Man vaccinated against measles in 1970s comes down with the virus, Clallam County says

PORT ANGELES -- A fifth case of measles has been confirmed in Clallam County, this time an adult male who had been vaccinated in the 1970s and was thought to be immune, it was announced Friday.

"The case is an adult relative of two earlier cases who was thought to be immune to measles. This latest case was exposed to one of the earlier cases during their infectious period," the Clallam County Department of Health and Human Services said.

A total of five cases of measles have been confirmed in Clallam County since February. The first four cases occurred among people who were not vaccinated against measles.

However, "the fifth and newest case had received one dose of measles vaccine in the 1970s. The vaccine that was in use at the time had a different formulation from the current vaccine and was less effective," the department said.

It added that the current measles vaccine (called MMR for measles, mumps, and rubella) is highly effective.

Dr. Jeanette Stehr-Green, Clallam County health officer, said,  “Approximately 95% of people who receive one dose of the current measles vaccine are protected against measles. This percentage increases to 97-99% following two doses.”

Stehr-Green encouraged local residents to get vaccinated, saying “We are not out of the woods yet with this outbreak. It is vital to get vaccinated to protect yourself and your family against measles as well as those who cannot be vaccinated including babies, pregnant women, and immune suppressed people.”
Free MMR vaccination clinics will be held at HHS Public Health Section, 111 E 3rd Street, Port Angeles on the following dates:

March 16, Monday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Walk-in clinic.

March 19, Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Appointments or walk-ins accepted.

March 21, Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Walk-in clinic.

Appointments may be made for any of the clinics by calling 360-417-2274.