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Health Department urges residents to check vaccine records

This news story was published on April 17, 2019.
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Mohawk Square, home of CG Health Dept.

MASON CITY –  In response to the recent confirmed measles case in Northeast Iowa, the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health would like to stress the importance of making sure your and your family’s vaccinations are up to date for Measles.

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases on the planet and spreads easily through the air by droplets of respiratory secretions from an infected person when they cough or sneeze.  Once the infected person has coughed or sneezed, the virus can live in the air and on surfaces for up to 2 hours.  Approximately 90% of individuals who are unvaccinated or do not have any immunity to measles will become infected if they are exposed to the virus. There is no treatment for measles and complications can include pneumonia, swelling of the brain, and death.

“It is extremely important not only for yourself but for our community to ensure you are vaccinated against the Measles,” states Bethany Bjorklund, Immunization Nurse at the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health.  “We have children who live in our area who are too young to be vaccinated, as well as children and adults with certain medical conditions who cannot receive the vaccine. These individuals rely on the rest of us, their community, to protect them.”

The best way to prevent measles is to get vaccinated.  Anyone who has received two doses of an MMR vaccine is considered immune and highly unlikely to get measles.

  • CDC recommends the first dose of measles vaccine be given at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. It is usually combined with the mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR).
  • Adults born before 1957 likely had measles as children and are less likely to be able to catch measles; however, being vaccinated is a good way to be sure. Adults unsure of their vaccination status should contact their health care provider or their local public health.

The measles vaccine is safe and highly effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.1Vaccine ingredients do not cause autism. More than 25 articles have been published since 1999 that have found no link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as well as no link between the MMR vaccine and ASD in children.

If you are unsure of your or your family’s immunization status, the following resources may be helpful in obtaining the information:

  • – visit the website and enter the patient portal.
  • Contact your or your child’s physician’s office.
  • Contact the shysician’s office you were taken to as a child.
  • Any adults 18 years of age or older who were born after 1956 and cannot confirm that they have been vaccinated or have had measles in the past should consider vaccination.
  • Contact the State Immunization Registry for the state you lived in as a child, which you may find by internet search.
  • Contact the High School you attended last.
  • Contact the Local Health Department in the county you live or previously lived in.
  • Contact the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health at 641-421-9322.

The MMR vaccine is recommended for the following:

  • Children:  2 doses
    • First dose – 12-15 months of age
      • Some infants younger than 12 months of age should get a dose of MMR early if they are traveling out of the country
    • Second dose – 4-6 years of age
  • Adolescents:  2 doses if the adolescent does not have proof of vaccination as a child
  • Adults:  1-2 doses

If you or your child is in need of an MMR vaccination, please contact your physician’s office or the Cerro Gordo County Health Department at 641-421-9300.  The MMR vaccine is covered by most major insurance companies. For individuals who do not have health insurance or have health insurance or have health insurance that does not cover the vaccine there are programs available to assist in covering the costs of the vaccine.

The Cerro Gordo County Health Department’s Immunization Clinic is open Monday through Friday 10AM-12PM & 12:30-4PM.  Walk-ins are welcome.

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5 Responses to Health Department urges residents to check vaccine records

  1. Avatar

    Allen Reply Report comment

    April 17, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    I think that our government should check their shot records. I fear that there are some rabid females on the loose.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 17, 2019 at 4:56 pm

      No, Allen, they aren’t rabid, they have finally had enough of being led around on a leash by the white men. It is rather frightening for guys like you, isn’t it?

      • Avatar

        Allen Reply Report comment

        April 17, 2019 at 9:12 pm

        No, actually it’s not frightening, I don’t have any problems with self esteem. But it could be frightening for you, if you were a man.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 17, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      Like your mama.

      • Avatar

        Allen Reply Report comment

        April 17, 2019 at 9:16 pm

        You, should never mention a persons mother in your lunatic rants. Besides, my mother is dead! Hopefully some day you will say something like that to someone, and they will knock you out.