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Measles - Recommendations for Prevention

Children

The MMR vaccine is the safest protection you can give your child against measles. Children should be given the first dose of MMR vaccine soon after the first birthday (12 to 15 months of age). The second dose is recommended before the start of the kindergarten.

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Teens

Students entering middle school, high school, or college should have their vaccination records reviewed to make sure they have received both doses of the MMR vaccine.

Outbreaks continue to occur in high schools (one or two per year) and on college campuses (less than one per year). These educational institutions are potential high-risk areas for measles transmission because of large concentrations of susceptible people. That is why the CDC recommends that all states require proof of either two doses of the measles vaccine or evidence of past measles infection at the time of college or other post-high school entry.

Note: Pregnant women should not receive the MMR vaccine. Also, pregnancy should be avoided for 28 days following receipt of the measles vaccine or the MMR vaccine. updated July 23, 2008

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Adults

Adults born after 1957 should receive at least one dose of measles vaccine unless they have already had measles and are immune. (This vaccine can also be given as measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine or measles rubella (MR) vaccine.) Those at increased risk of getting measles — college students, international travelers and healthcare workers — should receive two doses, provided they are given no less than 1 month apart.

Note: Pregnant women should not receive the MMR vaccine. Women should not become pregnant for 28 days following the receipt of the MMR vaccine or any of its components.

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Travelers

People traveling outside of the United States are at increased risk of exposure to measles and should have evidence of measles immunity. This disease is quite common in many countries throughout the world. The CDC recommends that travelers who are not immune to measles receive two doses of the MMR vaccine for their own protection and to prevent importation of the measles virus into the United States.

Before any international travel, infants 6 months through 11 months of age should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Children 12 months of age or older should have two doses separated by at least 28 days. Adults should review their vaccination records to ensure they're up to date. The links below provide valuable information to help travelers protect themselves and others from measles.

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