Measles is one of the most highly contagious diseases and is amongst the global leading causes of death in children, despite the existence of a highly effective and safe vaccine. Medical and public health experts, including the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that children and adolescents aged 6 months and older get an MMR vaccine to help protect them from serious illness. It only takes a few days for antibodies to develop in response to the MMR vaccine. Within two to three weeks, the immune system is fully primed after vaccination.

Since 1968, the United States measles vaccine has been the single most effective and safe approach to ensure children do not experience hospitalization, long-lasting health impacts, or death due to this viral disease. 

Measles outbreaks are most common in communities where larger groups of people are unvaccinated. Measles outbreaks are on the rise again in the United States after reaching national eradication in 2000. This is a major public health concern given that about 1 in 5 unvaccinated people in the U.S. with measles require hospitalization.

Added February 27, 2024