Current Measles Outbreak
Northern Virginia Pediatric Associates follows the schedule of immunizations recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control. It is our belief that the benefits achieved by immunization far outweigh the rare potential risks.
The recent measles outbreak highlights the importance of vaccinations. Measles is a highly contagious disease that is transmitted person-to-person via respiratory droplets. The consequences of measles can be very serious, and the disease can be fatal in young children and the immunocompromised. The best way to protect young children and the immunocompromised is to vaccinate everyone else.
To protect our patients, we regularly immunize with the MMR vaccine at 12-15 months of age as per the guidelines of the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The first dose of the MMR vaccine is about 95% effective, and the second dose (given at 4-6 years of age) makes the vaccine about 98% effective. Since there will inevitably be some children who cannot be vaccinated (due to young age, allergies, cancer, and other conditions), we strongly encourage all those who are able to immunize to do so on schedule.
While there are certain circumstances in which children may receive the MMR vaccine prior to 1 year of age, or when the booster dose is given before a child is 4 years old, that is not currently recommended by the CDC or the AAP. Appropriate, timely immunizations are the best for everyone since immunizations protect you, your children, and the community.
** During this measles outbreak we are giving the MMR vaccine at 12 months and at 4 years. **