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MEASLES! It's what everyone's talking about!

I'm in my middle 50s and got all my vaccinations when I was a kid.

Despite vaccination, I did get the mumps (who gets mumps???) (and where did that word come from, anyway?  MUMPS...) about 20 years ago.  This makes me wonder if I, or any of us tx patients, can get the measles despite having been vaccinated years ago.

Do the immunosuppressants we take affect the immunity we have built up as a result of long-ago vaccinations?

Thank you for any information you can provide.

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  • I have had all these when I was a kid but was told by my TX center that I can catch all of them again because of my suppressed immune system!.

    Rule of thumb we can no longer receive  any live vaccines , before tx  I was given a list of shots to get  and just managed to get them befog tx!

    I just had my right knee replaced and I can not receive any blood products through transfusion unless the blood has been Irradiated to kill off the antibodies

    kind regards

    walt s

    dbl lung tx

    6/4/10

  • OK, I've just received a reply from my coordinator, and this is what UW-Madison is telling their patients:

    "  We do not advise measles vaccination for transplant recipients due to the fact that it is a live virus

    • People born prior to 1957 have presumptive immunity as well as those who have had two or more shots or had measles in their lifetime
    • Related to the outbreak - The majority of the people who got measles were unvaccinated.
    • If true exposure from close contact with someone with documented measles,  they would need to be seen by PCP for post exposure prophylaxis in the form of IM immune globulin"

  • Hi MM,

    Certain vaccinations loose the potency over years.  Most Tx centers check immunizations through blood work during the initial work up for a Tx.  Nothing lasts forever!  Additional boosters are needed sometimes, particularly for Chicken pox.  Those who had Chicken pox or were vaccinated may face a bout with Shingles, as the same virus lays dormant for years....until. 

    Some new parents are reluctant to allow administration of  the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccination because of possible links to Autism.  This places more risk on others though a full scale outbreak is unlikely because many have had "recent" vaccinations.  This issues is in the news because of a high rate of measles infection linked to Disneyland in CA.  Some schools are also developing protocols for non-immunized children  who attend.

    If you are concerned, I would talk to your Tx center, as they may have already checked all your immunization levels and records,

    • Thanks for that!  I've already emailed my coordinator with this question and am hoping she will reply soon.

      My son had the MMR on schedule (1992) and he was later diagnosed with high-functioning autism.  I do not relate the two especially since Wakefield's theory was that the vaccine may have an adverse effect on a child's gastrointestinal tract, releasing proteins that travelled to the brain.  Didn't make any sense to me as I had never seen any sign of this in my own son.  I was living in the UK when Andrew Wakefield published his later-discredited paper, so I am very well aware of the false science.  

  • good question ,  I had blood drawn on monday my tx cntr will be calling today and thats a question I will ask them ,

  • I have had measles, chicken pox, mumps AND shingles. I take something which will keep me from getting shingles again. Since I have had measles, I don't think I can get them again. I don't understand why folks who have not had them  will not get vaccinated. It's like the folks who want to send their children to school without being vaccinated so they can spread it all over. It just does not make any sense, at all! As far as a transplant patient is concerned, what you need to find out is if it is a live vaccine. I just looked this information up, although you still have to talk to your doctor BECAUSE the rubella vaccine is live (German measles), MMR-vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella is live. However, I don't know that is because of the rubella being included in there or not. Also live viruses in Vavivax (chicken pox), Rotavirus vaccine (diphtheria) and Flumist (nasal spray flu shot) is also live virus

    • Yes, all of those are live viruses. 

      I was on a high school trip to Mexico years ago and came down with a rash.  I remember this because I was afraid I wouldn't be let back in to the US!  We all assumed I'd contracted the "three day measles", and thinking back, I don't know if the "three day measles" even existed.  Is that the same as rubella?  If so, that means that out of the three vacs included in the MMR, I've contracted two out of three diseases.  I don't like my chances.

  • I am super worried too.  My daughter is unvaccinated also. She refuses.  I could get something from her.

  • Hello MM

    GREAT question! Please ask your doctor.

    • I have emailed my coordinator and am awaiting her reply.  She is not always the quickest with responses, so I thought I'd pose the question here in the meantime.  I am hoping she can go back and look at my pre-tx labs and ascertain my immunity profile.

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