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Health records for travel.

Since I was born before 1957 will my drivers license be enough to prove immune to measles? I will be traveling on British Airways from California to London in August for two weeks.
Thank you.

Posted by
7722 posts

I am not aware of anyone requiring or asking for proof of immunization for travel. Most of the travel warnings are focused on just making sure you have protection for your own benefit(Immunity or immunized) and if you feel good about that, good, if not, discuss with your Doctor.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks for the reply. I guess I was thinking of those people on the cruise ship for two weeks who were stuck on board because they couldn't prove they were vaccinated for measles. My doctor doesn't have any information except my age.

Posted by
407 posts

It's possible to get a blood test that shows whether or not you are immune to measles. Even having had the disease doesn't guarantee immunity. I had to be vaccinated for rubella after my first son was born because tests showed I had too few "antibodies" (?) in my blood to prevent reinfection.

Posted by
13 posts

Interesting! Okay, I'll ask my doctor for this blood test to make sure I'm immune.

Posted by
1856 posts

My doctor gave me a choice between the blood test and getting vaccinated. I chose the vaccination as it seemed easier than potentially having to make another appointment and come back for it.

I guess I was thinking of those people on the cruise ship for two
weeks who were stuck on board because they couldn't prove they were
vaccinated for measles.

Two big differences: there actually was an outbreak of measles on board that ship, and they weren’t tourists arriving in the U.K.

It has no relevance to a normal US holiday maker getting off a plane in London. No one is going to ask you about measles.

Posted by
8889 posts

Yes, I agree with the others. You don't need to prove you are immune to measles (or have had any injections) to enter any European country.

I am confused by your mention of your Driving Licence. How does that prove anything other that you can legally drive in the country it was issued in? You will however need a valid passport to enter the UK (or any other country).

Posted by
8654 posts

It is a peculiarity of living in the US that state-issued drivers licenses are the one universally accepted form of identification for just about anything. There is no national identity card and most people don't have passports. It then becomes an assumption that other countries must be the same.

Posted by
8889 posts

@Stan, yes, I was aware of that. But how would a driving licence prove you are immune to or immunised from Measles? Does a driving licence have your health records on it? I have a separate chipped health card for that, but only doctors are allowed to read it, privacy laws.

Posted by
3521 posts

It has been stated in numerous articles covering the current measles world wide outbreak that people born before a certain point in time must have either had the measles or had been exposed to them often enough that even if they have not been vaccinated they have immunity. But, yeah, a drivers license proves nothing your passport would except that you are licensed to drive certain types of vehicles.

Posted by
16924 posts

The drivers' license is simply legal proof of age. There is a presumption in the US that if you were born before 1957, you either had the measles or were exposed to the virus enough to acquire immunity.

Posted by
7655 posts

The CBS evening news earlier this week mentioned some reference dates, and unfortunately I didn’t write them down or recall the exact dates now, as they didn’t seem essential at the time. But I believe the reporter suggest that it was people born after a certain year (like, maybe, 1958?) who were assumed to have gotten a measles shot as a child. And even then, those folks born between that earlier date and a later date (1983?) now needed a booster for complete protection. I assumed this meant that the US government mandated immunizations in the late ‘50s and that a new, improved formula was developed in the ‘80s that gave those kids better protection. Of course, mandating immunizations doesn’t guarantee that kids actually receive their shots, as recent reports have indicated. As mentioned above, being current on all your shots may be assuring to people around you, but it’s really about protecting yourself from someone who isn’t. And Leslie mentioned Rubella (aka German Measles) — at least Germany isn’t being singled out for that!

Posted by
5688 posts

Thanks for the reply. I guess I was thinking of those people on the cruise ship for two weeks who were stuck on board because they couldn't prove they were vaccinated for measles.

Unless there is an outbreak of measles on your flight or the British government enacts some new regulation, it is unlikely that anyone is going to ask about your immunization status. If immigration at Heathrow is concerned about your health, they will send you over to an office in Heathrow to talk with a medical practitioner. At least, that is what they did to me when I moved to London on a long-term visa. At that time, certain parts of the U.S. were experiencing higher rates of TB and Americans with long-term visas were being interviewed by the nurse to determine if they needed a TB tests.

Posted by
7722 posts

Well, I guess drivers licenses do communicate other information besides age and driving eligibility, mine indicates organ donor status, one can infer the limits of your vision (do you require glasses, or just like to wear them), they provide the basis for documenting your Bio-Metrics for whatever purpose the State Government wants it for (Look straight ahead, take off your glasses, don't smile), and once Secure-ID is fully implemented, some level of indication as to your legal status. But to date, immunization status is not one.