CDC recommends some adults be re-vaccinated against measles

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Amid the continuing measles outbreak, the CDC is recommending some adults who have already been vaccinated to get a booster shot.

The recommendation extends to those at greater risk of exposure to the virus, including international travelers, health care workers, teachers and residents in affected communities.

People born before 1957 are considered immune. The first measles vaccine introduced in 1963 was considered ineffective and replaced in 1968.

In addition, people vaccinated before 1989 likely received only once dose of the MMR vaccine, which provides 93% immunity.

Two doses are now standard and raise the level of immunity to 97%.

"The reality is the vast majority of adults are immune," said Dr. Sandra Kesh, an infectious disease specialist with Westmed Medical Group. "It's really just the people who may have gotten the less effective vaccine and the single dose of it who are in that question-mark category."

Nationally, there have been 704 confirmed measles cases, the highest total since 1994. More than half of the cases have occurred in Orthodox Jewish communities in Rockland County and Brooklyn.

Dr. Kesh says anyone with concerns should speak to their health care provider. Adults can be tested for immunity, though a simpler option may be to get a booster shot.

"It's something that people worry about," Dr. Kesh said. "But there's no real harm to that."
EMBED More News Videos

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus spread through the air. Here's what you need to know to protect your family.

* Follow us on YouTube
* More local news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.