Measles FAQs

Feb 22

Allegro Pediatrics

Measles FAQs

by Allegro Pediatrics

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Below you will find answers from our doctors to the most common questions regarding measles.

Q: What is the recommended MMR vaccine schedule for children?

A: The local health department and the pediatricians at Allegro continue to recommend routine MMR vaccination: the first dose at 12 months of age, and the second dose at 4 years old. 

Q: Can my child receive the first or second dose of the vaccine early?

A: The providers at Allegro Pediatrics follow the health department and CDC guidelines for all immunization schedules. The current recommendation is for patients to follow the usual timing for MMR vaccines. Public Health only recommends an earlier dose if your child’s risk is significantly changed. For example, if you travel internationally. The same would be true if measles spreads to large numbers of people in our community.

Q: How can I protect my child who can’t yet be vaccinated?

A: Babies under 12 months, of vaccinated moms, are protected during their first year by antibodies passed to them during the pregnancy. The best protection for babies after birth is to surround them with a community that is already immune through vaccination. Make sure all household members and everyone caring for your infant on a regular basis is fully immunized. As possible, limit contact for your infant with those that have not been immunized or may not be immune to measles. Parents who were fully vaccinated as children do not need to get a booster. Adults unsure of their vaccine status should contact their primary care provider. 

Q: How can I check on my child’s MMR vaccine status?

A: You can check your child’s vaccine status by speaking with an Allegro nurse, or by sending a message through the patient portal. You may also be able to find this information through the state immunization registry online at WA.MyIR.net.

Q: I’m worried about sending my children to school with kids that may be unvaccinated. What steps do I need to take?

A: As always, we strongly recommend that everyone routinely vaccinate, wash their hands, and maintain healthy eating and sleep habits as a way of caring for yourselves and others. 

Washington state law requires school age children to receive specific immunizations, including MMR, in order to attend school. 

Q: What signs and symptoms of measles should I be watching for?

A: Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. It mainly spreads through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes.

  • Measles symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure. Measles is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears. People can spread measles before they have the characteristic measles rash.
  • Measles complications can include ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, and rarely, encephalitis (brain inflammation). Complications from measles can happen even in healthy people, but those at highest risk include: infants and children under 5 years, adults over 20 years, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems from drugs or underlying disease.