Local doctors give information on the measles vaccination

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - While Nebraska has not seen an outbreak of measles, there are still concerns that it could. Around the country there are concerns of the vaccination having adverse effects.

With those concerns about the measles vaccine circulating around social media, several states are seeing outbreaks of the once nearly eradicated disease.

“It's very highly contagious. I mean you come into contact with anyone who has measles, same room with them, even out in a public place like a park or the zoo or anything like that if you haven't had the vaccine you're high likelihood of getting it,” Mary Lanning Healthcare Family Medicine Physician Dr. Zachary Frey said.

There are some concerns the vaccine causes autism, which Dr. Frey said has been debunked many times.

Others are worried it puts toxins into the body, like lead or mercury. Frey said there are higher traces of those heavy metals in breast milk than there are in the vaccine. In order to fight off an outbreak, there needs to be a 95% vaccination rate.

“We've actually seen the places where we've had the outbreaks are places that have a lower vaccine rate,” Dr. Frey said. “So places like Nebraska have a pretty high rate, our's isn't 95% so we're still at risk. But we're at less risk than some of these other states that have had outbreaks.”

According to the CDC, since January 1 to May 10 there have been nearly 840 cases of measles in the United States. More than all of 2018 combined.

The first dose of the vaccine cannot be given until a baby is one year old. So infants and unvaccinated people are the most at risk of contracting measles.

“We just really want to emphasize we know the shot is safe,” Dr. Frey said. “People really shouldn't be concerned about getting the shot. If you have concerns definitely go talk to your doctor we'll definitely talk you through why it's important.”

There has also been some concern too if the older population needs a booster shot. If the measles vaccine was received in the years 1963-67 there may be a need to have a one time booster shot. It is recommended people speak to their doctors to see if they need the booster.

Local4 reached out through social media for anyone who does not want to vaccinate and did not get any comments back.