Skip to main content

Protect Kids, Yourself, and Loved Ones from Measles and Other Diseases: Get Vaccinated

New measles cases in the United States demonstrate the importance of vaccination to prevent this potentially serious disease.

Measles is an acute viral respiratory illness with symptoms including high fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes. Measles rash appears 3 to 5 days after the first symptoms.

Measles is very contagious; it spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. If one person has it, up to 9 out of 10 people around them will also be infected if they are not protected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 1 in 5 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized and 1 to 3 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care.

The good news is that the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine is safe and effective at preventing measles.

“Vaccines are essential for public health because they can prevent diseases like measles. They work like seatbelts, adding another layer of protection to save lives and reduce hospital stays,” says Ellis Matheson, Health and Human Services Public Health Director. “Vaccines also protect individuals, families, and communities. Let's do our part and get vaccinated to protect ourselves and our loved ones from vaccine-preventable illnesses.”

About the Vaccine

The MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles, mumps, and rubella. Children should get two doses of the MMR vaccine, one at 12-15 months of age and another at 4-6 years of age. Teens and adults should get at least one dose.

Side effects of the measles shot include soreness, redness, or swelling at the site of the shot, fever, mild rash, and temporary pain and joint stiffness.

In addition to contacting your healthcare provider about the vaccine, you can contact Buncombe County Health and Human Services which provides vaccines for infants, kids, teens, and adults at 40 Coxe Avenue in downtown Asheville. Call (828) 250-5096 to schedule an appointment. Vaccines can be free for those eligible through the Vaccines for Children program.

The MMR vaccine is required for kids entering childcare facilities and schools in the state.

Who Should Get Vaccinated

Children: Kids under 5 years old are especially more susceptible to serious health complications from measles.

Students at Post-High School Educational Institutions: Those attending colleges, universities, trade, or vocational schools—all of which are deemed high-risk settings—need two doses of the MMR vaccine.

Adults: While one dose is recommended for adults, those who are in a high-risk setting such as healthcare personnel should get two doses.

International Travelers: Those 6 months of age and older who will travel internationally should get vaccinated for MMR. Infants traveling internationally should get the MMR vaccine earlier than those not traveling internationally. This includes one dose for those ages 6-11 months followed by two more doses from 12-15 months of age and two doses for infants one year or older.

Those at Childbearing Age: People of childbearing age should check with their doctor to make sure they are vaccinated before they get pregnant.

Note that some people may have presumptive evidence of immunity against measles. In addition to getting vaccinated, other forms of evidence include laboratory evidence of immunity, laboratory confirmation of measles, and birth before 1957 (it is likely that most born before 1957 have been infected by measles, mumps, and rubella and are protected).

Where to Get Vaccinated

  • At your doctor or healthcare provider.
  • At your local pharmacy.
  • At Buncombe County Health and Human Services:
    • 40 Coxe Avenue in Downtown Asheville
    • Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Walk-ins are available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 8-11:30 a.m. and Tuesday and Thursday between 1-4:30 p.m.
    • Call (828)734-5049.
    • Visit

Filter News:

Translate Options

Article Information

Updated Feb 23, 2024 02:31 PM
Published Feb 20, 2024 10:40 AM

Previous Article: Alertus Button Cover Installation in Progress
Next Article: Commissioners Declare February Black Legacy Month, Donate Used Laptops to Land of Sky Regional Council, & More