Because of the expanding outbreak of measles in Cobb county, our practice has decided to more aggressively offer early doses of measles-preventing vaccines. These fit the recommendations for the use of these vaccines during times of increased risk. By making sure as many people as possible are vaccinated, we’re doing our part to ensure that everyone is as safe as possible– including those too young to be vaccinated, or people whose health doesn’t allow them to be vaccinated.
These steps are especially important for those living in or near the outbreak area, or for those who attend schools, sporting events, or religious communities within neighborhoods experiencing an outbreak. These early vaccines can also help prevent the spread of this outbreak for those outside of the immediate area.
We will be routinely offering a first dose of MMR starting at six months of life. This early dose will have to be repeated at 12 months.
We will also be moving our recommended age for the MMRV (MMR + chicken pox vaccine) from age 4 to age 2. Note that shifting this age will not require an extra dose of any vaccine.
In addition, families who are especially concerned can get their second MMR as early as thirteen months of life, as long as it’s 28 or more days after the first dose. If this is done, the chicken pox portion of the MMRV can be given separately at age 4 years.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and will help keep everyone informed. Together, we can push back and get this outbreak under control. We have safe and effective vaccines to get the job done. We’ll do everything we can to keep all of the children in our communities happy, healthy, and safe.