The number of measles cases in the country has hit a 25-year high. And as the disease continues to spread, some Americans may need to get another vaccination.
But first, what is some of the history of the measles vaccine? Well, measles vaccinations were first introduced in 1963 because of how widespread the disease was.
“Before we had the vaccine, it was basically universal,” said Dr. Jaime Fergie, the Director of Infectious Diseases at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. “Everybody would get it.”
But anyone who was vaccinated between then and 1989, likely only got one dose. In 1989, it was changed to a two-dose vaccine.
“That was because in 1989, around that time, we saw a little surge, a few cases of measles that were a concern,” said Dr. Fergie.
The one-dose vaccine gives people about 93% immunity, whereas two doses gives people about 97%.
And with the two-dose vaccine, eventually, the transmission of measles was almost eliminated in the country.
But now local doctors say if you haven’t had a second measles vaccination and plan on traveling to a country, state or city with large numbers of reported cases, then a second dose is recommended.
Of course, the best way to protect yourself from the disease altogether is to simply get vaccinated.
By the way, there are 704 confirmed measles cases nationwide, with 15 cases in Texas. There’s a confirmed case in Bexar County, which is about a two-hour drive from Corpus Christi. However, there are no confirmed cases in the Coastal Bend.