Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Pender County Health Department addresses need for measles vaccinations

Pender County Health Department immunization nurse said one dose of measles-containing vaccine administered at age 12 months is approximately 93 percent effective. (Port City Daily photo/file photo)
Pender County Health Department immunization nurse said one dose of measles-containing vaccine administered at age 12 months is approximately 93 percent effective. (Port City Daily photo/file photo)

PENDER COUNTY — In response to increasing concerns surrounding the spread of measles cases across the U.S., the Pender County Health Department has issued measles vaccination information for its residents.

“[P]eople are asking if they should be revaccinated,” according to a release from the county Wednesday evening.

Kim Trotman, an immunization nurse for the Pender County Health Department, said the MMR vaccine is the most effective way to protect against measles.

“One dose of measles-containing vaccine administered at age 12 months is approximately 93 percent effective and the effectiveness of two doses of measles-containing vaccine is greater than 97 percent,” Trotman said.

North Carolina law regarding measles vaccination has not changed: all children attending school in the state must have two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days between doses.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) released the following guidelines for citizens wondering if they should be revaccinated:

  • Adults born after 1957 who do not have evidence of immunity (either proof of measles vaccination or a titer — blood test — showing immunity to measles) should receive one dose of a measles-containing vaccine.
  • Adults who fall into the high-risk category should have two doses of a measles-containing vaccine separated by at least 28 days. High-risk category individuals include healthcare workers, international travelers, and students attending post-high school educational institutions.

People born before 1957 are considered to have immunity to measles and generally do not need to be vaccinated, according to the release.

“Birth before 1957 provides only presumptive evidence for measles, mumps, and rubella,”  the release states. “Before vaccines were available, nearly everyone was infected with measles, mumps, and rubella viruses during childhood.”

Most people born before 1957 are likely to have been infected naturally and therefore are presumed to be protected against measles, mumps, and rubella, according to the release. Healthcare personnel born before 1957 without laboratory evidence of immunity should consider getting two doses of MMR vaccine.

Pender County Health Department measles vaccines

Pender County Health Department offers measles vaccines as well as MMR titers (blood tests). Contact the department for questions regarding cost. You do not need an appointment to receive vaccination or titers.

Walk-in hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (closed from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. daily for lunch; closed on holidays). Pender County Health Department is located at 803 S. Walker Street in Burgaw.

You may call 910-259-1230 or visit the health department website (health.pendercountync.gov). 

If you live in the Hampstead area, you can visit the Immunization Clinic at the Hampstead Annex, open every Wednesday from 12:00 -5:00 PM. No appointment is necessary. The Hampstead Annex is located at 15060 US Highway 17 in Hampstead.

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