NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The Center for Disease Control says that most of those infected in this year’s measles outbreak were unvaccinated, but health officials warn even if you have had a vaccine, you could still be at risk.
Ashley Rinehart is a mother of four boys, all vaccinated. She said she’s a proponent of the preventative treatment to keep her keeps healthier for longer.
“It keeps everybody as healthy as they can be. They were created for a reason,” Rinehart said. “You go in, and you let someone stick them with a needle, and you know it’s for the best.”
The CDC still emphasizes that vaccines are your best bet for protection against illnesses like the measles -- 97 percent of those who receive two standard childhood MMR vaccines won’t get the measles. However, there are others who may not be as immune.
The vaccine was invented in 1962, but the CDC said doctors didn’t recommend children receive two doses until 1989. According to the CDC, just one dose is only 90 percent effective. What’s more, officials say those who received the shot between 1963 and 1967 may have gotten the wrong one.
Kaela Spears is a medical assistant who performs blood tests to check antibody levels against the measles virus. She said she doesn’t get many requests for the test, except from college students.
“Just to know you have that immunity is very important,” Spears said. “Typically, anybody going into the medical field, whether it’s a nurse practitioner, a doctor, a medical assistant, whatever the case may be. They require that to make sure you were immune because you know you’re going to be around a lot of things in the medical field.”
But, that’s not to say the tests are unavailable for others. Anyone can get the blood test.
“In my personal opinion, it’s definitely very important to get checked, just to see and make sure you have an immunity to it. Because these infections and viruses are getting worse and worse, and just one [test] can tell you whether you’re safe or not.”
According to CDC officials, immunity can decrease slightly with age. The immunity tests is available without a doctor referral through Any Lab Test Now and cost $49 out of pocket.