Resources for MMR and MMR-V Vaccine Information
by Karen Howe
Immunization is a hot topic with parents in both Washington and Oregon due to a recent measles outbreak that began in Vancouver, Washington near the Oregon border.
From January 1st to February 21st, 159 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 10 states. As a result, there’s been a significant increase in demand for both the MMR and MMR-V vaccines. MMR covers measles, mumps and rubella and MMR-V also includes the chickenpox causing varicella-zoster virus. The good news is that health centers report an ample supply of both vaccines.
Measles is a disease caused by a virus that can be serious to infants and adults. Although it lasts only one to two weeks, it can cause complications – especially in children younger than 5 years of age, such as diarrhea, pneumonia and ear infections. The symptoms appear roughly ten days after exposure and include a cough, fever, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. This is followed by a rash that spreads to cover the face, chest, and arms.
Measles is highly contagious and vaccination is the best way to prevent exposure and illness. To help sort through the barrage of information, here are a few sites with a wealth of information. Your state’s department of health will also have current information.
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
CDC’s easy-to-read immunization schedule
The Measles and Rubella Initiative
This is a global partnership led by the American Red Cross, United Nations Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and the World Health Organization.