Thursday, June 11, 2015

MMR Vaccination

I read a lot about the measles vaccination today.  This of course wasn't something I generally would have spent my time doing; however it became of high interest to me after I received a phone call from my employer (I start on Monday).  During the on-boarding process one must be tested for immunity through a titre screen for measles, mumps, and rubella.  Good news was I was immune to mumps and rubella.  Bad news, I was no longer immune to measles.  My first thought was what, wait just one minute... I am no longer immune to measles?

This of course sent me digging into my records.  In review of my shot record this is what I found.  I received my first MMR vaccination on 11/6/1979 I was 18 months old.  I received the second vaccination on 10/20/1994 (according to the record) I was 16 years old.  Regardless, I was immunized.

So why then did my titre screen come back negative for immunity to measles?  This is why I spent my time data mining today.  This is what I found:
1) Measles was on the decline before the vaccination was introduced.
2) With the introduction of the vaccination the eradication was expected in 1966.
3) Full eradication was announced in 2000 (in the U.S).
4) Edward Jenner developed the measles vaccine in 1798- although there are reports of using vaccinations in ancient times.
5) A single shot was expect to provide life long immunity.
6) In 1990 all children entering kindergarten needed to prove that had two immunizations of the MMR due to failure to provide immunity after only one shot.
7) The second dose was often given at the entrance to middle school or high school (which would explain why I was 16 at the second dosing).
8) Natural exposure to measles provided stronger and longer immunity to the disease than the actual vaccination.  (Although, given the possible rates of mortality with measles I would not want to take the risk of being exposed naturally).
9) Estimated immunity with the vaccine is estimated around 25 years per one scientist.  Immunity from natural exposure was upwards of 65 years according to the same scientist.
10) And lastly, the MMR vaccination provided better immunity after 1980 when a stable live vaccine was available.

So these points of course are points I found of interest, I cannot speak of the validity as I did not dig knee deep into peer reviewed articles or anything of that sort.  I simply data mined what was readily available.

In the end, I received my third vaccination for MMR today 6/11/2015, at the age of 37, I will receive a second booster shot in about a month.  I will start my job on Monday as expected.  While it was a bit of a hassle to go in for an immunization I am forever thankful that a titre screen was done.  I am thankful I did not become to second Measles Mary, as in the New York situation this past year.  Who knows why I lost immunity over time, I did read that some people just do, some don't.  Had I contracted measles I do not know how my body would have reacted given an already compromised immune system (hereditary in nature).  It takes me longer than most to bounce back from seemingly simple viruses, so with that....

I will continue to support vaccinations.  And as already stated, given my compromised immune system due to an autoimmune disease I will continue to avoid and/or refuse to interact with those who have not been immunized.  So, if you are concerned about where you stand with your immunity, go have a titre screen done.  For those who are not immunized, it's your choice, I will not get into a fruitless discussion about your opinions and my opinions.  I can respect your choice as I expect you to respect my choice to freely ask and freely choose not to interact if you are not immunized.

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