Doctors advise measles vaccine for children following confirmed case in Nassau County

Doctors recommend children get the first dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine between 12 and 15 months old.

Rachel Yonkunas

Mar 25, 2024, 9:47 PM

Updated 56 days ago

Share:

Health officials have alerted the public of a third confirmed measles case in New York this year.
A Nassau County child under the age of 5 was diagnosed with the disease.
The unvaccinated child was in the waiting room of Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park and potentially exposed anyone who visited the emergency department between 6:45 p.m. on March 20 and 3:30 p.m. on March 21. The child was discharged from the hospital on Monday.
Dr. John Zaso, a pediatrician who also serves on the Nassau County Board of Health, said the source of the infection came from out of the country.
“All of these cases we’re seeing now, they’re not native grown,” said Dr. Zaso. “They were imported and infected people here who were not vaccinated.”
Doctors recommend children get the first dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine between 12 and 15 months old.
According to data from the New York State Department of Health, 80.9% of children under the age of two in Nassau County and 82.1% of children under the age of two in Suffolk County have received one dose of the MMR vaccine.
“That should be much higher,” Dr. Zaso said. “The state and the local departments of health are cracking down on trying to get everybody up to where they need to be to protect them.”
In the 2022-2023 school year, about 98% of New York kindergarteners received two doses of the MMR vaccine, which is the same as the year before, data from the CDC show.
However, there are new concerns about a potential rise in measles cases. Some doctors fear this once-eradicated disease could be misdiagnosed in the future because many doctors today rarely see it.
“What’s scary about this is, I’ve been practicing almost 30 years. I’ve seen one case of measles in my career,” Dr. Zaso said. “Most of the doctors that have been out since the year 2000 don’t even know what it looks like, so a lot of this disease is going to get missed because they haven’t seen it and that’s going to cause more spread.”
Doctors said people get protection from the disease about three days after getting the vaccine. One dose of the MMR vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles and two doses of the vaccine are about 97% effective.


More from News 12