there are 2 approved measles vaccines, MMR-II and ProQuad, which are available from most pharmacies.

Relevant Links:  CDC vaccination schedules, CDC price list, how to report vaccine side effects, and international travel alerts.