Am I a danger to pregnant women and babies?!
October 26, 2010 9:51 PM   Subscribe

Do I need yet another Rubella (German Measles) vaccination? Despite having all the childhood shots I needed and one after my first pregnancy, I was told that I still don't have the antibodies to be immune to German Measles during my 3rd pregnancy.

I had all my proper vaccinations as a child, but when I was pregnant with my first child at 25 I was told that I didn't have antibodies to German Measles. I got another shot after I gave birth. Yay. Well, when I was pregnant with my third child at 34, once again, the doctor told me that I didn't have antibodies for GM and needed yet another shot after I had the baby. I forgot to get one (the hospital was out of them when I gave birth and told me to get one later.) I have no problem with getting another one, but what are the odds that it'll work?

According to the CDC's website, if I'm negative for antibodies after the two childhood doses I should get another one. Well, I'm negative after 3 doses and it doesn't say anything about that. I was born in 1972, so the ineffective doses of vaccine that happened in the 60's don't apply to me.

Am I correct in understanding that according to the CDC, 3 documented vaccinations is sufficient and the problem is in the testing or should I get a 4th shot to be safe? Or is it safe to get a 4th dose and I should throw another one in there to be sure?

I really don't have a problem with getting another shot, but at this point, can I really be sure it'll work? Since I won't be getting pregnant again, no one will be testing me for antibodies in the future, so I am not likely to find out if I do become immune or not. Basically, I guess the reason I am asking this is that if I were ever exposed to Measles, I'd be scared that I could possibly pass it on since I have no idea if I'm actually immune. Is the 4th time the charm or am I immune to the immunization!
posted by artychoke to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
It might help to clarify whether you had the blood test that shows your antibody levels. It sounds like it, but I can't tell.
posted by acoutu at 10:00 PM on October 26, 2010

Yes, when I was pregnant they did the blood test to check my antibody levels. Apparently it was fine in the second pregnancy? (I was pregnant with my second at 27, so it was closer to the shot after the first pregnancy maybe?) Actually, now that I'm typing this out I don't remember if the test in the third pregnancy was negative or inconclusive.
posted by artychoke at 10:08 PM on October 26, 2010

It wouldn't hurt to get another one, but it isn't something I'd get terrribly worried about. If the overwhelming majority of people around you have been vaccinated then you're not at risk, because of herd immunity.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:44 PM on October 26, 2010

I've been immunized a bunch of times. It never takes. I had one doctor mention offhand that some people just resist immunity.
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:25 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

The MMR vaccine is a live vaccine, containing weakened viruses. Because of this, pregnant women should wait to be vaccinated until after they have given birth, to avoid passing it on to their babies. Rubella, specifically, can be very dangerous in utero.
posted by honeybee413 at 4:25 PM on October 27, 2010

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