Q. I have heard that measles is occurring in the U.S. If my child cannot get the MMR vaccine until he is 1 year of age, are there any other precautions I can take to protect him in the meantime?
A. Infants generally have protection from measles for several months after birth as a result of immunity passed on from their mothers. This is the main reason the measles vaccine is typically not given to infants younger than 12 months of age. However, if the child will be traveling outside the United States or if the risk is elevated in a particular geographic region because of an outbreak, the vaccine can be given as early as 6 months of age. If you are concerned, talk with your child’s doctor about whether this would be appropriate for your situation. You can also take precautions like avoiding contact with susceptible children, such as those whose parents have chosen not to vaccinate, and by keeping your child out of large groups if measles is circulating in your community.