Is your measles vaccine still effective? There's a blood test for that

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday there are now more than 700 cases of measles across the country. It's the worst outbreak in 25 years.

As a result, you may wonder if you need the vaccine. Besides, with currently 22 states seeing measles cases, we should all be curious. 

Officials say it depends on a few factors: if you were vaccinated, when you were vaccinated, or if you lost documentation proving you got the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot. 

For those who want to skip a trip to the doctor, the answer is a simple blood test away.

Alex Lamkin, the owner of "Any Lab Test Now!" in Plymouth, said he's received an increase in calls from folks curious about the measles blood test. 

“We can get results within a day or two, so it’s one less step for people to have to take if they are immune to it, and also you’re not injecting something in your body that you don’t potentially need,” Lamkin said.

The 15-minute, $49 test reveals if you have enough antibodies to fight measles. The option is ideal for anyone who's lost their vaccination records, or people born between 1957 and 1971.

“The measles vaccine that was introduced at that time may not have been as effective as the current vaccine,” said Cynthia Kenyon, an Epidemiologist Supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Health.

The immunity test may also prove helpful to those who simply don't want to double-up on the MMR shot.

“We have probably several requests a day to test for measles,” Kenyon confirmed of the outbreak concern.

While there aren't any recorded measles cases in Minnesota so far this year, MDH reps suggest a proactive alternative to the blood test.

“If you’re going to take the time to go and see a provider, I would recommend you just get vaccinated,” Kenyon said.

The advice, Lamkin can agree with, as children and the elderly face the most risk against the serious and potentially deadly disease. 

“If you know your kids are not immune, I think you should be worried because you don’t want to put your children through that illness if you don’t have to,” Lamkin nodded.

Remember, it was just two years ago there were 75 confirmed measles cases in Minnesota.

Currently, New York state lawmakers are pushing for a new bill that would ban all non-medical exemptions for vaccines when it comes to school children. This would include religious exemptions.