Dr. Momjian, Urgent 9 founder, appears on KCAL 9 to discuss the importance of measles vaccination.
If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you might have noticed that there is a huge surge in incidences of measles throughout LA County (and nationwide). In fact, it’s a full-blown outbreak. If you’re confused because you thought this disease had been virtually eradicated, you’re right — with proper preventative care, measles is extremely avoidable in the 21st century.
Unfortunately, in recent years we’ve seen the internet become an incredible tool for misinformation and outright dangerous conspiracy theories. One of these is the so-called “anti-vaxxer” or anti-vaccine sentiment. This is a totally non-scientific, dangerous, and malicious line of thinking that convinces people that vaccines are bad or harmful.
Let us be clear: vaccines are necessary. They are based on proven, established science with decades-long track records of success. When you have people deciding that Facebook is a better source of information than the most well-respected scientists in history, you end up with totally avoidable public health crises such as the Los Angeles measles outbreak we’re currently seeing.
If you have not been vaccinated against measles, you are indeed at risk of contracting it during this outbreak. If you have been vaccinated, but it was over 30 years ago, consult with your physician to see if a “booster” measles vaccine for adults is necessary.
The MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella all in one quick shot, is essential for every living person to get if possible. If you’re not sure whether you’ve had the MMR vaccine, contact Urgent 9 to have some simple testing done to see whether you’re susceptible to measles or not. The usual measles vaccine age is usually around 12-14 months, so many people understandably have lost their medical records from that time. If you have any doubt at all whether you’ve gotten the MMR vaccine, contact your physician as soon as you can.
The MMR vaccine, once administered, will immunize you against measles for the rest of your life. That means that your body will learn to become invulnerable to this dangerous and easily spread disease that, until its vaccine was developed, was a major health issue throughout history.
Measles vaccine side effects are rare; and if they do occur, they are usually mild and pass within 2-3 days. You may feel a slight level of fatigue or increased temperature. This is nothing to be concerned about, but it does mean that the measles vaccination at 9 months of age is the absolute earliest it should be administered (with most doctors recommending 12 months of age).
We should be extremely glad and feel fortunate that we live in a time where vaccines are available. They are safe, effective, and proven. Urgent 9 founder Dr. Manuel Momjian has been appearing as a trusted medical source on various local news programs in Los Angeles hoping to spread the word about what you can do to stay safe and make sure you’ve been vaccinated.
Dr. Momjian appears on NBC4 to once again give his expert advice about measles danger in Los Angeles.