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CDC urges more measles vaccines, especially for those traveling

The CDC says declining vaccination coverage nationally and abroad can be traced to the COVID-19 pandemic, and may contribute to increased outbreaks.
CDC urges more measles vaccines, especially for those traveling
Posted at 7:00 PM, Mar 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-18 21:00:54-04

As measles cases surge around the world, the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is warning Americans to vaccinate, especially if they plan to travel.

Young children who don't show "evidence of immunity" and who will be traveling should get an MMR vaccine at as young as 6 months old, the CDC says. This is 6 months earlier than recommended for children in the U.S. otherwise.

If a child gets a vaccine before 12 months of age, they should also plan to get two more doses on the usual schedule, with the first being at 12-15 months.

Teenagers and adults who will travel without evidence of immunity should get two doses at least 28 days apart.

The CDC defines "evidence of immunity" as either being born before 1957, vaccine records showing two doses of MMR vaccine or lab results that show immunity to measles.

SEE MORE: CDC sends team to Chicago for measles outbreak tied to migrant center

According to the CDC's latest numbers, 36 states are behind on measles vaccination rates among kindergarteners. The agency says declining vaccination coverage nationally and abroad can be traced to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused many vaccinations to be postponed and may contribute to increased outbreaks worldwide.

There have been 58 confirmed cases of measles in the U.S. since the start of this year — and 93% of them are "linked to international travel," the CDC said.

The CDC said that despite the recent surges in cases at home and abroad, and despite flagging group vaccination levels, the risk of a measles outbreak in the U.S. remains low.


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