With the return of measles, various questions arise at the time of vaccination, especially in adults, who – often – do not know whether they have already been immunized. Dr. Ana Karolina Barreto Marinho, coordinator of the Scientific Department of Immunization of the Brazilian Association for Allergy and Immunology (ASBAI), answers the most important questions that arise in the office:
1. Who does not know whether you have already used the vaccine because you no longer have a vaccination card, is this the indication to be vaccinated? If the person has already taken, but does not know, is there a risk of getting a new dose?
If there is no evidence of previous vaccination, vaccination is required. There is no health risk if you have previously been vaccinated.
2. Is the vaccine given only to measles or are they MMR measles, rubella and mumps?
It is the triple virus (measles, rubella and mumps) or viral tetanus (measles, rubella, mumps and chickenpox).
3. If the patient has already gained the last two diseases, is there a risk that the vaccine will be received again to protect against measles?
The vaccine does not pose a health risk, even if the person has already had the diseases mentioned above.
4. Are there components in the measles vaccine that can cause an allergic reaction? What?
Although it is rare, any component of the vaccine can cause allergic reactions in persons with predisposition. The vaccine contains the following potentially allergenic substances: human albumin, neomycin sulphate (antibiotic), gelatin, traces of chicken egg protein used in the vaccine production process. In Brazil, one of the vaccines used in the public network contains traces of lacto-albumin (cow's milk protein).
5. Which care should allergic patients take if they are vaccinated?
Most people with a history of anaphylactic egg reaction do not have adverse reactions to the vaccine and even when the reaction is severe there is no contraindication to the use of the triple viral vaccine. Many studies have shown that people with egg allergies, even people with severe allergies, have a very low risk of anaphylactic reactions. Skin tests with the vaccine are not recommended. However, it is indicated that these people, as a precautionary measure, should be vaccinated at sites that provide conditions for anaphylaxis. Children with severe allergies to cow's milk (immediate reactions such as anaphylaxis) should not be given the triple-viral vaccine containing lactalbumin.
6. What timetable should be followed in the case of measles vaccine, ie should the vaccine be administered in childhood and adulthood? Is it suitable for the age?
You should follow it calendar led by the Ministry of Health.
The vaccination schedule for measles for children is one dose after 12 months (triple viral) and one at 15 months (the tetra-viral) age.
For adolescents and adults up to 49 years:
- Until the age of 29 – two doses, either triple or tetra-viral
- From 30 to 49 years – a single dose, which can be triple or tetra
Anyone who has taken two doses three times during life, no longer needs to receive the vaccine.
Measles presents the following symptoms: fever accompanied by persistent cough, eye irritation, coryza and blocked nose and intense malaise. After these symptoms, there are red spots on the face that go to the feet and last for at least three days. The only way to prevent measles is through the vaccine.
The Brazilian association of allergy and immunology has existed since 1972. It is a non-profit, scientific association the promotion of permanent medical training and the dissemination of knowledge in the field of allergy and immunology, to strengthen the professional practice with excellence of the specialty allergy and immunology in the public and private sphere and to society the importance of the prevention and treatment to reveal allergic diseases and immunodeficiencies. ASBAI currently has regional offices in 21 Brazilian states.
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