CDC Updates Eligibility for Measles Vaccine

The MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is capable of preventing the highly contagious measles virus in a wide range of people, but an eligibility update now excludes pregnant women.

The MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is capable of preventing the highly contagious measles virus in a wide range of people, but an eligibility update now excludes pregnant women.

One dose of the MMR vaccine is 93% effective at preventing the measles and two doses are 97% effective. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that most individuals should be vaccinated, the recent update was made as a safety measure.

The CDC explained the vaccine eligibility update in a statement on September 10, 2015:

“MMR vaccines should not be administered to women known to be pregnant or attempting to become pregnant. Because of the theoretical risk to the fetus when the mother receives a live virus vaccine, women should be counseled to avoid becoming pregnant for 28 days after receipt of MMR vaccine.”

Although the measles is a rare condition, it can have devastating results. On July 2, 2015, a measles-related death was reported for the first time since 2003. Therefore, the CDC recommends that the following people take advantage of the vaccine, not only to protect themselves, but also from transmitting the illness to others.

  • Children: First dose at age 12 to 15 months and second dose at age 4 to 6 (second dose can be earlier, as long as its 28 days after the first)
  • Students at post-high school institutions: Those who don’t have evidence of immunity should receive two doses, with at least 28 days between doses
  • Adults: Those who don’t have evidence of immunity should receive at least one dose
  • International travelers: For those ages 6 months and older
  • Healthcare personnel: Those who don’t have evidence of immunity should receive two doses, with at least 28 days between doses

For more specific MMR vaccine eligibility information, visit the CDC website.