JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - To vaccinate or not to vaccinate -- that is the question.
There have been more than 970 reported cases of the measles this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Alachua County, most of 12 confirmed cases mumps involved University of Florida students, the Health Department said.
If it's been a while since you last got vaccinated, there is relatively no reason to panic.
"The vaccine does protect for life," said Dr. Mobeen Rathore, chief of Infectious Diseases with UF Health.
Rathore said that if you received the standard two doses of the modern measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, there is nothing else you need to do.
"Currently, there is no recommendation for getting a booster vaccine. So if you get those initial two doses, that’s all you need right now," Rathore said. "Now those can, of course, change based on the health department's recommendation and outbreaks situations."
There are some vaccines you do need to keep up with:
Shingrix is a two-dose vaccine that is 95% effective at preventing shingles. But there has been a shortage of the vaccine since it was introduced in 2017. So if you can find it, get it.
As for tetanus, the rule of thumb is every 10 years.
And what about pesky chicken pox? Chances are if you were born before 1995, there's a good chance you never got the vaccines. But more than likely, most adults have already been exposed to it.
Doctors are now focusing on the next generation.
"There’s just a lot of misinformation about what the vaccines do in terms of side effects, which are mostly bogus," Rathore said. "I think it’s important that you get your child immunized at the right time. There is a reason we immunize children for measles, mumps and rubella."
As an adult, there is only one vaccine most doctors recommend getting every year. That's a flu shot.
But if you are concerned about any specific diseases, it's best to ask your doctor.
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