SCHUMER CALLS ON CDC TO MAKE THE MEASLES VACCINE & BOOSTER SHOT FREE & MORE ACCESSIBLE – SHOULD SUPPLY IT TO NY SCHOOLS & HEALTH CLINICS & PUBLICIZE ITS AVAILABILITY; MANY CHILDREN HAVE ONLY RECEIVED FIRST DOSE, SOME OLDER ADULTS HAVE NEVER BEEN VACCINATED
In Addition to CDC Making Vaccine Widely Available, Schumer Urged Doctors to Promote Full Vaccine Coverage & Importance of Two Doses for Children –Health Experts Recommend That Children Receive First Shot at 12-15 Months & Booster Shot Again Given at 4-6 Years
Schumer Urges CDC to Provide Vaccines to Schools & Health Clinics So Students Without Booster Can Get Second Dose & Parents Can Reconsider Vaccinating Children That Haven’t Received Shot — Also, Many Adults Haven’t Been Vaccinated & Are High-Risk, Including Some Born Before 1957 But Not Exposed, Students, Int’l Travelers & Healthcare Professional
Measles Is One of Most Contagious Diseases – Without Adequate Vaccine Coverage, Including Full Dosage of Vaccine & On-Time Vaccinations, Disease Could Become Endemic
In light of the recent measles outbreak in the United States, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make free measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines and booster shots widely accessible to schoolchildren and adults in the United States at schools and health clinics. So far this year, at least 102 people have contracted measles in fifteen different states, including New York. The MMR vaccine is given in a series of shots and children should receive two doses of the vaccine, however, according to the CDC approximately 1 in 12 children in the United States do not receive the first dose of the MMR vaccine on time. Adults need at least one dose, but many should also get a second booster shot, including those that travel internationally, work in healthcare or do not have record of vaccination or exposure to measles. While the measles vaccine is covered by health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and some programs even provide free vaccines to uninsured and underinsured individuals, Schumer said that the CDC must make the vaccine more readily available and completely free, like the flu vaccine. He also said that the CDC should do more to publicize that free availability, to encourage and facilitate children getting their vaccination and booster shot on-time, and to encourage parents who have not vaccinated their children to reconsider, given the outbreak.
Schumer is also urging doctors to promote the importance of vaccinations and the importance of full coverage through two doses. Schumer today explained that little is known about how many individuals get both doses of the life-saving MMR vaccine.
“It’s frightening that a harmful and very dangerous virus that was once eliminated in the U.S. is now back and moving fast. As one of the most contagious diseases out there, we need to do everything possible to prevent the measles from spreading before it becomes endemic,” said Senator Schumer. “Plain and simple, the CDC should make sure the measles vaccine and much-needed booster shots are made easily available and completely free at schools, health clinics and more, so that kids and adults can get their second booster dose and so others might consider vaccinating for the first time. Doctors should also work hard to better promote the importance of vaccines, and full coverage, among our children and adults. We need all hands on deck when preventing the spread of such a dangerous and highly contagious disease.”
The United States is currently experiencing a measles outbreak, which in several states has been linked to California’s Disneyland amusement park. Recently in New York, a college student contracted measles in Germany and then landed at a New York City airport and boarded an Amtrak train in Penn Station to Rhinebeck. An infant in New Jersey became that state’s first confirmed case on February 7th. Meanwhile, on February 5th, at least five children, all under 12 months old, at a daycare in Illinois were diagnosed with measles. According to the CDC, there have been at least 102 cases reported in 15 states, including: New York, New Jersey, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington. Last year, the United States experienced a record number of measles cases, with 644 cases from 27 states. Schumer today said that, while measles was said to be eradicated in the U.S. in 2000, measles could now become more common because of low vaccination rates and its highly contagious nature.
Measles is highly contagious and the symptoms normally do not appear until seven to fourteen days after a person is infected. An infected individual spreads measles by coughing or sneezing, which releases the virus into the air for up to two hours. Measles cause fevers as well as coughing, pink eye, runny nose, and rashes on the face and body. In some cases, measles can cause deafness or painful ear infections. Babies and young children are especially prone to complications stemming from measles.
The MMR vaccine is given in a series of shots. The CDC recommends children receive their first dose of the MMR vaccine at age 12 to 15 months and the second dose between 4 and 6 years of age. The MMR vaccine is 93 percent effective after one dose and 97 percent effective after two doses. In seventeen states, less than 90 percent of children aged 19-35 months were vaccinated against measles. Approximately 1 in 12 children in the United States do not receive the first dose of the MMR vaccine on time. Adults should get at least one dose of the MMR vaccine, unless they have proven immunity. Adults who may be in a setting that poses a high risk for measles transmission, such as college students, international travelers or healthcare personnel, should make sure they have had two doses separated by at least 28 days. The CDC recommends that adults unsure of whether they had received the vaccine should receive one dose, which poses no harm.
First, Schumer today urged the CDC to provide free MMR vaccine shots to everyone in the U.S. and specifically, make the shots and booster shots readily available for free at schools and health clinics. Schumer explained that, in some cases, children have only received the first dose of the MMR vaccination and, therefore, making the booster shots readily available would help those children who are in need of the second, on-time, dose. Additionally, many older adults and high-risk adults have never been vaccinated or have not received a booster shot. Schumer also noted that some adults, born before 1957 were not required to be vaccinated, and may not have been exposed to measles, so this group that may want to consider a booster shot.
Second, Schumer urged doctors and providers to promote the importance of full vaccination coverage to patients. Schumer explained that this will help the parents of children who may not have received their MMR vaccine in time or may not have received the second dose of their MMR vaccine.
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