Today’s WaPo has an article about the large uptick in the number of measles cases in the US – the highest in 10 years, with another 4 months to go in the year. It reminded me of my experience this year with the measles vaccine, and I thought I’d share it.
I knew I’d have to jump though some hoops when I decided to take some college classes again for the first time in a long while, but I didn’t expect one of them would be at a clinic. The state requires that students provide vaccination records, however, and while tetanus was no problem – as a woodworker I am careful to keep mine up to date – the rest were an issue. For Meningococcal and Hepatitis I could sign a waiver, but there’s no dodging the documentation requirement for measles, mumps & rubella.
Let me make an observation and give you some advice here: when you’re a few years from forty, you’re not going to have a lot of luck getting your old pediatrician on the phone. So you might considering keeping some of those documents if you get your hands on them. Since nobody ever warned me, I had no such documents stored. So I wrote the check for about $60, had blood drawn, and sat back to wait a week for the results of the blood titer to show that I had existing immunities – as a result of my childhood vaccinations.
Just like clockwork, a week later my documentation was in showing that I was resistant to mumps, rubella…. and vulnerable to measles.
So I went ahead and got the two shots, and wondered why I came up negative this way when I know I was vaccinated. It seems like I was right on the tail end of the group who got just one shot of a measles-only vaccine – those of you immunized after 1971 would have gotten the same combination measles-mumps-rubella shots I just finished up, which presumably creates a more lasting immunity.
Personally I’m just releived to be free to keep taking classes and know that Amanda Peet will no longer consider me a parasite. I’m part of the herd immunity, baby – try to stay upwind.