The Measles Vaccine: the Choice is Clear

We’ve spoken before about how your health is your choice.

You can choose what providers to see and services to have rendered, whether they are in-network or out-of-network for insurance purposes.

You can choose to monitor your health more closely with basic health tests.

You can choose to eat healthier, exercise more, and practice better sleep habits.

You can choose whether to protect yourself, your family, and your community with recommended vaccinations.

Yes, all of these are choices — but when it comes to the last choice, we feel that the evidence supporting immunization against vaccine-preventable illnesses is so substantial that the choice should be obvious: choosing to safeguard yourself and others against disease.

Given the recent measles outbreak, this message needs to be heard. Here’s what you should know about measles, vaccines, and your health — and why we think you should choose to vaccinate.

Why Choose to Vaccinate?

Disneyland Measles OutbreakMeasles Return To The US

You’ve probably heard about the current measles outbreak on the news. If you’ve been tuning out the details, here’s what you should know: though declared eliminated in the United States back in 2000, the measles are still widespread worldwide, and international travelers can bring the disease stateside.

Thanks to our a relatively large percentage of the population choosing to get the measles vaccine (90%), usually the disease doesn’t spread — but since the anti-vaccincation movement has gained traction in California, less children have received the measles vaccine. Thus, a confirmed measles case at Disneyland was able to spread.

In 2014, there were 644 confirmed measles cases; with the current Disneyland outbreak, experts expect high levels again this year. This is because the measles has a high reproduction rate, spreading to 12 to 18 people for every person infected.

The Measles Has Serious Consequences.

 

With mild symptoms like fever, cough, rash, and runny nose, the measles also leads to more serious complications like pneumonia (a leading cause of death in young children, affecting 1 in 20 children with measles), encephalitis (swelling of the brain which can cause mental retardation or deafness, affecting 1 in 1000 children with measles), preterm labor or low birth weight in pregnant women, and even death — in in 5000 people with measles will die from it, or 1 in 1000 small children.

Is the Measles Vaccine Safe & Effective?

Since the measles vaccine is not 100% foolproof, some cases of measles in the current epidemic have been confirmed in people who are immunized. However, since receiving both of the recommended doses of the measles vaccine results in a vaccine failure rate of less than 1%, it’s clear that receiving your measles vaccine is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the disease. The majority of confirmed measles cases have thus far been in the un-vaccinated or in people who only received one dose of the measles vaccine.

We understand that parents may be concerned about vaccine safety due to the wealth of misinformation spread — but again and again, research has confirmed that the measles vaccine is not to blame for autism; nor are other vaccines. Vaccine-preventable diseases are far more dangerous to your child’s health than immunization.

Protection Against the Measles

If you are choosing to safeguard your family and yourself against vaccine-preventable diseases like the measles, ARCpoint Labs nationwide can help. If you’re unsure how many doses of the measles vaccine you have received — particularly since MMR vaccine recommendations changed in 1989 following a particularly deadly measles outbreak — head to your wellness-certified ARCpoint Labs for a titers test. This quick blood draw can determine if your body has built up the required immunity to fend off the measles.

If it turns out you do need another dose of the measles vaccine, many of our locations provide immunization, no doctor’s orders or insurance required. Just locate your nearest ARCpoint Labs today to learn more about the services provided.

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