The ongoing measles outbreak in California highlights the importance of vaccinations. Measles is a serious and life-threatening illness that is preventable through vaccination, and Contra Costa Health Services urges both children and adults to be immunized. Though there are no confirmed measles cases in Contra Costa County as of February 3, there have been several cases in the Bay Area and it is possible there will be more. Since late December, 92 people have been confirmed to have measles in California.
How do I know if my family and I are protected from measles?
Although measles is very contagious, it is highly preventable through vaccine. If you and your children have been fully vaccinated, you are well protected from measles. The current outbreak serves as an important reminder that everyone needs to be vaccinated if they have not had the disease in the past. County residents are encouraged to review their family’s immunization records.
Should children get the measles vaccine?
Yes. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and pediatricians recommend that children get two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. The first dose is given at 12 to 15 months of age and the second dose usually at 4 to 6 years of age. Two doses of MMR vaccine are more than 99 percent effective in preventing measles. If you are traveling with an infant under 12 months of age to a destination where there are international travelers, contact your regular health care provider.
Should adults get the measles vaccine?
People born before 1957 are considered immune as they likely had measles as children and developed immunity from the disease. Adults born after 1957 should review their vaccination record to ensure they have received the MMR vaccine. Talk to your regular health care provider if you have any questions about your immunization status.
Where can I get the MMR vaccine?
There are several ways you can get MMR vaccine if you need it:
- From your regular health care provider. Contact your health plan for information on reimbursement for vaccinations.
- From a community immunization provider, including pharmacies.
- Visit cchealth.org/immunization for a list. Please call ahead for pharmacy age restrictions, hours, and cost.
- MMR also is offered at Public Health Immunization Clinics. For clinic schedules and fees visit cchealth.org/immunization/clinics.php
Contra Costa Health Plan members can visit:cchealth.org/healthplan
Where can I get more information?
More information about measles is available online at cchealth.org/measles