US officials struggling to contain a measles crisis in the US are warning people to vaccinate their children, fearing it may take months to contain the outbreak due to a below-normal vaccination rate at the epicenter of the crisis.
However, some parents are worried that their children are not eligible for the vaccines.
One mother is concerned that she is 11 months of age not eligible because the first to two shots in the measles series is given after one year of age.
Jocelyn Smith, of Camas, Wash., Said she called her doctor's office for advice on her 11-month-old son, Mason, who has not yet received the measles vaccine.
At least one infected person spent some time in Beds as it infected.
Smith made an appointment to take the picture as soon as possible – a day after he did 1.
Until then, she refrains from going out in public with Mason, is not attending church and is limiting the playdates to children she knows they are vaccinated.
"We usually love to leave the house, we go on trips to Target, to eat out, and we just stay inside."
Smith is angry because those who have chosen not to vaccinate their children have possibly put their child at risk, without any fault.
The outbreak in the Pacific Northwest caused at least 38 people in Washington and Oregon, and another 13 suspected cases.
Of the confirmed cases, most patients are less than 10 years old. Thirty-four were not immunized against the disease.
The governor of Washington last week declared a state of emergency due to the outbreak, which authorities said could last for months.
Health officials say the outbreak in the Northwest is a classic example of why it is essential to get measles vaccine, which was eradicated in the US after the vaccine was introduced in 1963.
In recent years, however, the viral illness has sprung up from New York to California and sickened hundreds.
Clark County in Washington has a vaccination rate of 78 percent, well below the level needed to protect people with compromised immune systems or who can not get vaccinated because of medical problems or because they are very young.
Children in the US receive the first vaccine between 12 and 15 months and the second vaccine between four and six years of age.
One vaccine provides 93% immunity against measles, and two vaccines provide 97% protection.
But the vaccine is less effective in people under one year, which is why it is not usually given to children.