What is MMR?
MMR is an abbreviation for three different types of airborne viruses: Measles, Mumps, or Rubella. Once these airborne viruses enter our bodies, they have one purpose: make more viruses. A virus is a master of deceit. It enters your body as a foreign invader and hijacks one of your body’s cells to hide from the antibodies that are patrolling your system. Once the virus is inside the cell, it tells the cell what to make and when to make it. These new cells that were created by the hijacked cell are now carrying, replicating, and spreading these viruses inside your body by the millions every second.
Your body’s immune system recognizes the antigens as foreign invaders and produce antibodies to attack the antigen. When you have symptoms of fever, chills, headaches or fatigue these are signs that your body is fighting these antigens or viruses. The immune system will produce enough antibodies to attack the antigen which will leave the body protected from future reinfections of the virus. This long-lasting protecting is called immunity.
Vaccines provide immunity without the risk of being infected by Measles, Mumps, or Rubella. The vaccines that are given to you include weakened or killed antigens. These dead antigens cannot create a new infection, but they prompt your body to produce antibodies for protection. As a healthcare worker, being vaccinated protects you from patients that do not have these antibodies or immunity against Measles, Mumps, or Rubella.
Do I Have Antibodies in My System?
Now what? Is there a way to test for these antibodies? Absolutely! There are two methods to determine if you have antibodies in your system.
The first method to determine your immunity is to review vaccines from childhood. Most healthcare providers will administer a series of two doses for MMR vaccines before the age of 12 years. If you live in Wisconsin, you can visit the Wisconsin Immunization Registry to access vaccines. Keep in mind that not all vaccines may be documented by healthcare providers. Please contact the healthcare provider that administered the vaccines. If you live outside of Wisconsin, the CDC provides a list of Immunization Information Systems (IIS) for all states. Another way to access your vaccine history is to contact a local health department for vaccine records or the schools you’ve attended. Though, schools may only keep records for a certain amount of time after graduation.
The second method is to have a MMR Titre blood test. The blood test is drawn at an occupational health clinic. Test results are usually available within 4 days from blood drawn. MMR Titres with immunity status and lab values are accepted by the Compliance Team of Premier Medical Staffing Services and our clients. Titres do not have an expiration date; however, some clients may require Titres to be retested if more than 10 years old or if the lab values are low or equivocal.
What are Lab Values for MMR Tests?
When your body fights against the antigen foreign invaders, antibodies are produced to protect you from MMR. The blood titre is “counting” the level of antibodies in your system to determine immunity. View an example of lab results for MMR Titre below.
Chart: Example Snapshot of MMR Measles, Mumps, Rubella Immunity Lab Results
The term non-immune value states that the sample provided is not immune to Rubella and will need to receive the Rubella Vaccine. When a lab result shows equivocal status, indicates that the lab is neither immune nor non-immune and a vaccination may be required. A positive result indicates that the sample is positive for immunity and no further vaccines will be needed. Vaccines can be given to adults and should be administered at least 28 days apart.
If you would like to know more about MMR and what other health documents are needed to work for Premier Medical Staffing Services, please contact a Compliance Specialist today online or call 800-439-7012.