The Indiana Health Department issued a standing order Tuesday allowing Hoosiers to obtain the measles vaccine from any pharmacy that carries it.
This allows Indiana residents to get the vaccine without first obtaining a prescription from their physician. The three-part MMR vaccine includes the mumps and rubella vaccinations as well, according to a release from the Indiana Department of Health.
If you feel you need the vaccine, make sure your pharmacy carries it and tell them you would like to obtain it under the Indiana Department of Health's standing order. Costs of the vaccines will be billed to insurance providers.
“Vaccination is the best way to prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease, and we want to remove any barriers that may prevent Hoosiers from being protected during this nationwide outbreak,” said Indiana Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box. “Even one case of a disease that had largely disappeared is too many, and our hope is that this proactive step will help prevent additional cases in Indiana.”
The vaccine is considered 97 percent effective after the second dose, and is recommended to be given between 12- and 15-months of age and then again between 4 and 6 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
According to the state department of health, many Hoosiers do not know their vaccine status, or have been given an inactive strain of the virus once. If you have questions about whether you need the vaccine, contact your health care provider.
Measles, once thought eradicated, has infected more than 700 people in 22 states over the past few months. There is no cure for the highly-infectious virus, which is spread by coughs or sneezes. Ninety-percent of those who do not get the vaccine will contract the virus.
Anyone born before 1957 is considered immune to measles because almost all individuals born prior to that year likely had measles. If you are traveling, all family members should be up-to-date on the MMR vaccine, particularly if traveling out of the country.