Measles Vaccination

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Measles Vaccination
Measles Vaccination

Video: Measles Vaccination

Video: Measles Vaccination
Video: What you need to know about measles vaccination 2023, December

Measles & vaccination

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases and occurs worldwide. A high vaccination coverage could eradicate measles. In Europe, however, measles outbreaks occur again and again due to the low vaccination density. This makes vaccination protection all the more important. An expansion of measles is currently being observed in Austria. As of January 9, 2019, 77 measles case reports were registered in Austria for 2018. At least 8 cases were reported in 2019 (as of January 23, 2019).

Due to the current development, the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection urges you to check your vaccination status as a matter of urgency: Sufficient protection exists after two vaccinations against measles, mumps and rubella, which have been confirmed in writing or when it is proven by means of an antibody test that adequate protection is available Blood is present. Missing vaccinations can and should be made up at any age. The vaccine is available free of charge for children and adults at public vaccination centers and as part of the children's vaccination program.


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Caution - risk of infection!
  • Symptoms and course of the disease
  • Complications and long-term effects
  • Vaccination protects!

Caution - risk of infection

The pathogens (measles viruses) are transmitted through the air by sneezing or coughing. A measles infection can occur a short time after contact with the pathogen. Measles is a reportable disease. There are usually eight to twelve days (incubation period) between contact with the pathogen and the actual outbreak of measles. Infected people can therefore infect other people a few days before the first symptoms appear. There is a risk of transmission up to four days after the rash begins. Since measles mainly affects infants and children, this disease is known in many places as a "childhood disease". But adults who have not been vaccinated can also become infected - provided they did not have measles as a child, because the disease leaves behind lifelong immunity.

Current information on the current expansion of measles can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection

Note If measles is suspected or unspecific symptoms occur, such as runny nose, fever, red eyes or other flu-like symptoms that indicate measles, it is essential to contact the doctor or the hospital by telephone beforehand to prevent transmission in waiting rooms and outpatient departments can.

Symptoms and course of the disease

About eight to twelve days after being infected with the measles virus, more than 95 percent of those infected develop the disease. Initially, unspecific symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose or conjunctivitis (catarrhal stage) appear. A rash on the palate can also appear. The characteristic measles rash (strong red, large patches) begins around the third to seventh day after the first symptoms appear behind the ears. The rash slowly spreads to the whole body, persists for about four to seven days and heals scaly.

Complications and long-term effects

A measles disease weakens the immune system for about six weeks. This makes it easier for other germs to enter the body. If the high fever drops after a week and rises again a little later, complications can arise. The complication rate is around 20 percent. These complications range from bronchitis and pneumonia to potentially life-threatening encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), which can also result in permanent brain damage. The risk of developing encephalitis as a result of measles infection is around 1: 1,000 and increases with the age of the infected person. However, when properly treated, many measles diseases progress without complications.

Rarely, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) can occur as a late complication about six to eight years after contracting measles. Psychological and intellectual changes can be seen. There are also neurological disorders. SSPE is a disease with a fatal prognosis.

Vaccination protects

In Austria, vaccinations against measles / mumps / rubella are part of the vaccination schedule. It is possible at any time - even in adulthood - to get this vaccination. For detailed information on the vaccination schedule for children and adults, see Vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

The effective and well-tolerated vaccine is available free of charge at public vaccination centers. Advice and vaccination centers near you can be found under Counseling and vaccination centers of the federal states.

When administering drugs, side effects can occur - as is the case with vaccinations. However, these are usually temporary and light. The instructions for use of the vaccines contain detailed lists of possible side effects. Do not vaccinate: pregnant women, people with a weakened immune system or people with a fever over 38 degrees. People who are known to have allergic reactions should seek advice from their doctor before vaccination.

Vaccine picking in Austria

In Austria there are vaccination gaps especially among those born between 2008 and 2010 and among adults born in the 1990s. In addition, a third of 15-30 year olds are currently not vaccinated a second time, that is more than half a million people. Immunity to measles in the general population is broadly high. In older adults because of a measles disease in childhood, in children through vaccinations. However, the number of people vaccinated in Austria is still insufficient to eradicate measles in Austria. That was the result of the measles report 2016. In order to eradicate measles, vaccination rates of 95% with two doses are necessary.

The worst complications with measles threaten children who are infected in the first year of life or during birth. It is therefore particularly important that everyone in the immediate vicinity of infants / young children is vaccinated if they have not already been through the infection.

Personnel in hospitals and other health facilities who have contact with patients or with infectious material should be demonstrably and adequately protected against measles.

You can find more information about the free measles vaccination at and on the website of the Federal Ministry for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection.