“If you were born in 1957 or earlier, you are considered immune to measles,” says Linda Mehl, Director of Nursing at the Belmont County Health Department.
“For anyone born after that date, the vaccine is recommended.”
Mehl says in order to enter school, children are required to have two doses of the MMR vaccine. Adults can generally be covered with a single dose, unless they are traveling out of the country or they work in health care, in which case they should get both doses.
She says with the case of measles in Stark County, Ohio, there are now 29 states seeing measles cases.
She says it was nearly eradicated, but the recent wave of anti-vaccine sentiment has prompted many people to refuse the shots, which lowers the “herd immunity” to the disease.
However, people remain sharply divided about the vaccine.
“I think everybody should get a measles shot if it’s in the area,” said Jody McCleary of Flushing.
“I don’t trust any of it!” said Josh Delawder of Adena.
“I’d rather not get it,” said Stepthanie Parker of Martins Ferry. “I don’t have it, so I’m not worried about it.”
Linda Mehl of the health department says you can also find out how much immunity you have to the disease.
A blood test can show your immunity level, and can even tell whether you’ve had the shot or you’ve actually had measles.
To get that blood test, contact your health care professional. They don’t offer the blood test at the health department.