Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Frogma PSA - Measles News For The Midlife Set

Well, WOW. They say you learn something new every day. Fortunately or unfortunately, I'm enough of a creature of habit that most days I would have to think really hard to come up with the day's lesson, but not yesterday. Yesterday's lesson?

I probably need a measles booster.

This was pretty mind-blowing for me. I am fortunate enough to have been born to some of the most responsible parents a person could ask for, and all the medical, dental, and schooling stuff was taken care of, no exceptions. I live in Brooklyn, which is one of the hot spots in this growing measles outbreak we've got going on right now, but I didn't really think twice about it as far as being affected personally, because I'm about as sure as a person can be that I got those immunizations when I was little.

Until an old friend who lives near me mentioned that she'd just gotten a measles booster, at which point I thought "Hm, maybe I should check with my folks, just to be sure".

And asking my incredibly responsible folks to confirm that I'd been vaccinated against a childhood illness here in my early 50's felt so bizarre that I mentioned it on Facebook.

And then a couple of very smart friends whose opinions I respect filled me in on some facts I didn't know - basically, it turns out that many of us born in the 60's were vaccinated (here's an amazing chart showing the falloff of the disease after the introduction of the vaccine), but it was still early enough in the development of the vaccines that they did not have the lifelong effectiveness of later versions. That was possibly the most useful FB exchange I've been a part of in a while - thanks to our local anti-vaxxers, Brooklynites in particular can't rely on herd immunity at this point, and I had NO idea that I might not be safe. I've got things I want to do this summer and I do NOT have time for a bout of middle-aged measles!

This is definitely not my usual topic, but it was a startling enough revelation that I thought I would share it anyways, particularly since the FB exchange ended with the sharing of a really good NPR piece covering the exact topic. 

Click here to read.


songbird's crazy world said...

Long Islander here. I know I was vaccinated in the 1960's, but I do not know which version of the vaccine I got. I have an appointment with my primary care physcian in a few weeks, and while I am there I plan to ask him about getting tested to see if I need a booster. We live in a scary world, don't we?

bonnie said...

I am absolutely blown away by this whole thing! I had absolutely no idea that I might be at risk. I'm SO glad my friend mentioned this and I happened to look at FB when I did and saw it.

Alana said...

I had heard of this on the news several days ago (about the early immunized needing a booster. So now my dilemma - I was born in 1952 but I am not certain I ever had the measles (I remember my parents telling me I had it when I was 5 months old but that was many years ago) but they are both long dead and I wonder if I should get an MMR shot. I never had chicken pox, either, and got it as an adult from my son (who got it at age 2, before the chicken pox vaccine). I lost a week from work from chicken pox and it was not fun although thankfully I did not develop any complications. I probably should contact my doctor, although my area of upstate New York is not at risk - yet.

Karen @BakingInATornado.com said...

I'm glad you mentioned this. My parents did get me immunized with the MMR, but in my 20s I got the mumps. I'm thinking I should definitely be talking to a doctor.

songbird's crazy world said...

I think they can test for immunity before they give you a booster shot